I have always been on the quiet and introverted side. I would get the smallest wave of anxiety everytime I had to initiate a conversation with a complete stranger, much less introduce my self to new people and explain my services. However, like with many other life skills, networking anxiety can be eased through practice. The more events I forced myself to attend, the more people I was able to speak to and more opportunities for gigs and collaborations came about. Social media platforms, such as Instagram/Instameets, are a great way to meet like-minded people as well. Having seen how the benefits far outweighed my nerves, I soon found myself becoming more initiative in other areas of my life as well.
Before doing photography, I was a total city girl, confined to the island of Manhattan. I was too scared to venture out to the outer boroughs of Queens or Brooklyn for fear that I would not be able to navigate the subway system back to my place. However, photography gigs have led me to discover amazing and cute new neighborhoods all over New York City that I would have never thought of shooting. It made me realize that although I had been in the city for eight years, I was definitely not taking advantage of the exploring the most incredible and diverse place in the world. The variety of sights and sounds in the outer boroughs has far enriched my experience as a NYC resident as well as my photography portfolio.
At this point I have been doing photography for just a little over a year. And to be honest, my only proper education has been one 3 hour course on how to shoot manually. My only equipment that I've used on every single shoot has been my Nikon D3200 and a 35mm prime lens. With limitations in both equipment and technical background, it's been an interesting experiment to see how far I can push my work to expand and develop. I used to be afraid that I wouldn't have the proper equipment to shoot the awesome editorial I had in mind, or to re-create a certain technique I saw on Instagram, but when you have certain limitations, you are forced to be more creative. They can turn into an advantage, rather than holding you back. Photography, although based in technicalities, is not always reliant on equipment. It's more important to just get out and shoot, because every image trains your eye and allows you to see the world in a different way.