Doing Something I Never Thought I'd Do

Yesterday I did something I never thought I'd do.... 

A month or so ago, my friend Kaitlin asked if I would be willing to some time meet with her and her younger sister, Kami - because Kami is interested in pursuing photography and would love the opportunity to pick the brain of a photographer. My immediate thought was - I AM NOT QUALIFIED FOR THIS! - The more I thought about it though...the more I realized there were some resounding and repeating thoughts. 

- How many times have other photographers helped me...(several times!)
- And how much did it mean to me that they were willing to help?....(Uh. A TON.)
- How awesome was it to feel encouraged and inspired by someone in their position?....(Incredibly awesome!!)
- And wouldn't it be kind of cool to pay it forward??....(Honestly,...yeah.)

After that conversation with myself, it didn't take long for me to say "Self! You should do this!"

So yesterday morning us three gals gathered in a corner spot of a Panera and we hashed it out. Kami came prepared with a list of questions - I love lists!! From camera suggestions to lens suggestions, to tips on helping your subjects feel comfortable and behave naturally, to combating your own nerves, - we covered a lot! We also talked a lot about animals :) And volunteering locally! Love fellow animal lovers! But that's a different story :)

- I'm a Canon-girl for life. So Canon, Kami! Canon!
- Prime lenses. It's pretty much all you need to know.
- Give specific direction, but then have them move into the ultimate "pose". Provide constant encouragement. Be silly yourself, laugh with them. 
- Just breathe and allow yourself to be confident!

My biggest advice to Kami was to upgrade from the point-and-shoot she had and enter the world of DSLR's. *coughcanoncough* Once that camera is in her hands - practice, practice, practice. And above all, the best and most important advice I can give to Kami, or anyone for that matter - learn to shoot manually. Learn that exposure triangle! Relying on AUTO is easy to do, trust me, I did it for years. And manual can be tough to master, but! It is the best thing you can do for your photography and you won't regret it! You also won't look back!!

I don't know how I feel about referring to this as a "mentoring session" - as I feel I am far from that! But I do think I helped Kami, and that right there is a great feeling, folks! 

Kami! My dear! I'm here any time you have a question!! You are already such a creative individual, I know you are going to take the photography world by storm :)