my secret..

Anna Hardy Photography

I've actually got a secret.

I constantly avoid shooting.

That sounds crazy right?  I'm a photographer.  I love shooting.. I love being creative.. I love creating images.. I love meeting people.. I love giving beautiful images.. I love telling stories.  But... I avoid it.

This probably doesn't make any sense as we shoot over 30 weddings a year.. but you see weddings are different.  Have you ever had to go somewhere and you were kinda nervous (well, bricking it) about going? Worried about performing well and delivering the goods? Maybe even dreaded it slightly?  Then once you got there it was pretty much the most awesome thing you've ever, ever experienced, you love every second, you love everyone you meet and you wondered how on earth you ever felt worried about it in the first place?!? Well.. that's me.

I'm now kinda used to it with weddings and have to remind myself every Saturday morning how amazing I'm gonna feel in approximately two hours when I'm getting emotional watching my Bride get in to her wedding dress.. and then watching her marry her boy.. (maaaaan it really is the BEST thing in the world).. and what I've realised is that it's just fear.. and it's a good thing.. so long as it doesn't stop you from doing things.

But it has stopped me.  Opportunities to shoot outside weddings.. my first reaction is always.. we're too busy.  Yes we are busy.. and yes we're really busy over the Summer (and we're working on that for next year) but deep down I know that what I'm actually saying is "I'm too scared to shoot you".  I immediately have the fear.. I have to deliver.. I have to shoot well, I have to make them feel comfortable, I have to direct, where are we gonna shoot?, what's the light gonna be like? What happens if I freeze?  What happens if the images are no good? It's then all too easy for me to convince myself that I'm too busy.  It makes my life that little bit easier.

But that's shit isn't it.

And you know what.. the times that I have ignored that fear and said yes.. it's been pretty much the most awesome thing I've ever, ever experienced, I've loved every second, I loved everyone I met and I wondered how on earth I felt worried about it in the first place.

So I'm going to stop closing myself off to things.  I'm going to start saying yes.  I'm not going to be scared to shoot.. I'm not going to be 'too busy'.. because when you open yourself up you experience more, you share, you feel and you create the most incredible memories.. not only for the people you are photographing.. but for us too.


  1. Totally agree, Emma. My instincts are always to 'avoid' and say no but the times I've just ignored that instinct and said yes, it's ALWAYS been worthwhile. :)

  2. Sometimes I feel like my life is ruled by The Fear. Sometimes I'll be on my way to a wedding and think "I could pretend the car broke down" or "Maybe the bride won't turn up" so that I don't have to deal with the giant knot of anxiety churning away in my stomach. But the car never breaks down and she always turns up and at the end of the day I walk away feeling like a new part of someone's family...until I have to sit down and write and then I get The Fear again.

  3. Well Ms Case - your work certainly transcends your fears. Yet I completely identify with every word you say here. Always feeling thrilled to be asked to do something new and at the same time shitting myself and thinking "of course I'm not actually going to do this, I'm going to come up with an excuse any minute now.." But here's the rub...I've been on my way to a many a shoot, choking down the impending sense of uselessness, and getting myself so worked up with worry, so fearful that my images will just be static and boring and totally reflective of the paralysing fear...and so often...in such cases...I think of you...yes - you Ms Case...and I say to myself...just think of Emma...and her exceptional images...which to me mirror a soul so free from fear and open to all avenues of light, creativity and artistic genius. Don't ever say no - they say failure is not to be feared - it is the fear itself of failure is thing that hurts. You my dear should have no fear. Thank you for your continued inspiration xx

  4. I've been meaning to write about this on my blog for awhile...I avoid shooting a LOT. Not even just professionally, but in my personal life. I'm afraid that whatever I'm shooting won't turn out the way I want. I've been learning to push through that fear though, and say yes. I've started saying yes to things BECAUSE I am afraid and think I can't do them, and I end up proving myself wrong every time, which has been amazing. Looove this post.

  5. No matter how many weddings I shoot, I always wake up with butterflies in my belly that morning. I think the day that I wake up and feel nothing is the day I will move away from weddings and do something else... I think that feeling reminds you that this is art for you, that this isn't another 'job'... it puts "you" in their day and in your work. As soon as that feeling is gone, then you're no longer putting yourself into the work. And I do the same with other work... second guess, freeze up, and freak out. But in the end you wonder why you hadn't done that before.

    The best things in life are ones you start out scary, take risk and push you to your (creative / personal / professional) limit. It's how you grow! Thanks for posting this!

  6. Why can't I put things into words like this? if i could i would of written the exact same thing as you have done here. I experience fear all the time (yesterday morning was a good example) and then by 11pm when I was hugging the bride and groom goodbye for the 100h time after a long, exhausting but AMAZING day I couldn't of been happier!

  7. I always thought that fear was insecurity. Then, I would question if I'm good enough to handle it. Then, I get there and wonder if they hired the right photographer. I drive myself nuts, but I guess that means that it all matters to me. Bride and grooms are like family.

  8. Though the theme of different parties are quite different from each other, engagement party dresses should be the only topic. However, choosing a suitable engagement party dresses for that important moment seems to be not so easy. In this page, you will see a lot of reasonable collections where lists a lot of related products.
    This application is obtainable for apple phone, iPod, iPod Contact and Android. The wedding planner apple phone application as well as the wedding organizing Android application have comparable functions and therefore are developed to arrange the wedding.

  9. I think that fear is the good kind, I get it too... I think the important thing to do is to approach everything with that same vigor that you would a wedding - I used to see each job or opportunity separately, like I had to morph into a different kind of photographer because the end result was for a different purpose. I don't do that anymore - the tricks and techniques I use for weddings filter their way into my commercial work and vice versa. I find it interesting when I shoot an editorial with an 'unconventional' composition (if there is such a thing) because it turns that work on it's head and makes it more interesting for me. I think the fear is the force you work against and without it we would relax and not strive to prove ourselves to ourselves.

  10. I'm glad i'm not the only one that feels this way but you are telling me this feeling of fear never goes away..? I'm new to wedding photography & I still have alot to learn before considering myself professional. Thank you for your honesty & I think your work is amazing, such an inspiration.

  11. I totally have the fear every time I have to go on a shoot....especially weddings as I haven't done many and I am constantly saying in my head 'how did I ever think I could do this?'....