Boxing, Photography, & Magic Pills

If there is one word that could sum up what I felt after attending the networking/class last night it would be challenged CHALLENGED. Like someone just told me to run to the top of the Empire State Building using the stairs-type challenged.

Did I mention I run at about 2 miles an hour?

I was scheduled to attend a networking/class meeting with other local photographers to hear Alexis Cuarezma speak about not only his experience, but also about different techniques he uses and philosophies he believes about the photography industry and business as a whole. As the sun slowly set on the building we all met in at 7 pm, I walked into the meeting room with a sense of anticipation, excitement, and my handy dandy notebook ready to take notes. (dang it, did I forget my highlighter?) The first thing that caught my eye were the displays of stunning photographs (can someone say, amazing?) displayed of various athletes - accomplished boxers to be more specific. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I am all about all things girly, artsy, and fashion, no doubt about it. But in addition to that, I also happen to really love boxing. As in, yes, I do indeed own all the Rocky DVDs and have watched them a million and 1 times - each. Yes, if I ever met Laila Ali person, I'd faint/high-five/ask her to autograph my arm and be my BFF. And oh, heck yes, I am absolutely proud of all that Manny Pacquiao has contributed to the sport as a person and as an athlete. But most of all I love boxing because it captures the fighting spirit mentality that I believe is important in a lot of things in life, not just sports.

Anyway, I took my seat, marveled at all the photos at the front of the room (I already mentally picked the photo I wanted to take home and hang up, if they did a giveaway!), and waited for the presentation to start. In the next hour and half, I found myself being challenged to learn more about lighting, technique, working with a subject, and pushing myself as a photographer overall. I got a chance to meet and speak to the organizers of the event, photographers Keith B. Dixon and Sheila Morgan Gibson as well as other local talented photographers and learn about their own experiences. Although doing all of this was scary and beyond my comfort zone, (almost snuck out the back door after the presentation was, chicken, much?!), I am thankful I chose to stick around and chat with others instead.

I'm slowly realizing that every photographer has their own school of thought, their own strengths and weaknesses, their own style that makes them unique and awesome at the art they create. I'm also realizing, now more than ever, that as a growing photographer I have a unique opportunity to translate what I create in my mind into a photo that might just touch the world forever. I won't lie, I'm afraid of the challenge, afraid of the possibility of failure, even afraid of the possible success, too, if that makes sense. There are days that I wish the journey was so much easier and that great results were as simple as swallowing a magic pill.

It's no coincidence I find this photo posted on Jasmine Star's Blog, today of all days.

But then again, I have a God whose hand steadies me in the midst of this hard journey, so, really, what do I have to be afraid of? Food for thought.

Happy Friday!

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great."
- Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) in "A League of Their Own"