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 :
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.
Personally 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.
My 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.
So 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 😉