– Posted by + Debra
Is it just me, or does everybody have a camera?
It’s astonishing to me when I shoot events just how many people have cameras. There are cameras in our phones, in our iPads, touchpads, laptops, and point and shoots. There are cameras in our jacket pockets, our purses. There are cameras every where. I shot the AIA Revolution Fashion Show on Wednesday with +Jo and Alumni Intern Gabe, and it was FABULOUS. I love our photographic family, each and every single member is so unique and wonderful, and it is always a pleasure to catch up with friends and comrades. There were a lot of other photographers there as well. Everybody was taking pictures, it was full on glitz, glamour, and paparazzi.
When people say to me “I want to be a photographer” I have to smile and say with a small hint of humour that they should quit while they are ahead. Everybody is a photographer. It’s a great thing. It also makes being a professional photographer that much harder. When you shoot a fashion show, you are shooting side by side with seasoned professionals, talented amatuers, and the proud mom in the crowd with lasts years christmas gift, it might be the camera she waited ten years to own, and she is hungry to use it. When you shoot a wedding, you have bridesmaids with a bouquet and a sleek point and shoot, uncle Bob in the aisles, and the father if the Bride vying for the shot.
It’s a jungle out there. You should just quit while you are ahead. You should give up.
I feel guilty when I am simply moved by a moment and record it with my eyes instead of my camera, because deep down I know Raphael in row 6 has his zoom lense and maybe got the shot I didn’t, or maybe it’s Judy with her camera phone front and center who got it. But I also know, I didn’t miss the point, and getting the point helps me get the shots all around.
Being a photographer is about making pictures, understanding the moment, showing and immersing the viewer in the feel of the moment. A picture shouldn’t say to you “hey I am a great photograph”, you should feel it. It’s not always about the sharpest shot, the best exposure, the fanciest equipment. You should feel a photograph. You should breath the moment, or it should take your breath away. However it makes you react, it should make you react.
We are so thoroughly bombarded by images in our society, we forget how to be moved by a moment, as a photographer, I want to capture that moment. I want you to be moved.
It’s wonderful that people are so avid about photography. It’s more popular than ever, I hope that as much time as we spend capturing the moment we remember as a society that it is also good to relish it. We are able to learn so much about our world, and humanity as a whole through the millions of pictures that flood the internet everyday. We are finding the lyrics to us as humans, and how much we have in common through these photos, and I am grateful to be a part of that song.
So while I was laying on the floor, trying to avoid being in about 20 different photographers shots, I contemplated my love of photography. I marveled at what would make me lie on a perfectly cold concrete floor instead of being at home playing with my son, or eating dinner with my family. My wonder and amazement grew deeper as I stumbled in the dark dressing area snapping pictures that would by some standards be considered unusable, but to me they are beautiful. I was certainly a bit daunted to see so many other photographers, and all their fancy equipment. I could have huddled and cowered out of their way, lamenting that my short lenses didn’t allow me to capture finer details. Or I could use those lenses to drink in the scene, I could use my arms and legs to scoot closer to the action. I could shoot from where nobody else wanted to (ie the cold floor) and I could make the limitations shape my shapes, and use it to my advantage.
It’s all about how you choose to look at it.
Around here we shoot to learn. We shoot to win. We don’t believe in giving up, and welcome the competition to teach us how to be better. Of course, we have just as many reasons not to give up.
Special thanks to Javaun and his team for allowing the LeahAndMark.com team to capture their event. We had a blast!