I take a lot of pictures. No, really, I take A LOT of pictures. Anyone who knows me will tell you that 9 times out of 10, I have a camera with me and it will be used. Even when I don't have a "real camera" on hand, I still have my smart phone. I am not ashamed to shoot photos on my phone, and for something with a camera sensor the size of a tic tac, my Galaxy S6 edge takes phenomenal pictures. In any case, although I may capture a lot of photos I don't often do anything with them. Since I fell in love with film it's even worse.
After developing my film, I often find myself choosing to scan the negatives with photos that I may consider to be "artful" before I scan the family shots. Sometimes the family shots go right into the archival sleeves. I found that I was criticizing myself too harshly because of motion blur, weird cropping, hard shadows or some other perceived flaw. I suppose that at least the photos are there for someone to use in the future, but what about now? Well, there are some things that I've had to come to terms with and since then, I find a lot more joy in the family photos that I take. Here's where my self reflection has led me:
Family photos don't have to be technically sound.
By that, I mean that it's OK if the photo of your kids or your young relatives aren't in tack sharp focus. Kids run and shake and move a lot, so unless you're outside with a lot of light, chances are there will be some evidence of movement in your photos. It's ok. That can actually be a good thing. It helps to tell the story of what was happening when you took that picture. No one will ever accuse my youngest niece of standing still too much (unless she's actually posing - she's a ham!) and the pictures that I take when she's being herself show that.
Composition isn't as important as capture.
Have you ever heard the phrase, "If you study long, you study wrong?" Well, that definitely applies here. Don't spend so much time trying to line up the perfect shot or fret over where people are situated in your picture. Take the freakin' shot already before the moment passes! You'll regret missing a moment, but having a picture with half of 2 out of 5 people's heads chopped off in the frame is better than not having a picture at all.
It's OK to be annoying.
People may complain that you're always taking pictures - so what!? They won't be complaining in 15 years when they're looking back and laughing at the memories that your photos elicit. There's a camping trip that I try to attend most summers at a cabin that some friends own. I shoot digital there, so I snap off pictures like I'm trying the spend the rest of the photo budget at the end of the fiscal year. Some people will complain, albeit lightheartedly, that, "There you go with that camera again!", or something similar. However, it never fails that they appreciate me being the annoying shutterbug when they get to relive their experiences through the pictures that were captured. Sure, there's a balance that you have to achieve, but you should know the difference between being slightly annoying and being Paparazzi annoying! Use your judgement. You are a documentarian in these instances. Document, but try not to get yourself uninvited from the next event.
Fix it in post!
If you simply can't get over the idea that your nephew's big head doesn't follow the rule of thirds in your snapshots, then, by all means, make it so by editing if you must. Here's another case where capture is more important than composition. You can't crop a picture if you don't have a picture to crop. This can actually be a lot of fun too. When I use my smart phone to take pictures, I usually edit them with a program called, 'Snapseed.' If you don't know, now you know. Snapseed is a really powerful, easy, FREE way to take your pretty good, straight out of the camera mobile photos and put them over the top - especially when you have lots of vivid colors in the scene. Just try not to filter the hell out of everything. Otherwise, you run the risk of inadvertently becoming a hipster!
You know you get on my nerves with those cameras. But I do love the joy they bring to you. Keep up the good work.
I would have to agree with you 100%. You keep about 5 cameras with you at all times. And although it can get a little crazy as far as the flash that you continuously put in my eye. I love the fact that you can always bring joy when I'm down. And most of the time it is through film. So snap on shutterbug. Jito
No comments posted.