I love light.
I’m that person that will see light in a weird spot and point it out to people and they just look at me like i’m weird. Well, friends that aren’t photographers.
When I went out shooting with my friend, Tammy she took a totally different approach to light and went about it fearlessly in her work. For her, the shots came out beautifully. I took a few identical shots and I liked the effect, but missed the deep, richness I tend to aim for.
No two photographers are alike. I am now seeing this by studying the things that I take.
On my Flickr I will occasionally find a picture that I didn’t take and it was taken by my ex. It’s very easy for me now to see what photo I took and the ones that he took. During that time I was deep into the macro lens. I shot primarily with the 105 prime. This was my spurge of money on what I thought would be my passion. Come to find out, it wasn’t and when I tried to return the lens, my photographer guru said he would allow me to return if I took 1000 photos of what I wanted to take photos of. I pouted and cried, but in the end it turned out to be the best lens in my arsenal and once I “figured it out” I knew how to respond the way I wanted. The pictures in my photo stream that belong to me are glaringly obvious to me now. The angle at which I shot it, what I wanted in focus and where the light is hitting. Whenever I see one of his shots now, I delete it. Those aren’t mine to keep and I wouldn’t want them in there for people to see and think that is my style of photography.
I’m always trying to define what kind of photography I have so I can begin to build on it. In the last month or two I have really started to figure out the direction I have always been going, but didn’t know how to define it. My work, when it’s done for me is documentary portrait. I like to use the portrait as a narrative of imagery. I want the whole story without giving it all away.
I can go through all my work and the photos that define me as a photographer are done in this style. Now I am learning how to display that and taking the time in camera to see what I am going for so in post I can get myself there.
This is important for me to learn. When in Action Camera yesterday I was looking at a 70-200 2.8 and I put in my hands I was instantly to the point of orgasm. This thing is sexy as fuck. I shot a few test shots and then handed it back to the sales person. He could see the excitement in my face. My eyes were big and glossy, huge smile and little hearts floating above my head.
“Yeah?” he smiled back at me.
“No.” As beautiful as it was and all that it could do, it was just too heavy for me. It takes a lot of glass to get you to a 2.8 at 200, I know this…but I didn’t think it would be THAT heavy.
This is HUGE for me to know and to still not go, “Don’t care, getting it anyway!” because I am a little kid and lenses are my candy.
He showed me a few other ones and asked me what I primarily shot. I told him “weddings…..ughhhh…i hate weddings!” and then I corrected myself. “no, I love weddings, I love shooting weddings. I hate weddings in post.” He suggested paying someone to do my post work and trust me, I have thought of that. It was nice having my second shooter also be very proficient in Photoshop because I could alter the shots I wanted to display and have him do the other stuff.
I’m also glad I don’t have that as an option because my work is MY work and not photshops work.
I like photoshop for straightening lines, evening out the color tones and pulling out color that wasn’t there before. That’s it.
That’s me as a photographer. I try to get it right in the camera and I get it right, to my standards 1 in ever 30 shots.
My critiquing of my work goes through more parameters that people don’t even know about. Each shot I NOW put out there has been scrutinized to the umpteenth degree until I feel it’s good enough to show.
It wasn’t always like this. I would shoot 100 pictures and put up 80. This isn’t telling a story, it’s burying you in a novel of 800 chapters that should have been done in 1.
I’m still learning this. LESS IS MORE.
As you can tell, I am hyper focused on finding the lines of my path and staying on it. This is important to me because I am leaving behind a legacy that my daughter will say to her great grandchildren, “My mother was a photographer…” and show them the photos I took. This is important to remember when I am taking the pictures of other people to. I want my photo to be the one they hold on to pass down.
I’m still just figuring it all out after 20 years of this.