A long time ago, a lot longer than I'd care to admit, I had a mentor in the photography world. I learned so much through assisting this photographer. He taught me so much more than I had learned in college. He taught me the things you can't learn in a class; dealing with nervous brides, overzealous art directors, in addition to lighting on the fly.
One thing he said to me stuck with me to this day. We were getting ready to go shoot a small wedding, and he was nervous. Now, this photographer was a millionaire photographer, who had shot all over the world, for all types of clients. You name it...he shot it.
I found myself confused, as I asked him, "You're nervous? I just watched you come to contract with another client on a wedding, where you charged him $20,000...this wedding isn't even a tenth of that! How are you nervous???" He took a deep breath, closed his eyes momentarily, as if to get some of the nerves out of him, smiled, looked at me, and said "Ramon. Photography has given me my whole life. You're right...I probably have no reason at all to be nervous, but, you know what? You know how I know I still care about my work? I know I still care about my work, because I get just as nervous for a $1,500 job as I do for a $20,000 job, over 20 years later. The day I stop getting nervous is the day I retire."
To this day, that man is still shooting.
Lesson well learned. See when I was working with him, I was in my EARLY 20's. I was bold, and had yet to conquer the world. So many years later, I know that my work still means a great deal to me...I get those same exact butterflies, those same exact nerves, regardless of whether its a $1,500 shoot or a $25,000 shoot. I find myself taking those same breaths, meditating, getting my mind right, almost as much as I get my equipment ready.
Let's have a discussion...do you have those same nerves? How do you prepare, mentally, prior to a job? Is it different for smaller jobs than it is for larger jobs?
I'm eager to hear some feedback.