I’m an introvert.
I prefer to spend large amounts of time by myself. Being around groups of people (read that as more than one person) causes me physical and mental discomfort. I get headaches, my skin crawls and there’s a battle going on, internally, about staying or leaving. That said, I usually shoot my pictures alone.
There is but one person whose allowed to pop in and out of my isolationist bubble whenever she pleases; my wife Shelley. No, my Shelley is not that Shelly. My Shelley endures and understands me (thankfully). She’s even been known to accompany me while I’m doing my thing at some quiet, isolated stretch of beach where we live. But it wasn’t always like that.
For a long time I’d pack up way too many guys, way too much camera gear and head off on my own to shoot. Somewhere along the line that changed and now she goes with me 99.9% of the time I head out.
She’s even begrudgingly become my occasional assistant. She’s helped me out when I’m trying to do something dumb like set up for a flying shot in the water or flick coffee creamer into an open flame for effect. One time she even lit firecrackers for me! She hated it, but she did it. I’m glad to have her with me, even during the times she chooses to sit in the car and just wait it out while I attempt to get a shot in 30 mph winds and 8 degree weather. But other than that, I’ve never been a person that goes out with a large group (again, more than one person is a large group) of people to shoot and THAT’S going to change come this May when my Shelley and I head to Seattle.
I’m looking forward to it. That’s not to say there isn’t some apprehension but I’ll deal with it because deep down, I’m looking forward to shooting with some of the most talented toyphotogs in North America. I can’t wait to bounce ideas off of each other and hopefully glean a new technique or two from the group that I can use to improve my photography. I’ve been a (forgive the term) “lone shooter” for so long I can’t even imagine how different the experience will be.
There are two other toyphotographers that I’m aware of near me now. One doesn’t shoot toys (or anything else) anymore and the other is also a “lone shooter”. So I’ve never gone out in a group to shoot. I’ve never had any kind of extensive face-to-face discussion about this crazy hobby with another shooter and I’ve never had the opportunity to just enjoy the company of toy photographers. So I’m going to try my best to integrate and not isolate.
I’m convinced I’ll approach my own photography differently after Seattle and I believe that will come through in what I shoot. I’m sure I’ll learn a thing or two and carry that with me from then on but, there’s really only one thing I’m looking hoping to take away from the Seattle experience . . .
. . . real-world friendships.
Have an excellent day