Today I sold my back up camera, just confirming to myself that I am no longer doing weddings. It is the final closing of that door of my life. I learned a lot photographing weddings, especially about using Photoshop so I am pleased that I did it for as long as I did. I also met a lot of interesting people in that time, many of whom have remained friends. It is nice to go down the road and see some of my couples now pushing strollers with young children walking alongside. A wedding may only be for a day but you get to know your couples really well in that time. You see them at their most stressed and at their happiest. It really was fun.
Having said that, what I am doing now is way more addictive. I am turning my back yard into an open aviary of birds and having a great time with the camera without even having to leave the house. I am also travelling to all sorts of places to photograph the wildlife, any excuse for a road trip! I have a frequent flyer pass to Zealandia with all its native birds and plant life, and I am learning about being patient, never one of my strong points.
As I type this I am watching the waxeyes through the window pecking away at the banana and the sparrows and starlings fighting over the water puddle to bathe in. Unfortunately for the waxeyes, the blackbirds have also taken a liking to the bananas; I am hoping they won’t scare the smaller birds away too much. There is a definite hierarchy in the bird world, big and loud rules over small quick and pretty.
My latest lesson is that it is important to know your subjects normal behaviour before you attempt to photograph them. Know what the signs are when they are feeling threatened and avoid them at all costs. If you are careful the birds will accept both you and your camera but it takes time to build up that level of trust. Hence the need for patience.