I recently joined a local photography meetup group in order to rub elbows and learn from other photographers. It was easy to join the online group. Much more nerve racking to actually go out on a meetup. But, I did it! In the words of direct sales guru, Julie Ann Jones, I put on my big girl panties and did what I needed to do. In the end, it was very rewarding!
Saturday I joined a group of photographers on a trip to Mount Evans, west of Denver in the Arapaho National Forest, to photograph flora and fauna. I was a mess. A nervous wreck. It started when I woke up at 5:36 AM and I was supposed to meet the group at 6:00! I think my subconscience kept me from waking up after reading an email right before bed that the group would wait for stragglers until 6:20. Or, it could have been the few drinks and late night at a friend’s house. Plausible. Anyway, I was running late. Thankfully we were meeting at Starbucks. Coffee could wait.
I left the house just before 6:00 only to go to the wrong place. Where is this Starbucks? I was confused. It’s supposed to be right here! Uggg, I have the wrong street! It’s on Briargate Parkway, not Briargate Boulevard. DOH! Luckily, I was only a few miles away with ten minutes to go! I sped to the correct location, quickly introduced myself to a few fellow photographers, and with two minutes to spare I bolted into Starbucks to get my caffeine jolt. Whew, I made it. It took a while for my nerves to subside but I made it. I could relax now.
I drove and another photographer rode with me. It was great to have someone to chat with and get to know. She is also a relatively new photographer so we talked about what we need to work on and some of our favorite captures thus far. We were having a great trip until the butt kicking. Before reaching Denver I realized that I forgot to take my allergy meds! Well, my eyes reminded me. For most of my first pictures I could barely see. My eyes were watering so much that I’m sure people thought I was crying. Taking my sun glasses off to take a photo was torture. My eyes would be raw and bloodshot for the next 48 hours. It was worth the pain. Needless to say there is now a stock of Zyrtec in my purse. Check. Lesson learned.
We drove within a few hundred feet of the summit to a parking lot which was at 14,130 feet. I then “climbed” the rest of the way to the summit. It was like the Wal-Mart of fourteeners. So many people!
Now that I have my first meetup under my belt, I can’t wait for the next one! I am signed up for a lighting workshop, one to learn where the picturesque fall foliage will be, and several others that I am interested in. Oh, what fun learning can be!
Although I didn’t expect much from this meetup other than some great pictures and meeting some new people, this trip turned into more. A lesson in Katy. I became more comfortable crouching down to get a shot while others were walking by. I usually get nervous, blush, and maybe even give up because of my shyness and move on. However, with so many people roaming around if I wanted to take any pictures, I would need to be uncomfortable.
While taking the shot above I was crouching down just inches from the plant when a group walked by. I sat up and a girl said “Oh, what a cool picture.” As they continued walking I heard another person say “I was wondering if she was okay?” I responded “Okay, yes, I’m just a little crazy,” and they chuckled. How wonderful it was to continue with the fly’s photo shoot instead of blushing and moving on. And, to make someone laugh. My favorite.