Any of you who have visited my blog over the past year or so knows my new-found interest in photography. I have read many books on the subject (even posted a few reviews), shared my trials with a dirty sensor, and posted my goals of improving my photography in 2012. I’ve been a woman of many words but little action. But not anymore.
The last couple of weeks in December I decided to take some positive steps forward in making this dream a reality. I committed to the 365 Project – something I had contemplated for nearly 18 months but was too fearful to join. Of course, it helps that I have a close friend who is also committed to the project, and we try to encourage each other to take the required photo each day.
But I also registered for a couple of online classes, one of which is the Find Your Eye course by Kat Eye Studio. If you follow the link you can find a full description of the course, but the reason why I registered is because I want to learn how to “express my heart and soul” through photography.
This post is a response to our first assignment:
Why do I take photos? What draws me to photography? What are my motivations? What keeps me excited and interested?
Consider all of the reasons and motivations you have for taking photos, both internal and external.
I have always been interested in photography – but only as a memory capturing device. I would take pictures on special occasions, like birthdays and Christmas, and on family vacations. I believe this style of photography is referred to as snapshots – and while it continues to serve a purpose in my life – I have come to realize that I want to capture more in my pictures.
Since turning 50 two years ago, I have found myself struggling to know the “real” me. No longer entrenched in parenthood, I have now entered the realm of grandparenthood. Phasing out the career as teacher, I am now contemplating the life of retirement. I have graduated from being an eldest child, to being a matriarch of the family.
Somewhere along the way I have lost my sense of me. I have always referred to myself by the role I have played – not by the person inside. And now that those roles have changed – and in some cases, disappeared altogether, I feel out of touch. I have focused solely on raising a family and writing lesson plans – and I have forgotten how to be creative and have fun. All work and no play has made Molly a very dull person.
Photography seemed like an easy solution. I already owned a camera (point and shoot most of the time, but my son recently gave me a dslr) and I didn’t think I needed any special talent to click a shutter. I naively thought that “anyone can be a photographer” But isn’t it funny how the more you learn about a subject the more you realize you do not know? And while it is true that anyone can click the shutter – it is also true that only through practice can one hope to master the skill.
The above picture is a photo of my granddaughter Brynn that I took this holiday season. Yes, she is in focus, yes you can tell that she is adorable (no prejudice here – ha!) – but it is truly just a snapshot. Now compare that picture to this one here that my son took at the same time. He not only captured her face – he captured her personality. This is the true Brynn – my photo is just a two dimensional image. I want to learn to capture the essence. Not just the essence of people – but the essence of life. I want to learn how to S-L-O-W down and really observe life around me. I want to find the beauty in my everyday surroundings and I truly believe that in doing that – I will learn to find joy in life, no matter the circumstances. In addition, I hope to discover a means of self expression that will enable others to see the real me – the me on the inside and not just the role I fulfill in their lives.
Of course, I also have a heart for travel and I want to develop photographic skills that will not only help me to capture the iconic pictures of my beloved Europe – but I want to learn to capture the emotion and the atmosphere as well. And in the deep recesses of my imagination, where I sometimes allow myself to dream, I would like to marry my love of photography with my love of writing. I would like to not only visit these foreign countries, but also to write about these travels – if not for publication, then for a legacy to leave for my children to read. If a picture is worth a 1,000 words – then I want to accompany that photo with another 1,000 words to fully document the event so that others might know and feel exactly what I experienced.
That is what I hope to gain from photography.