Ever wonder how much your brain can hold? I have a theory (not scientifically based whatsoever) that your brain retains everything you’ve ever learned or seen, heard or done. Yes, all of it. Over time, though, your brain has this keen ability to relegate those things which are “useful as experience” to less than a “remember every detail” role.
With that in mind, I have an opinion about how we decide how things are done in our lives, especially as it relates to those things we do on a regular basis. Driving, for example. We take for granted that the car will start in the same way, that we’ll engage the transmission, pull back or forward to leave the driveway or parking spot and then drive on to our destination. With those repeated instances, we begin to use that experience as things that we will do naturally.
The same kind of thing might occur within our jobs. Someone who may come to me for a portrait session may not realize that a “hidden” part of my job is to size up their family, to analyze their face, or to evaluated their wardrobe as part of how I plan to pose, light or create their images. To me, it is routine… part of what I do… and is the experience which allows me to do my job without much in the way of complication.
Going back to the driving analogy for a moment… suppose you are traveling at 70 mph (although I realize some of you may travel faster). You are buffeted in your path by a car some 100 feet behind you, a tractor-trailer beside you and a car 300 feet ahead of you. Suddenly, the tractor-trailer begins to veer into your lane and intends to occupy it – all without having given you the courtesy of a signal. What do you do next? And if you hesitate, you risk quite a bit.
As the driver of a motor vehicle for over 35 years, I know what I would do.
As the driver of a camera in hundreds of weddings, thousands of portrait sessions, and for hundreds of thousands of people in all… my experience comes into play every day.
Every. Single. Day.
What happens if something goes wrong? My brain instantly uses all that experience and comes up with the best possible solution. And all that without letting you know that anything might be wrong.