First of all, I can barely believe we're already 18 days into 2016. Let's all let that soak in. Where does the time go??
Now settle in, I've got a few words to share.
So far, at least in my business, I've been shy to blog (with words). Perhaps this is because I'm of the age group where in our teenage years we had websites like xanga (only took my Mac 3 times to accept that as an actual word...) and livejournal, where many of us documented our daily angst... often with our favorite Taking Back Sunday lyrics to accompany some obscure paragraph about how hard our feelings were. While I have absolutely taken that nonsense off the internet, I still totally listen to Taking Back Sunday. I do think it's time I started blogging again, though. Perhaps this time a little less emotionally, but no promises.
Now that I'm several years into owning my own business- the business of my dreams no less- and am starting to really hone in on a personal style and approach to my images, I think I have the confidence I need to start writing about what I'm up to. And more importantly, at least for me and my continued development, to reflect on my lessons and observations.
That brings me to the point of this post, and the reason I chose that image you see up there at the top. Lessons. See, I spend a LOT of time taking courses and classes on everything I can soak in, from landscape photography to advanced camera trickery, from wedding bootcamps to nerdy photoshop editing techniques. I can definitely say I've obsessed (obsession is passion, right? ...RIGHT??) in the recent months- OK, years- about getting everything TECHNICALLY correct in my work. I have had my lenses calibrated multiple times in multiple cities (finally taught myself, that ish gets expensive when you add up all the lenses to all the camera bodies!), and was infuriated with several shoots because I didn't feel my images were sharp enough. Stress! Anger! Thankfully I didn't actually throw any of my gear... but I wanted to.
And then I took that picture. Admittedly, that shoot was one of my best and favorite of the year, so I wasn't super concerned with not pumping out enough technically correct images, so I was a bit more relaxed. But this shot ended up not only being one of my favorites from their session, but one of my favorite images of the year. It's absolutely not in focus whatsoever. Maybe a little bit in the bottom corner, but that is certainly not 'technically correct,' and upon further scrutiny while writing this... I think my horizon dips off on the right side- one of my biggest pet peeves.
The lesson I really learned? Let go, at least a little bit. They (the obscure 'they' we photographers refer to after reading pages of other photographer's posts) tell us to learn the rules so you can break them. While I do whole-heartedly believe in educating yourself (especially before charging people their hard-earned money to take pictures), I think this image falls outside the purview of breaking 'the rules.' It's 'technically' an image that most people would not deliver to their client. For me though, this image is about feeling over anything technical, and that's why it made the cut for their gallery. Mom ended up liking it too, it's been the header on her Facebook page since I delivered her images. Who would've thought? Certainly not me. I gave her this image for me.
And it makes me happy. My work makes me happy. My mistakes make me happy, because I learn from them, and sometimes it's in unexpected ways. And that makes me happy, too.