The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

A Little Bit Intimidated

Having ended up with a busier and more distracted week than I'd intended, I realised I didn't have quite as much time left to prepare for my live video podcast, Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres, as I would have liked.

This week I was revisiting the topic of Self Portraits – something I last addressed back in episode 51, some 16 or so months ago.

I think it's a fantastic genre to really stretch your photography – technically, emotionally, and imaginatively. It's one which can take us way out of our comfort zone, but we can also learn huge amounts from attempting.

With the limited energy available to me due to living with ME/CFS I couldn't pull an all-nighter and still expect to be able to deliver the podcast the following day, so I decided to watch episode 51 to remind me of the different aspects of the topic it would be worth conveying to the viewers.

So I started watching Mr-16-months-younger-me, and as the podcast progressed I found the panic rising as I realised he seemed to know so much more about the subject than I did.

He came across as relaxed, confident, and definitely knew what he was talking about. Despite not having a script in front of him, he delivered so much information – even his tangents seemed full of rich extras.

There's no way I could live up to that!

Even his beard was bigger.

I tried scribbling down some notes, but before I knew it I had a page of half-formed sentences, single key words, and an awful lot of dashes - and ellipses...

I was never going to be able to mould all that into shape before the podcast.

It was no good – I was just going to have to do it in my own limited way, and hope the viewers wouldn't feel too let down by my inadequacies.

I wondered whether, with that amount of knowledge and confidence, he'd gone on to have his own series on Netflix by now.

In the end, I don't think I did too badly.

I bluffed my way through it by projecting a level of confidence only available to me after a strong cup of coffee.

And with the caffeine surging it's way through my brain, I found the knowledge I do have flowed fairly easily, and I got across pretty much all the points I wanted to.

When I watched the podcast back afterwards I thought I looked like I actually knew what I was talking about, which was in direct contrast to how I felt about it.

Strangely, this latest me presenting the podcast came across far more like that previous me, than the me sitting here typing about what felt like a very near miss...

Below is Episode 116

Below that is Episode 51 if you feel the need to see which presenter looks more confident and self assured...


neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

You do such magnificent work, Kim. Reading your posts, I learn as a writer...seeing details. I hope one day a big-time person discovers you and commissions you.

If...IF...I were to ever be bold enough to do self-portraits...I'd dress me up in all kinds of clothes and situations. Me walking, cooking, cleaning house, writing. I'm not game though.

Kim Ayres said...

Neena - Thank you for your lovely words!
I don't hold out much hope for being discovered, to be honest. It seems to be a combination of luck, and being prepared for it if the luck turns in our favour - otherwise the lucky moment might occur and we might not be ready for it.
However, I think it would be wonderful for you to have a go at doing some self portraits.
You already know about creating characters and details and narratives - and you already see these things in your head, so it's just a case of figuring out how to translate it into a photo.
And if you ever do, I will always be here for advice, tips and tricks to help :)

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