Trust the Process…a personal post

January 15, 2015

So, one of my new years resolutions for 2015…I am going to learn how to paint with watercolors.  I’ve always loved the soft tones of it.   So yesterday, I set out to accomplish that.  Yup, bought my little paints and paint brushes…had everything laid out.  I was sitting at my table overlooking my backyard…had the Adele radio station on Pandora playing.  I am inspired…creative juices are flowing.  I looked at my white paper and thought to myself…oh my gosh…what if I’m amazing?!  HAHA seriously, I grabbed my paint brush…looked on pinterest for inspiration and said…I got this.  Um, it was a “nailed it” moment.  You know the kind where you look at the true artists work…then you look at yours and you are like…um, don’t quit your day job…as in ever.

WHAT ON EARTH was I thinking?  Well, have you heard the song Automatic by Miranda Lambert.  Its definitely happening in our society.   She talks about how people want things instantly.  We are a fast paced….move get out the way kind of society.  We want to skip the process of learning.  Hey, we have google…we have pinterest…I’m going to be an overnight sensation.  Okay, maybe not that extreme.  But what is wrong with blood, sweat and tears…the process of failing?  Of, wow that didn’t work…try it again in a different way.  Why are we so afraid of that?

I get asked a lot about what camera I have?  What lens do I shoot with?  What are my settings at sunset?  What sites do I recommend to learn?  Every time…I am always…always flattered.  They are asking me for advise.   My answer is really always…it takes time.  Practice all the time.  On your friends, on your baby, on your hubby, on landscapes…that is what I did…constantly had my camera with me.

But I seriously failed so much in the beginning.  I still make mistakes…they are different now but I’m always in the process of learning and challenging myself to be better.

I started with a DX (crop frame camera for those that don’t know that term) a 35mm 1.8.  Shot my first wedding and left the little beeper noise on.  It was so awkward as it was a small room, a small ceremony of maybe 30 people.  I was MORTIFIED.  I looked at my camera…I had NO idea how to turn it off.  After this wedding, I told myself…never again.  I googled how to turn my camera beep off and it never happened again.  A true failure on my part turned into a lesson learned.   Or how about the one time I advertised on Craigslist…I had two clients from it.  One ended up being the backbone of my business.  The other, showed up with a tattoo of a tear on her face and missing teeth.  Not that there is anything wrong with that but really not my ideal client.  😉

My point…I made mistakes.  A ton.  But you know honestly what made me better…  all those failures.  All those, oh my gosh I did not nail my exposure, my shutter speed was too slow, my aperture too wide, my ISO wrong setting for outside…I would go back to the drawing board.  Google was my friend…my manual, I read it back and forth several times.  WHY am I not amazing at this?!  I was frustrated.   I have a nice camera I should be able to rock this.  I was talking to my Dad and he said…Betz, its the 10,000th shot.  He even went on to talk about Michael Jordan (true Chicago blood runs through us…he is the end all for amazing) he got cut from the team.  What did he do…he went and practiced.  Everyday, I imagine every night.  There are so many stories of amazing people…rocking those failures.  Get back up and figure out how to get better with practice.  There is no easy button.   So I guess I want to encourage you…I want you to know that everyone starts somewhere.  I guess, just trust the process.   I’ll leave you to be inspired by my amazing watercolor attempt.  ;p   And then because, I’m a photographer not a watercolor artist (or maybe I will be haha) …I’ll leave you with a pic of my backyard and my neighbors…the cows.  Happy Thursday peeps.  Don’t be too hard on yourself.



  1. Jan Cantrell Stamm says:

    Experiences are only “failures” if you don’t learn from them! Sometimes you learn stuff you don’t expect – but can be more interesting! Love your thoughts…:)

  2. Dani Gailfus says:

    Next time you are in az you should go to Jerry’s Artarama! Everything is at a student discount price being so close to ASU. I got all my paper paint and brushes there when I was making my Save the Dates with water colors! Which I messed up on like 20 before I figured out how to get the colors to blend in a way I liked 🙂 Love this post especially going into the new year!

  3. Long Ago Love Vintage Rentals & Event Planning says:

    These are some inspiring thoughts…. It’s good sometimes to take a step back and realize the best things in life are not instant. 🙂

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