Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Photography, On The Side

 I'm not actively trying to start a photography business. Too much paperwork. Too much work, period. But still, without any effort or advertisement on my part, people randomly ask me to take pictures for them. And I agree, but mostly because I think its fun.

 Fun like swimming in a bucket on a hot summer day. That kind of fun. Simple, easy, fun. Photography is a hobby for me. One that happens to leave me with a whole lotta photos, mostly of my kids. And I'm okay with that, especially in this digital age where I can take unlimited pictures for free, they only cost money if I have them developed, which I try to do as often as possible. Pictures do me no good sitting around on my hard drive.

When I take pictures of my own kids its for personal reasons. To remember. To try and freeze time, just for a couple of seconds. You know, basic mom crap. Other people want pictures of their own kids for the same reasons, they just aren't always equipped to take the kind of pictures that they wanna hang on the wall.

And not all of my pictures are frame worthy, but that's why I keep trying. And why I drag my kids outside when the sun is going down because of my love affair with sunflare. I love catchlights too, but pretty sunflare is harder to attain.
My real fear of the taking other people's pictures aspect of photography is satisfaction. I like my pictures, but I'm not paying me to take my pictures. And I've only been paid to take pictures once before, although I've got two pending photoshoots in the works, just waiting for scheduling to work itself out. I was mostly satisfied with the previous pictures, they're not too shabby.

The only thing about wedding photography is I will never do it again. Not because of the way my pictures turned out, but because every other person there thought they were also the wedding photographer. Its difficult to take pictures of people when a bunch of other people are trying to get them to look in the opposite direction because for some reason they need 100 pictures of someone else's wedding.

I'm not an aspiring photographer. I just like to do it, and if someone wants me to take pictures for them I'm more than willing to. It is a little bit intimidating though, because what if they don't like them? I was taught that if you're going to do something, you should do it right. It doesn't make sense to have to re-do things if they're not correct the first time. I don't want to take a picture someone hates.

And I dislike formal photography. I don't like things to look too posed. I'm not gonna dress everyone in matching Christmas sweaters. My only real requirement for my own family pictures is that everyone is in the picture and I look okay. I also don't edit my pictures. I don't even have photoshop. I use Picasa, about 1% of the time, to brighten an underexposed picture. Everything else: straight out of camera. I almost don't even really believe in Photoshop for doing tons of stuff to your pictures. I don't want to rely on post-processing to fix things, I want my pictures to look good without help. Don't get me wrong, Photoshop would be fun to play with, but since I don't have it my pictures have to stand on their own.

Another thing that I don't think is as important as some might think: background. This picture of Alana was taken in her classroom, first day of school. I just used the window light and a shallow depth of field and its pretty awesome all on its own. No fancy background needed. And I regularly take pictures in my ugly yard, with its dirt and mesquite trees. Make that into a little brown and green bokeh and that's that, no travelling anywhere to take pictures. My garbage can has even been in the background of pictures because David didn't crop it out, but it was blurry so I didn't care that much.
Overall I think that pictures are not something you should compromise on. You never have another first of anything, you just get one shot. Photos of your kids are priceless, and apparently I'm a cheap photographer.

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