Thursday, December 13, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For!

Just to state the obvious, photography is my new passion.  I am definitely an amateur, but I dream about getting better.  I dream about what it would be like to be really good at taking pictures.  I dream about what the life of a professional photographer might be like - the people you'd meet, the beautiful scenery you'd visit, the gift of looking at every day with new eyes.  I will never be a professional.  I will keep studying and learning.  I'll keep taking pictures.  And, I'll keep dreaming.

So, the other day I was talking to a friend about the various states of our Christmas readiness.  He said that he was close to being done, but still lacked a gift for his parents; they had a very specific request - a picture of their "granddogs."  My friend told me that he had left a message another friend, who is indeed a professional photographer, about photographing the dogs, but that person had not responded.  Before I thought about what I was saying, I volunteered to take the pictures.  My friend said, "Great!  I'll be glad to pay you."

At that moment this became serious business.  I quickly said, "No, please don't pay me.  That will stress me out."  I panicked, realizing that I had agreed to provide the one gift that these people had asked for.   Suddenly the stakes were higher.  It wasn't ;like when I go to the park and take pictures of the ducks and am happy if I get a good one and if I don't, oh well; I had fun trying.   What if I can't do it?  What if I can't get the dogs to cooperate?  What if I screw up the camera settings"  What if, what if, what if??  While all of the what if's were whirling around in my head, somehow I also agreed to take the pictures last Tuesday morning.

Still my friend wanted to pay me.  We finally compromised.  If he felt it necessary to compensate me somehow, he could make a donation to a charitable cause.

So Tuesday morning I made sure that my battery was charged, my memory card was clean, I had my tripod and I prayed.  Oh, God, please don't let me screw this up and let everyone down.

The dogs were precious - sweet, friendly, and pretty darn cooperative.  Our goal was to get just one good picture of the two dogs under the Christmas tree.  This was to be the gift picture.  By Tuesday morning, I had convinced myself, finally, that this would not be a big deal.  I could do it.

Did you know that dogs move - a lot?  And that when two dogs move, the level of motion multiplies logarithmically?  That being said, the dogs were really good.  Its just that tails wag, ears flop, legs scratch and tongues lick.  I just kept taking pictures, again praying without ceasing!

We were successful in getting the intended picture for the grandparents.

 Admittedly, there are some things that would have made this picture better, but, on the flip side, there are also many things that could have made it worse.  The dogs' parents were happy with it, so that is a good thing.

There were very few images worth keeping of the two dogs together; however, I did get a few cute individual shots.

These are canine "Bah-humbug" shots.  I don't think any of us really wants to know what these guys were thinking at the moment these pictures were taken.

 Feel free to insert your own cations.  I am fairly confident that whatever you say will be a whole lot nicer than what a dog wearing antlers would say.

Though antlers as a prop were definitely not appreciated, stuffed animals were OK.

Then there the look that says, "When you are as handsome as this, there is no need to clutter the image with unnecessary stuff."

 We ended with, "I'm done." which translates to "You are done too."

 I had fun with this whole experience, but it was more stressful than I had imagined.  Admittedly, it was stress from within.  The dogs and my friend were awesome, much more confident in my abilities than I was.  All in all it was a successful morning:
          a gift was scratched off of a list
          a got to play with two awesome dogs
          we got a few good bonus pictures
          my friend and I had a nice lunch together afterwards at a new hamburger place in town
          a donation was made to a deserving cause

For all of this, I give thanks.