I don't know why I've been stressing this thing like I have. I think I've been feeling like there might be a lot riding on this shoot, like it will be a significant opening of doors for me professionally. I'm used to just being a girl with a camera, and the number of people, and amount of co-ordination involved, made me forget myself for a bit.
Many years ago, for my very first magazine assignment, I photographed a controversial young feminist writer named Rene Denfeld. Her new book used her experiences as a prize-winning amateur boxer, to shed light on violence perpetrated by women. Every other paper in town pictured her looking very aggressive in her boxing gear. I took her out for a walk through downtown, during which I found out she had just adopted a little girl and was going to meet her new baby in a couple of days. She absolutely glowed with the anticipation. The photos I shot showed her to be the very image of a happy new mom. She also said something to me I never forgot.
"You're so young...have you been doing this long? You look like you were born with a camera in your hands..."
That conjured a painful mental image, but the compliment definitely stuck with me too.
When it comes down to it, the entourage, all the lights, the set dressing---none of that will matter tomorrow. I'll still just be a girl with a camera. I can do this shit in my sleep.