ben, 10 weeks, Canon Digital Rebel XTi
As you might guess, I chose my photographer carefully for our wedding. Having gorgeous photos at the end of the day was even more important to me than flowers or cake or a live band. We were thrilled with what Rikka did and since she gave us a print of every photo she took, I was blown away that every shot was exposed correctly. I asked my oldest friend Ryan (who is a photography professor and the head of the digital photography department at the Academy of Art) how she did it.
He looked over the prints, smiled and said, “Do you really want to know?” “Yes!” I said. I had so much trouble deciphering F-stops and shutter speeds and ISO… even after several photography classes, I still couldn’t seem to remember the proper way to expose things. I had instant amnesia.
“She put it on P.”
“She put it on the Program setting.”
“Yes. Cameras these days are so sophisticated, they are actually smarter than we are sometimes. Use your tool girl! You will likely get perfect exposures every time on P.”
This was revulotionary information to me. I’ve had my camera on P ever since.
But more important than taking great photographs is the metaphor I found in this. Where else in my life could I just put it on P? Where in my life am I trying to do it “right” or perfectly or making things harder for myself. Where am I not simply using my tools/resources well?
One of my coaching clients really wanted to take photographs. It had been a creative dream of hers for a long time and she was really passionate about it. Every time we checked in however she had an excuse. “I had to read the manual… “I’m taking a photography class…” “I’m learning photoshop…” It seemed there was always a new way to prepare. She was always waiting for the perfect circumstances to begin.
I told her to bring her camera to work, put it on P and shoot 10 photos every day on her lunch break.”I can just do that?” she asked. “I feel like I’m cheating.” But really, this was simply another way that her inner critic had very cleverly kept her from achieving her dream.
Several weeks ago when Matt officially went back to work I figured I could handle watching the baby all day by myself. By the third day I was so physically and mentally exhausted that I just wanted to cry and quit. (or go back to work instead of my husband)
Then I thought… how can I put it on P?
The next day I hired someone to clean our house twice a month. (This is a luxury I’ve never allowed myself) Then we called the grandparents and fairy godparents and friends and booked some babysitters. I am still living in this question each day… What is one thing I can do to make this day more fun and easy? (Sometimes it’s handing the baby over to the neighbor and taking a bath)
Asking for help is something I have to remind myself to do. I am always humbled by how much people want to help, especially when there is a bundle of cuteness involved.
Where in your life can you put it on P?