It’s not that you shouldn’t study other photographers. You should definitely know what’s been made before you – and what’s currently being made. But if you’re working on your stuff – if you’re REALLY working on it, then you’re too busy to read and keep up with 20 other photographers blogs.
You’re too busy to talk on photographers forums and argue about the quality of a lens, or the latest version of Photoshop.
You’re too busy making.
Weddings | Portraits | Photobooths
We operate the largest Photography Internship in the country. Currently we have 11 Interns and every Friday at 9am they must post a blog entry. This is the weekly summary.
Intern Heather: “The river shoot, for me, was definitely my first threshold. I had to break away from old patterns of thinking. I had to actually stop thinking at all, well, the critical thinking on my craft.”
Intern Joshua: “When presented with challenges and when you are placed in unfamiliar circumstances you either act or you do not. All of your experience, knowledge, and expertise mean absolutely nothing if you do not act.”
Intern Karley: “I really struggle with being comfortable having my picture taken.”
Intern Tanisha: “At first, I held back quite a bit. I was nervous, I did not know intern Stephanie at the time and I did not want to get in her way. I missed a ton of shots and I just sucked for a while.”
Intern Bonnie: “On the drive home I began to process everything and only then did I realize what an adventure I was truly going to have over the next 3 months and beyond. I want to become a rockstar photographer.”
Intern Alexander: “This is my first internship with anybody. I’ve never interned before in my life.”
Intern Delilah: “At first, I stayed comfortably along the edge of the river. Shooting from the sidelines – thinking I wouldn’t have to get in. Or, get wet. I was wrong.”
Intern Chad: “I had been looking at the blog posts from other interns in previous seasons about their various experiences and what to expect. It was so much more than what I expected”
Intern Stephanie: “I was pretty much telling myself too much sun, I’m not going to get any good pictures – what am I even doing here?
Intern Patricia: “I purchased a 50mm lens a few years ago because I heard it would be great for portrait shots.”
A few years ago, I came across this really awesome (and very poignant) quote- I found it (or it found me) at a time when my life was essentially flipped upside down. I was questioning things a lot: where I was, where I was going, and who I’d chosen to surround myself with. And then, I found it. I’d like to say it was scrawled someplace significant but it was probably doodled on the inside of a college textbook or something… but it basically slapped me in the face: “People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.” And wow. It was exactly the lightbulb moment I needed. And while I’ve stumbled and backslid a few times since, that saying is now always in the back of my mind, like the good advice I don’t always follow but do always remember- eventually. Because life is about connections. Like photography.
It’s easy to snap a picture of something pretty. There’s pretty stuff all around us- a sunset, a bunch of flowers, whatever. But the challenge of creating lies in making something a little bit (okay, a LOT) better than something that’d hang on the wall in a hotel room- and the best challenge of all is connecting. With a face: eyes locked, betraying the mind. With a moment: head thrown back in mid-laugh, shoes kicking up in the air. Or with a place: connecting so well that you’d swear you could pull a Mary Poppins and be inside that place in an instant. The connection is what I love most about photography- connecting with the camera, with another person, anything.
I find myself, especially at weddings, dropping my camera down from my face for just a moment during the first dance- because I love watching that connection between people in love. I sometimes hide around the corner of my living room hallway, watching my daughters and their own little connection: sisterly, fiery, loyal and loving- I stifle my laughter when my Little One fights back against her big sister’s bossiness with a bite. The connections in life- no matter how meaningful or superficial- are what make us.
And I’ve had lots of connections. I still wonder about some- as in, what the HELL was I thinking?- and I miss some. Regret some. Hold onto some. Let go of others. (Sometimes multiple times.) Every single connection really can be divided neatly into a category: season, reason, lifetime. I literally have a photographic memory- a blessing and a curse- and forever have those connections, no matter who they were or why they were, ingrained into my mind. And into my photography too. And that. is. awesome.