Getting out of your comfort zone

Looking through my photos, I’ve sometimes felt they were missing something. While each photo seemed OK on its own (of course, some were better, some worse), when looking through photos from previous trips in a row they seemed… sad and boring after a while.

To an experienced photographer this won’t come as a surprise, but I think the missing ingredient is, in my opinion, people. I’ve gravitated towards landscape and still life and as a result I’ve shied away from photographing people. Whether that was portraits or even including them in the frame for better context or just to bring (literally and figuratively) life to it. That was a huge mistake on my part and I’ve vowed to actively change that.

My recent visit to Orlando and the company meetup there that I’ve attended seemed like the perfect opportunity to get out of my comfort zone. I work with some of the most friendly, awesome and apparently photogenic people, so that helped overcome my initial fears.

Every year, people want their portraits taken (cause, of course, I work with many talented and experienced photographs) to refresh their profile pic that still shows them with that beard they’ve shaved off months ago or with that old haircut. This year, I’ve joined this activity as well – and had a blast. Old and new friends were coming up to me to take their photos and we had fun experimenting – me, learning a new skill and them trying not to be nervous and smile naturally.

Of course, I still have a lot to learn, but this was a great start – got a few great tips from more experienced colleagues as well!

Encouraged by the portrait session, I’ve started taking more pictures of my coworkers throughout the meetup, as well as when I was out and about in Orlando. And looking through the photos now, the shots now definitely feel more alive and interesting than the ones I’d have previously taken. I’m glad to see this improvement and hope to continue this trend!

For example, check out this frame from my previous post:

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Normally, I’d have waited for the kid to go away – he’s ruining the frame! But leaving him like this, looking longingly (?) at the LEGO picture makes you wonder: what’s going on through his head? Is he longing for a happy vacation like that… or is he simply in awe of ALL THE LEGOS? (can’t blame him if it’s the LEGO thing – huge LEGO fan myself)

While it’s still daunting to take pictures of people (especially strangers), I’m hoping to keep at it, cause I love the results – and what’s more important, I treasure the connections I’ve made thanks to them and the joy on my friends’ faces when they see how good they can look on a photo 😊

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