"make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,
so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."

--1 thessalonians 4: 11-12

Saturday, November 12, 2011

photography :: reclaiming the art

about 4 years ago, 
i purchased my first dslr camera.
my goal was to eventually open up a business,
so i started doing free photo shoots
and working up to charging 
"portfolio building" prices when i felt like 
i had a good handle on shooting manual.

unfortunately, i got burned out.
i wasn't doing shoots that i felt represented my style,
and i didn't feel like i was improving fast enough.
i had two more babies, and life got busy.
i set my pursuit aside,
picking up my camera only for my kids.

soon, everyone was buying dslr cameras.
overnight, "photographers" were popping up everywhere...
i prefer to call them fauxtographers.
i understand that everyone starts somewhere.
  i know that the only way to get better is to practice,
but very few people seemed to care about the technical aspect--
apparently, owning a dslr made it ok to get paid
for shoots when you aren't producing quality work,
and don't understand the rules of photography.

let's be real--
i used to really suck.
i'm not afraid to admit that.
but the difference is,
i *knew* i wasn't ready for business--
--i didn't quite understand focal planes and distance from my subject.
--i wasn't producing consistent images and my focus was soft.
--i over processed in photoshop because 
i wasn't starting with a good image from my camera.
(photoshop does not make a bad picture good!)
--my black and whites were muddy.
-- i had bad compositions and didn't understand lighting.

the list went on.

so instead of going into business,
i asked for critique, and accepted it.
i read for hours.
i practiced like crazy and asked lots of questions.
i am friends with a lot of professionals, 
and i would have been embarrassed to label
myself as being in the same class as they are.
i wouldn't dare insult what they did
by saying i could do the same.

it made me bitter.
i shied away from my passion 
because the art of it had been cheapened.
i hated what "they" were making photography to be.
no one cared to learn the rules and technical side...
it was all "ok" because it was "artistic interpretation".
they just snapped some pictures and got paid for it,
because people ignorantly believe that a nice camera 
does all the work.

it literally makes me nauseous,
and i'm not trying to be hateful here.
it made me realize my hobby really was something more...

see, lately there's been a stirring.
i want to stand up for the art.
i want to reclaim what is being lost...
but how would i know i would be taken seriously?
because i've devoted myself to
learning the intricacies of it all.
my work will be set apart.
i still have a lot to learn,
and i really need to brush up on my skills...
but the fauxtographers won't last if they don't care 
to learn the technical aspect --
they won't be able to stay afloat.
 i can't stifle this passion,
and i am ready to take it to the next level.
it's been over a year since i've been able to do
any shoots because i am not able to edit with 
the monitor i am using,
but very soon i will be up and running,
ready for holiday mini shoots and all...
so keep me in mind. 

this might be boring to some,
and you might think it's just a business plug.
it isn't.
it's truly what's on my heart,
and i can't wait to start again.

thanks for reading.


Jess said...

good for you, girlfriend!! can't wait to have you take some of us. ;)

Heather said...

Fun! I know a few fauxtographers and it ticks me off too. I toyed with the idea, but never felt like I knew enough to be okay charging people. I hope your passion is a successful venture or, at the very least, affords you the opportunity to buy a new stove/oven. :)

Mindy Harris said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this post. I AGREE 100 million% with ALL.Of.IT.

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