Freakin’ Out!

 Two days ago, I reminded James that I had wanted to look up the guidelines for submitting photos to the local show, it was such an innocent comment and now here I am stressing, waiting for a phone call from the printers to say they have finished mounting my entries, wondering what I was thinking.

It took (what seemed like) forever to choose which photographs to have printed. James, Mum and I spent time going through thousands of photos, culling and then doing it all again. And again. I felt like we were stuck in a constant slide show of my most loved photos. I even put up the ‘finalists’ on our Facebook page.

After many hours, many discussion, lots of contemplation, debate, and a few tantrums (I’m not temperamental but “that’s my faaavourite” was uttered once or twice) we had 16 entries chosen.

Once we had all that sorted James started freaking out about the whole thing, possibly taking his anxiousness the wrong way, I had a whinge about him not believing in me. In my dream.

I was feeling good. Excited. For me, just getting some of my prints out there and seen was enough, not to mention the fact that digital media has left me sorely deprived of any physical representation of my work.

So, this morning I took that good feeling, my sidekick* (Mum) and my girls off to the print shop. I assumed it was going to be an in, select, pay, collect, out kinda deal. Turns out I was wrong. I spent an hour going over my (our) choices with the print lady choosing sizes, bumping brightness here, playing with contrast there for optimal print quality.

She was lovely, attentive and had a knowledge of the ins and outs of show entries which helped me feel a little less clueless. She also told me I had a good eye and when we looked at my one and only landscape she said “That’s a winner. I’ve seen many recently and I really like this.”

And there it is. Pressure. Expectation. I was happily going along, excited about the experience and now there is this part of me that has hope for something more. Who’s to say she doesn’t encourage each entrant who comes to her to print? Maybe everyone she sees is told they have a winner, I mean positivity is a great way to get repeat business is it not?

Also, there is now the price of what I am having done. The photos alone cost double what we originally thought and then the mounting cost double that again. I feel like we’re practically paying our life savings for a brief  ‘exhibition’ which anyone can enter anyway. If the print lady hadn’t applied pressure, the price alone would have made up for that. Plus, James is a ‘gotta win’ kind of guy, I can practically feel him thinking it whenever we talk about it; “You’d better win.”.

I feel like this is where I find out if I can do this or not. And what if I can’t?

Have you ever felt you’ve been on the verge of either living your dream or giving up? How did you deal with the pressure that comes with going for what you want??


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