There's more to my job than just taking pictures. As the head photographer, I also manage the schedules of our three other photographers, coordinate press passes, speak with other schools' SIDs, communicate with our facilities people, upkeep equipment and manage our rates. It was more than I originally signed up for freshman year, but it's been a great growing experience. I've had to deal with issues at 10 or 11 at night, I've had to figure out copyright issues, and I've had negotiate fair pay for all of my photographers based on the work that they're doing. Everything that I've mentioned above has happened throughout the past two years, but for some reason... every. single. one. of those things decided to happen last week as well, just as we were all getting ready to shoot one of our largest events this year - the MAC swimming and diving championships.
I was a swimmer growing up, so swimming has always felt very therapeutic to me. I was so stressed last week, trying to coordinate everything and ensure payment, but I knew I just had to get to the pool to shoot something before I got overwhelmed. I decided to head there Thursday and see what panning shots I could get. I struggle with panning, I rarely get something in focus. So I left that night pretty frustrated... I mean, it IS frustrating, right? You head to the pool, all your gear in hand, no real responsibilities other than the one you have to yourself to shoot something you're proud of... and it doesn't happen. That's when I remembered something I've been trying to keep central to my thoughts recently - shoot the kind of pictures that make YOU happy, shoot the kind of photos YOU want. Yeah, I want panning shots, I guess. But do I really like those photos, or am I just doing that because someone somewhere along the line said it might look nice in my portfolio? Probably the latter.
I went to the meet Friday with a new thought process: take good photos, whatever good means to you. And I felt like I did that, I felt like I got some photos I was finally proud of and wanted to share! I feel a lot less stressed now.