VROOOM VROOOM.

Let me let you in on a little secret. I dislike talking about myself. Specifically talking about my strengths and accepting compliments have always been tough and uncomfortable for me. I don’t know why, but its just feel super awkward. One thing I have learned lately is that in order to work on my self-image. I need to be cool with me. Embrace me and all the things I am bad and good at. With that said, I am  working through the fear of saying/claiming that I am a leader. I think part of what is holding me back it is that I doubt myself, and part of it is the responsibility of what the title means. Anyways, it has taken me a of couple weeks to get but now I am ready. You ready? Gina Zeidler is a leader. So, high five for me cause I finally can say it now. (Yet, again still feels a little awkward)

I think the term or stereotype leader is pretty positive. Assertive, good with people, big picture thinker, right. While having leadership traits is a great thing, sometimes having this quality can be a hindrance. About a week or so ago during the JNP workshop I had an opportunity to test out some tilt-shift lenses. Jeffrey brought in three of his couples and we each got to pair off in groups and shoot/practice.

***Now a little back story, I think I have rented the tilt-shift about 3 times and never figured it out. I read countless forums, blogs, manuals but I couldn’t get the hang of it. I really wanted to figure it out and get some hands on experience with Eliesa & Jeff on how to manipulate it to get what I want.***

When our couple walked up my crazy love for people kicked in. I greeted them and started to ask them a couple of  get to know you questions. Seriously I have this weird weird weird need to make others feel comfortable. Maybe it’s my ultimate fear of the awkward silent moment (like in elevators), but I really think the key to great photographs is having the subjects feel themselves & comfortable. Anyways, we were to direct the shoots as we would like, so I naturally took the lead and walked us over to some really cool awesome windy California trees.

I set the couple up and started shooting with my normal set up (5d mark II and my beloved 35mm 1.4). After a couple of different poses and about 30 frames. I stopped dead in my tracks and said to myself…wait a second Gina, you didn’t come here to shoot a session in your comfort zone, you came to push yourself, to get uncomfortable and learn. At that moment I turned to my two other group members and said “alright you guys, your turn to lead.” I chose to conquer the fear of not being in control and I stepped back and put on the tilt-shift. I definitely felt uncomfortable, I  fumbled, I screwed up my exposure, and grumbled while trying it out. After a bit, Eliesa helped me with a couple of settings and I finally got the hang of it.

Seriously though people, I had to push myself to step out of my comfort zone and not be the leader. In that moment I learned that to take a step back, slow down, and learn was what I needed to do. I could have continued on and shot that entire thing with lenses I am used to and got some great shots, but would I have become better? Would I have learned something new?

I want to apply this type of thinking to other areas of my life. I want to push myself to be better, stronger, and fuller.  I want to feel uncomfortable, grumpy, and fumbly sometimes, because they equal growth. This situation equaled me conquering the tilt-shift and producing this image. I would have to say…the struggle was worth it.

  1. Leah

    *high five* and *low five* Definitely worth the departure from your comfort zone.

  2. Emily Ley

    This post is awesomsauce Gina.

  3. stefanie miles

    FAN-TAS-TIC post Gina! This gets me INCREDIBLY excited for you. This is my favorite one of yours that I’ve read yet. LOVE it and the beautiful shot!!

  4. Melissa

    I, too, have a hard time taking the back seat. I’m in a wedding in May, and I’ve really had to let go of control, no matter how much I think I’d do a better job. Frustrating, but definitely a life-lesson I need to learn.

    Great photo too! No clue what a tilt-shift is, but the outcome is gorgeous.

  5. Becky

    Amazing. The image and the story. Thanks again for sharing!

  6. Jessica

    Proud of you, babe!!!!! <3

  7. Ev

    You ARE a leader girlfriend. It’s hard to shift roles sometimes, but you’re right…..sometimes when we push ourselves, make ourselves uncomfortable and just go for it….the growth that can occur in difficulty can be astounding. Thank you for sharing YOU with the rest of US. Hugs.

  8. Crystal

    I agree Gina, so worth it! Beautiful pic. Did you try a tilt-shift lens or a lensbaby with you 35mm. Either way I love it. You rock!

  9. MonaB

    Gina – great photos and I love that you’re sharing yourself. It’s not easy, I know.

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