So.. I took the camera out of the house to photograph my best friend’s surprise birthday party. Prior to that day, I took pictures of sunsets, running water, my feet and plants and furniture, all from inside my home. I was so intimidated by all of the buttons and modes on the camera that I didn’t want to take pictures in public until I knew what I was doing. I’d purchased and watched a video on how to operate the camera and I read a few pages from the operator’s manual. I thought I was equipped to take pictures. In an attempt to overcome my fear, I ventured out on March 7, 2013 with the mission of being the official party photographer.
I arrived at the venue pretty early so that I could scope out the location and set my camera in the appropriate mode. The event was being held on the third floor of a restaurant, which had beautiful panoramic views of D.C. I took a few test pictures while it was still bright outdoors. Not bad I thought. My very first picture looked pretty decent (I was in Automatic mode) so I took a few more and thought I was good to go!
The birthday girl arrived, so I headed her direction with camera in tow and took pictures as I approached her. She was genuinely surprised and excited; however, as a result of fumbling with my camera I missed the PERFECT shot. I did capture the beginning and then the end of her expression, though. I took pictures the rest of the night of party guests, food and drinks and I screwed the majority of those up too! Fortunately, the party guests didn’t have a clue that I was a novice photographer and had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t let on at ALL. I carried myself as I’d intended, “the official party photographer”, (maybe I should consider acting!).
I tried using Automatic mode for most of the photos; however, as the lighting changed in the room (it was getting darker and darker) I had to try different modes. It was truly disastrous. I changed to the night portrait mode and that didn’t work; then it was actually hard to see through the viewfinder because the room was too dark. Lucky for me the guests didn’t ask to view their photos. I took 83 photos and about six had a decent exposure and were in focus; my first two photos are shown below. I dare not share any of the guests for fear of exposing my incompetence.
What did I learn that evening? A LOT! I needed help! Classes! A mentor! Something! I was not ready to be an official photographer!
Next time: Yes, I Want To Be A Photographer!