Greatness isn’t a requirement

I have a friend. She’s an amateur photographer just like me. She’s younger than me, both in age and in the photographic game, but she’s also more talented and can pull real stunts of genius at times. Like me she photographs mostly her children (though she’s a bit more eclectic and curious in styles than I am), and she’s made some of the most beautiful portraits I’ve seen in a long time, let alone coming from a, relative, rookie.

Tracy and I have a lot in common. We’re both stay at home moms (me, temporarily), we both have a bit of a gear addiction and a diehard attraction to Sony cameras. Tracy was depressed today. She’d be trying yet another camera, another system, and despite milking some excellent shots out of it, she felt uninspired, and tempted to just “give it all up”. So I’ll tell her this :

MarlaSept13-71Β  There’s no law, rule or regualtion that says you HAVE to be great.

Photography is a hobby for you, exactly as it is for me. You or I might get asked to assist a full time shooter or do a family session or even cover a wedding for cheap once in a while, but in any case our lives don’t depend on it. So take it EASY. It’s all for fun. You’ve learned so much over such a short period of time, you’ve grown so much, you’ve stunned me with such amazing images. Give yourself a break. Enjoy what you have. Shoot coffee mugs and puppy feet (or your own toes, for that matter). There is no obligation to pull art daily, you know.

MarlaSept13-72Personally I have a project. It’s clear in my mind and it’s clear from this blog. I am documenting my kids’s growth as a hands-on visual study of childhood. It serves the very mundane purpose of producing an endless pool of memories for her and us, as well as the more intellectual one of revisiting a slice of life that I didn’t enjoy the way I should have.

MarlaSept13-70My pictures don’t need to be great. They just have to be spontaneous, honest, and true to our real life. If some poetic or well composed or aesthetic images emerge from the whole, all the better. But there’s no string attached, therefore no pressure.

MarlaSept13-73So keep on doing what you do, enchanting us with your beautiful growing kids, pets, and of course your stunning teenage girls and best models. Whatever you do you got yourself a very big fan here. As long as you stay away from selective color, that is πŸ˜‰


About marla2008

Shutterbug. Shallow DOF nut. Mother of Child. Student of the Horse.
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7 Responses to Greatness isn’t a requirement

  1. Beautiful pictures and words. Thanks Marla! I hope it keeps your friend going.

  2. marla2008 says:

    Thanks for your kind words. I’m sure she’ll keep on clicking πŸ˜‰

  3. A brilliant post, which gave me what I needed to re evaluate and come to a decision. You are right, there should be no pressure, the idea of photography for me was to make memories of the young years of my children. Over time the desire to have the better camera and better lens becomes the forefront of the project and that is where I made a mistake.

    Of course its nice to have the latest and greatest, but the truth is that a good picture is good regardless. A great camera will give cleaner images, better DR, ISO performance and colour reproduction, but in the end these are relatively small gains over a GOOD camera.

    You do take beautiful pictures and haven’t strayed from the path and I shall take a lesson from that.

    Today all the ‘stuff’ is being returned and I intend to go back to the camera that inspired me to shoot the most, the NEX 7. Its not the latest, no longer the greatest, but its bloody excellent andi had a great time with it. I hope the same will be true of the unit I just paid for!

    Thanks again Claire, superb advice πŸ™‚

  4. marla2008 says:

    You’re welcome honey, and don’t dismiss the 7 as the strongest yet, it’s still packing a lot of power in that sexy stealthy body. As far as I know, no UI beats the TriNavi as of now. Now let the pictures roll !

  5. laurent says:

    Problem is, Claire is doing all those great pictures with her NEX 7 day after day, so it is hard for me, after a not so great week end of taking so-so pictures, not to feel attracted to the same camera.

  6. marla2008 says:

    Laurent you are just being too kind πŸ˜‰
    I’m sure those pics would bore most people half to death, but you relate to them because you have children of similar age, who maybe don’t greet the camera as gracefully as mine has been trained to (coerced, coed, or blackmailed if needed, too !) lol. But I can’t say the 7 ain’t a great camera, it is. I doubt it doesn’t anything better than your T2i, save for fitting in your wife’s purse…

  7. laurent says:

    There is a lot more potential for my skills to improve (since I am a beginner) than trying to improve my gear. So T2i will stay for a while.

    Next camera might be a Nikon V1 or a good point and shot for my digiscoping stuff. Assuming I ever get time again for birdwatching.

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