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Diana Vilic

Blogger Visual Marketing Student Photographer Coffee Addict

Friday, March 20, 2015

My Favorite Photo of 2013

  • 11:03:00 PM
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A while back on my Facebook page (and my original website), I wrote a post about my favorite photo of 2013. It had such a great response, I decided to share the whole story on here.
My favorite photo wasn't my best friends senior portraits, it wasn't the colorful energetic city during Artprize and it wasn't my best friends prom. As grateful as I am to have shot those wonderful events. My favorite photo was the one from what I thought was going to be my last ever photoshoot.
It was a chilly November day, the kind of chilly that makes no sense because the suns at full power and the birds are singing but you're still freezing and miserable. Maybe it was the weather blahs, but I spent the whole week thinking about quitting, just packing away my camera and never picking it up again. I was paralyzed by the fear of messing up and letting down everyone who had supported me this far. Unfortunately I let my perfectionist tendencies get the best of me and I spent the whole week not only dreading all things camera related, but torturing myself with days of CreativeLive, lectures, and practice upon practice. I was determined to get out of this rut, but nothing was working. I just kept digging myself further and further into the abyss. Just like that, I told myself, this may or may not be my last ever photoshoot. But, if it was going to be my last, I was going to use every last drop of photographic talent and vision I had left.
The photoshoot was with a very talented client, Ms. Makhyli Simpson, (or as my Facebook fans know her, Khyli). The second I stepped foot onto the chosen location, my head filled with negative thoughts and my head couldn't stop spinning. 
"What if you fail?"
"What if the results aren't what you wanted?"
"Walk away, you're wasting your time."

Zack Arias described that feeling the best in his book, Photography Q&A, when he said, "It's like standing on the high dive. You know you aren't going to die. It isn't going to kill you. But you are still intimidated by jumping off that thing. It still scares you." Here's the tragic thing, I was so scared I was talking myself out of something I knew I loved and it made no sense to me. When I raised the camera to my eye, everything slowed down and I could think.So what if I failed and the results didn't come out my way? It was a personal shoot and I'd learn a lesson, I could always improve from my mistakes. And as for wasting my time? Well last time I checked, if something reminded me why I was alive, it was never a waste of my time. (And still isn't.)
I immediately started directing Khyli to sit on a bench that was up against a giant panel of windows as the sun streamed in. "Turn your face to the sun", I told her,  "Less pouting, think of the feeling of absolute wonder", as I was directing her crowds passed by. This was fairly normal, especially since the photoshoot was in a public place. Crowds come and go, hardly anything to bat an eyelash at. However, this was different.
A group of three ladies were making their way down the long hallway and as they spotted us, they stopped for a second to make sense of what was going on. Then, they just stood by a pillar and just watched, their eyes wide in amazement, like someone just turned water into liquid gold in front of their eyes. "You can pass by, you're not bothering us" I called out, "That's alright" one of the ladies said with a smirk, as they continued to watch Khyli bask her face in the sun. We both shrugged and went on with the photoshoot. Slowly more and more crowds flooded in, from families to friends to staff just passing through on their rounds. Each time, taking a few moments to watch and talk in hushed tones about what their seeing.
"Maybe it's for a magazine" one of them said, "Maybe she's gonna be famous" another voice whispered. And my personal favorite, "Why does she have a fancy camera and I don't!" a teenager yelled to her mother across the room.


The more people who passed by, both Khyli and I lit up. It wasn't that we craved the attention, or even hearing the comments we later laughed over. The experience, just confirmed our dreams had a chance of survival. They weren't silly little things we bravely decided to dig out of treasure chest, throwing away the lock and key. They were real tangible goals that had a chance of seeing light, inspiring those like us, proving people wrong. Things felt real for the first time in a really long time.
That experience  tragically, isn't something I can add to my portfolio. And unfortunatly, it's not gonna make me a top 10 photographer overnight. But it made things feel real, and it's going to continue that fire inside of me. It reminded me why I worked so hard to get here in the first place.
It's said if a photograph can stop a crowd for a few seconds; it's an amazing photo. So if the very act of taking a photo stopped a few groups of people, what did that mean for Khyli and I?

If you want to find out more about Khyli, go to Khyli.com.

Marketing student with a focus in visual marketing with a addiction to coffee.

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