Are you a professional photographer ?
I put a big pressure on myself lately as the blog has been picking up some readership. While sharing ideas and images with more people makes me happy, trying to anticipate what would please others made me miserable.
Yes, this is the essence of what I’ve said all along. Photography is designed to capture our reality as we experience it, and convey *emotions*. Unless you’re a pathological pixel peeper, emotion is rarely sharpness, exposure, noise et resolution dependant. Emotion feeds on content, NOT form.
I took a lot of grief from online photo forum users because I talked about my editing process with jpeg files, and global unuse of RAW files. It’s been going on for years, and still goes on today. What do they care ?!? I’m not keeping anybody from spending hours on end on their RAWs if they want to, I just want to be free to be a bold jpeg shooter and if I screw the shot, it’s my problem !
I’ve also taken a lot of blows because of my illimited love of shallow depth of field. That’s a little war some (please, not all) m4/3 shooters love to make as they are a bit crippled themselves in the DOF department, so everybody heavily relying on DOF control for aesthetic or narrative purposes is a douche who “can’t properly handle backgrounds”. lol. Maybe I’d need a therapy to explain why I have never got past the oral/childlike fascination for creamy blurred background, or maybe it’s just my favorite tool in shed, or again it is what still makes my photographic soul shiver ?
Anyway I read/hear a lot of people, friends, relatives wondering or downright asking what camera/lens they shoul buy (next). I’m tempted to sa it’s a little irrelevant. Grab a decent camera. Any one. But put a lot of thought in *what* you love to shoot. What makes you passionate and fulfilled and happy in pictures.
Any photograph is a moment in time, and a facing portrait is the most special of them. A second where your subject sees, acknowledges, and sometimes loves you. It’s a gift from them. You can shoot the same person 30 times within an hour, and still get a bunch of keepers because every expression is unique.
I love photography because it makes me feel grounded, in harmony with my surroundings, and peaceful. Since I don’t shoot to earn a living, it’s already meeting its goal as a very positive activity in y life. Shoot for yourself !
So next time you feel a little stressed out, a little out of goal in your photography, unsure of your results of unhappy with your gear, just take a minute off to ask yourself what makes you tick as a shooter, and go shoot just that. Don’t worry about what others will think of your pictures, make them to please yourself first. And as a side benefit you might discover that those very images are the one to gather some praise, because they will bring out your style and carry your vision. And for the amateur, ultimately that’s all that matters.