I Am A Photographer

Humor me while I think “out loud.”  Besides photography, writing is one of my passions and I don’t do it nearly enough.  So today I thought I would write about photography.

I have been spending most of my editing time of late thinking about who I am as a photographer.  Editing can be monotonous at times and leaves lots of room for thinking about other things.  I have always had a tendency to compare and copy in just about everything I’ve tried.  And I tend to perfectionism.

I became a photographer by chance.  What I really meant to do was become a journalist…but when you don’t like talking to strangers that is a little bit challenging.  I picked up photography to accompany my writing.  Add to that the fact that my dad had a nice camera and there I was…a photographer.  The fun part is that photography must run in my blood and I actually shot pretty decent stuff.  From there I’ve learned mostly by trial and error, a little reading here and there, and a pointer or two from other photographers.  Now I can confidently say I understand and can practice the fundamentals of photography.  But I’m forever comparing myself with so and so  and you know who over there.   And to some extent I still practice photography “by chance.”  The crazy part is that I’m pretty good at it.  But the time for photography by chance has come to an end.  I have to define myself as a photographer, chase my vision and forget about what every other photographer is doing.  So here goes.

I believe in simple photography.  I capture what I see…simple.

I believe in relational photography.  I prefer to photograph friends…and if we aren’t friends already I hope by the time I am done taking your photos that we will be.  I love relational photography because it moves me from an objective outsider to a subjective participant of the moment I am capturing.

I believe in fun photography.  I believe in having fun with my clients and I also believe in having fun with the photos while I’m editing them.

I believe in “moment” photography.  I believe that the moment is much more important than perfect lighting, perfect exposure, and perfect focus.  Some of my favorite photos are dark and blurry…but the moment captured was priceless.

I believe in comfortable photography.  I won’t use a reflector if it makes your eyes hurt.  I won’t force a child to sit and pose when all they want to do is try out that tempting toy.  I won’t insist you try a crazy pose when you are tired and just want to sit down.  My shot might not be perfect but that’s ok.

I believe in edited photography.  I love to play with my photos.  I love  funky textures, crazy contrast, interesting colours.  And the reality is my photos don’t usually look the way I want them to straight out of the camera.

I love taking photos of a moment.  Capturing emotion.  I like odd lighting and I really don’t like reflectors.  I love shooting with a long telephoto lens.  I prefer outdoor weddings.  I’m in love with our studio lights.  I am learning the value of having a vision for each set of photos I take, be it a photo shoot or a wedding.  I am also learning to direct…to help a subject achieve a desired outcome.  I love natural poses…if there is such a thing.   I want to master this craft…on my own terms.  I’d rather take a poor lit photo of a person over a perfectly exposed sunset photo any day.  I love working with my husband.  We are very different in our approaches but I am comfortable that we will capture complimentary images.  I’m not very good at working with other photographers…I’m probably selfish but it seems like they are forever in my way (referring specifically to wedding photography).

Essentially I have reached the point where I will be the best photographer I can be…and that will probably look totally different from the best photographer anyone else (even my hubby) can be.  I will continue to learn my craft.  I will take my time before, during and after (before in time with my clients and preparation, during in ensuring I am capturing what I want to capture the way I want to capture it, and after while editing the photos to look the way I want them to look).  And I believe this will work for me.

The photo is a straight out of camera shot from a trip to Safari Walk a few weeks ago…not sure if hubby or I took it, we kept trading the camera back and forth.