I knew she would love it no matter what.
I was so nervous and felt so unsure of myself that I switched my camera back to automatic halfway through the shoot, not trusting my ability to shoot in manual at the moment.
The year was 2009. It was my first paid photo shoot.
In the end, other than the switching to auto thing I was pretty happy with how it turned out.
Now I look back and am amazed.
Amazed at my growth, at my ability, at the fact that I once thought this picture was good enough for a paying client.
I still feel like I have a long way to go. I sometimes see other professional photographers pictures and doubt myself, doubt my ability, doubt if I should try and pursue this as a business.
But then I look back and I see the growth. I see the comments and the happiness that my pictures bring to people, and I know.
I cannot stop, I cannot doubt myself. I just need to continue to shoot, to learn, to practice and continue to improve and grow everyday.
We all start somewhere, the trick is to not give up.
Today 5 years later, I photographed that same girl (this time just the oldest and not her siblings), as she is now a Senior in High School. She has grown and matured and learned so much along the way.
She is not the only one.