Yesterday, we walked away feeling armed to defeat fear and diminish our photo phobias, learning that if we arm ourselves with sufficient preparation, knowledge and experience, there are very few things that can break our stride at a shoot. But, realistically, there will be a rare instance where the stars do not align in our favor and we will find ourselves in a pickle! Under these rare occasions, we found tried and tested ways of getting through these sticky situations and quickly back on course!
STOP: The first step to overcoming fear is to stop everything. Stopping means putting everything down, holding still, and breathing deeply. Take at least 10 seconds to breathe, but don't be afraid to take as long as you need to fully collect yourself. When our mind is in fear mode, and racing wildly, the worst thing we can do is continue doing the thing that is freaking us out. This will only compound the problem. When we are stopped physically, close your eyes while you breathe and try to go as blank and peaceful as possible. Clear everything out and imagine erasing everything and starting fresh. If needed, have the assistant take over and step aside, excusing ourselves politely to a private place.
OBSERVE: When minds are calmed and we are somewhat refreshed; observe the situation. What exactly is happening? Where is the fear coming from? Observing the situation from a calm state will help us decide what to do. If we come to the realization that we are just experiencing butterflies or are under stress, put these thoughts into perspective. Is there really anything to fear? If not, we will realize quickly that the fear will subside and we will emerge strong and ready to tackle the day.
VISUALIZE: This is one of the best ways to tackle fear. It is used by professional athletes and people that routinely give public speeches or other stressful things. Visualization means closing your eyes and imagining a plan of action. In our head, work through the steps of the solution, exactly as we want them to happen. If our fear is photographing large groups, imagine placing each of our subjects into the shot, one by one, and what it will look like when we are done. Visualize the absolute best outcome and how we got there. Our mind is a goal-achieving machine. Visualization is the way the mind is fed these goals. Another way to use visualization when we are nervous is to imagine a past shoot in which you experienced the same thing. In the case of group shots, imagine the last shoot where the group shots came out perfectly. Realize that we've done it before and it turned out beautifully, therefore, we can certainly do it again. After visualizing a past success it is amazing how quickly the mind swings into action and is calmed immensely.
TAKE CONTROL: After stopping, observing, and visualizing, we are in a fresh state of mind, aware, and have a plan of action. It's time to take control. Take one last deep breath and follow the visualization exactly. We''ll be surprised how quickly we are able to overcome most obstacles this way. To every problem, there is a solution. If we find ourselves in a predicament, stop! Breathe. Step away. Have a quiet moment to observe the issue! Quickly, as we relax, we will begin to visualize a plan of action. Once it is clear in our mind, we will confidently take the best course of action and find a resolution!
When you are finished with your photo session or wedding, do you feel a bit like that guy that was recently dragged off the airplane, semi-conscious and bleeding? Because that is basically what it feels like when you’ve lost control of your clients.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. You just need to reclaim the power.