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on Mar 28, 2012 in Great Stuff

The Fear Factor

Photoshop World to me is the greatest event to ever come along and twice a year a celebration of what it is to be a photographer! It is also the scariest venture I know about. One of the miracles of www is a world getting to know me without meeting me personally. One of the worst things in the world is everyone getting to know me through the www without every meeting me personally. I often talk about reality and perceptions of photography and my huge fear is that the reality of Moose doesn’t match the perceptions. This comes to a head when I have a class to present at PSW. There is some bloody amazing talent on stage at PSW, much of it very young and explosive. Take Jeremy Cowart…wow! Then there is me and my critters, landscape and avaition photos.

So when you have a class that starts at 08:15 when the parties ended at 02:00 you just gotta wonder, will anyone show? I like to get to my class early, I want to be all set up, make sure everything is running long before the first person shows up. I walked past Dave Black’s room and see folks lining up outside and it’s almost an hour before class time. Wow! I walk past Russell Brown’s room and I see folks streaming in. Yikes. I get to my class and find the first set of doors locked. I walk to the next set of doors and they are locked…not a good sign! I get to the third set and they are open. I walk in to find at least 30 folks already sitting in chairs in front of the screen at 07:20. I was not only feeling very honored, but then very nervous. I walk up to the stage and top photo is my view. It’s very intimating! Then I started to play a couple of videos of San Joaquin Kit Fox before my main show just set the stage for my presentation. I can handle all of these presentations, they are in my public speaking comfort zone because I’m telling stories, both verbal and photographic and I feel real safe with that. While I never fill the room, the couple of hundred folks who do come are passionate and that makes it all worth while to me.

It’s the Art of Digital and closing ceremony presentations when my stomach migrates up to my throat. That’s when the fear factor hits me. Now there are two thousand folks in those chairs and some did not come to see my work or hear me speak, but came for one of the other amazing presenters I’m so honored to be panaled with. It’s then when I have to put out a short presentation that not only gives me credibility as a photographer to be seated on this stage, but also an opportunity to touch a new heart with my images. That’s when I’m so nervous I can barely speak. And this time to push my discomfort zone even further, Scott asked me to present a aviation piece at closing ceremony rather then my traditional landscape piece. Fear Factor on steroids! And in the end, it all seems to work out (even though I never say what I had rehearsed in my mind) and from the amazing response we have received, that’s the whole point. It’s you, the folks who come to PSW who I do it for and who in the end tell me that what I presented was alright. When ladies come up to me (even a few guys) with misty eyes and then after a few moments need an embrace because my images so moved them, I know my fears were worth while. I just want to thank all of you for telling me the perceptions and reality of Moose’s work. It’s always enough to screw up the courage to do it all again in a few months. Thank You!