Friday, March 27, 2009

Just because you don't take good photos...

Just because you don't take good photos doesn't make you a bad photographer.

Hannah taking photos

What does? Taking a lot of photos makes you a good photographer.

I'm speaking in the personal journalistic sense here.
Beautiful photos doesn't make your life amazing. The memories and stories behind the photos do.

Looking at our photos we have great photos and a great life. But if someone is looking at our photos and thinks their life is not as good because their photos are not "professional" has the wrong attitude about their photos and about their life.

All my terminology is really ambiguous. Let me define my terms for this post.

Good photographer: Someone who actually takes lots of photos.
Bad photographer: Doesn't take photos, and ends up without a photographic record of their life.

Great photos: photos that record a memory
Bad photos: almost anything from a cell phone camera, I hate cell phone cameras, use them as a last resort. But if that's all you have bad photos are better than no photos. Bad photos are photos without a story or a memory in them. You've probably looked through a collection of old photos and wondered why you took a photo of some object. I have. Unless it was your first car, then there is a story.

The moral of this post. Take lots of photos.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Get over it and get the shot!

Taking a photo of Lake Tahoe

I have yet another great reason to carry a point-and-shoot camera, but not an excuse.

The big heavy expensive cameras have their place. Never discount their usefulness. They are very useful but sometimes obnoxious.

For my day job occasionally I carry a video camera out into public. It isn't a camcorder that you carry on vacation. It's a broadcast quality camera. Then add the headphones and wireless mic system and it starts to look really complicated and obnoxious. I mostly shoot in a studio type setting, but the first few times in public with this set up felt well, embarrassing with everyone looking at me. There's this pressure as people watch you to see what you video tape. Eventually I got over it but with that kind of setup in public, people watch you.

I was talking to another photographer about her new DSLR and how she didn't like carrying it around because it was a little "embarrassing" hanging around her neck, and she looked like a tourist or just felt dumb with the huge camera hanging off her neck.

Eventually if you shoot enough you get over it and you don't care. At least I did, with my big setup. The interesting thing is now when I take my point-and-shoot outside and start to work for an interesting angle, I'm once again self-conscious because I'm focusing really close or at an interesting angle with this tiny amateur camera. A "professional" looking camera gives you an excuse to work for a "professional" angle. Now without a big setup I just feel weird.

Anyway the point is get over it. Just get the shot. Practice, you'll stop caring what passers-by think.