Friday, September 28, 2007

The People You Meet...and Misconceptions

While at my son's football game last night I suffered from tripod and lens envy. First off - I have a bad habit dealing with seeing someone with something that I want. I go through the "my whatever-it-happens-to-be is better" or some other nonsense of trying to make myself feel better...or just better than them. Yeah, its something I'm working on :)
Anyway, before the game a guy comes and sets up his chair behind me and I notice a big camera bag and the biggest tripod I've ever seen...and with big I mean TALL. My lord...with the legs extended on it alone it was roughly 6ft tall. Then he extended the head up another foot. It was insane! Here I was thinking, great...some guy with a huge camera is gonna come sit behind me and here I am thinking I'm a photographer with this piddly kit lens on mine. was a video camera. DOH! As usual, I felt like a complete moron and about 6 inches tall. I felt a bit better because he was for the other team and his older son was a complete prick :) (I know...still not
During the game I stepped back to have a smoke and saw a man standing on the opposing teams side (about 8 feet away, lol) who had a dslr with a, I guessed 200 or 300 mm lens. Ok..instant jealousy. I don't know why I feel that everyone with a camera is I wanted to go up to him and strike up a conversation...but argued with myself that he was too far away. Lo and behold...he moved over to stand behind my husband. I grrr'd at myself and went to stand behind my husband as well. Eventually I asked what size glass he had. Ok people...I had rehearsed that. I assumed, from his relaxed yet nice clothing, that he was a photographer and would know that glass meant lens. Yeah...he didn't. I noticed he was an older man..probably in his late 50's early 60's. He mumbled something about at that point I assumed he was not a pro...just someone there taking family pictures. To which I promptly called myself a dumba** So, I let go of my whatever-it-was'ness and just asked if it was 200 or 300. It was 300. I then asked what kind of camera body he had with it. It was an older Canon Rebel. Ok, by this point I had the little cartoon character version of myself kicking itself all over the field for being a jealous, rotten, stuck-up freak. He asked if I used PS...I said no...he mentioned Picassa...I said I'd heard of it but hadn't used it. We kept a general conversation going and he was very nice. He asked if I took a lot of photographs. I resisted the urge to laugh stupidly and just said, "Yes sir, I do." We talked about getting pictures printed and then, to make me feel even worse, he said "I've got 6 grandkids...*insert proud and modest chuckle here* I take a few too."
You know, as embarassed as I might feel on the inside...I'm glad moments like these happen for me. They put me in the place that I need to be. Heck, I'm not even a city-known photographer...I'm barely here or getting started in this crazy and over-populated business. I need moments like these to keep me grounded. So someday, when someone walks up to me and starts asking questions, whether they have camera in hand or not, I can remember the moments like that. Frankly...I don't want to be the photographer that rises up in me sometimes. I don't want to be the one judging all the other budding photographers out there...whether they use on-board flash or not, whether or not they ask "silly" questions. I want to be the kind, understanding, patient photographer who seeks to give, and gain, knowledge...not judge.


Chas said...

A truly heartwarming post - and I have to say, as an amateur photographer from the other side of the Atlantic, that you've both inspired and encouraged me.

Kendra said...

Chas - You have made my entire year with your comment. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave some kind words :).

Freckled Nest said...

lol, you'd feel real good around me... i don't know anything and I use a cheap point and shoot that recently quit flashing. saving up for a new camera... *exciting*

Kendra said...

Hehe, I'm not so sure about that. I've seen some incredible shots on flickr and got nosy to see what type of exceptional camera they were using..then it would turn out to be some little P& Another one of those humbling