When clients contact me to inquire about a session, they often ask for either a specific location that reflects Germany, Europe or a location they’ve seen in my other images. Of course, to break the ice, I always joke and say, “of course, we can go there and of course I do everything… except underwater photography… LOL.”
Early this past summer, a mom contacted me about a senior session for her son. And of course, I pulled out my “absolutely everything, except underwater photography” line.
To my surprise she said, “Oh good, because my son is Ramstein Cadet of the Year and needs photos on ground and in the air.” Umm, I froze and my hands started sweating. I could already hear my heart pumping! You see, I have this awful fear of flying and even have serious problems as soon as I get close to a plane. It’s a long story, which I don’t care to get into, but it’s true.
My response was that those planes are pretty tiny and wont really have room for good photos — blah, blah, blah. I was just trying to convince her that on the ground would be better, because I was too big of a baby to go in the air, all the while I hoping that she wouldn’t read in between the lines. When she told me that if I feel uncomfortable in the air, I don’t have to do it, reality hit me. I thought to myself, I have already shot in so many places in the world and documented such controversial moments, (some which were even life threatening) why would I say no now?
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I realized, I had to overcome my fear and push beyond my boundaries.
Four weeks later, I did that exactly for which I am more grateful than ever. I realized that I am only limited to do as much as I set my boundaries to. I don’t want to stop, I don’t want to limit my chances and I definitely don’t want my fears to overtake and control my life.
I’ve documented this young man, we had an amazing flight, amazing weather and light conditions, and an amazing experience which I was able to record not only for his Mom and Dad and for this young man, but also for me. For myself, to prove that pushing myself beyond will always open up new horizons.
Documenting always goes beyond your comfort zone. It always takes you a step further since you never really know what will happen. It is not studio work where you kind of know your scenario of what could go wrong and the solution for that. When you go out and document, you might know only one thing: your camera works and that’s that…the rest is a surprise.
Here I am, 24 years in the business of photographing and documenting and I still learn something new everyday. All I can say, go beyond your boundaries, who knows, you might get a taste for something that was not even imaginable even in your wildest dreams.
Guest post writing and images are from photographer, Bogi Huwe.
Bogi studied documentary photography, back in the film and darkroom days. She is a wife to an emergency doctor and mother to 3 boys living an adventurous life already in the 4th country. Life is always beautiful in her eyes and she seems to find light even in the darkest places and times.
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