Over the weekend, I participated in the Milwaukee ClickinWalk hosted by ClickinMoms. In cities all around the world (yes, seriously the world) forum members and their friends gathered for group photo tours of their hometowns. A bunch of awesome ladies met up in downtown Milwaukee for a tour of the Third Ward. I've been looking forward to this event for months but was completely overwhelmed when the actual day came!
Thank goodness for Zina from Let's Lasso the Moon and Colleen from Flee Fly Flown who agreed to join me. Having familiar faces at the event made me far less nervous. Little did I know how much I'd need them until we started walking!
Our first stop on the walk was a bridge near a set of abandoned railroad tracks. All the other photographers pounced on the scene and started snapping photos left and right. I nearly had a heart attack. It wasn't until that moment that I realized what a solid box I've put myself in when it comes to photography. I shoot food, my kids, flowers, and inside my house crafty stuff. Period. Out there in the open with no mini models to pose and cluster in front of a pretty background I felt totally lost. I love landscape photography but a few peeks through my viewfinder and I couldn't figure out where to start or what to shoot! I was so out of my element.
Zina saw me struggling. She laughed at me for being overwhelmed and then told me to think smaller, think story. She started pointing out the tiniest details in this huge open field. First up, these berries:
I can't even take credit for this photo! I may have snapped the buttons, but she literally directed the image for me. It was that one photo that put me more at ease and I set off to explore the rest of the field. After taking a few small detail shots I started to feel much more comfortable.
Our group moved on to several other great spots but I definitely found it is the smaller details vs. the large grand scenes where I find it easier to compose an image. I am still in the middle of my natural light class and I found dozens of spots that would have made for awesome portrait locations but that was not the goal of the walk. It was so hard to switch gears!
We ended our morning at the Milwaukee Public Market. The moment I stepped through the doors I felt a pressure lifted from my chest: steady indoor lighting! food! Ahhhh, it was like coming home. I took over half my images at this one location alone and was definitely in my happy place.
Does anyone else read The Bloggess? Knock knock:
When we wrapped up our photo walk, I felt totally and completely mentally exhausted. I haven't thought that hard in a long time. I know it seems silly but what multitasking was involved!:
1. Be hyper aware of your surroundings and look for tiny details you might not otherwise take the time to notice.
2. Analyze the light those details are sitting in. (Much trickier than it sounds!)
3. Think about which of my 3 lenses would best capture the image.
4. Set my camera settings in manual mode.
5. Don't get hit by a car. Ha.
You can see my full project in my Flickr Set here. I'm pretty proud of my little collection of images from the day. It stretched me creatively in a way nothing else could. It really highlighted my narrow focus and forced me out of my comfort zone. It was fantastic practice for working in natural light and I think I'll feel far more confidant the next time I'm out.