If you’re like me, you’ve taken lots of pictures with lots of devices! Some good, some not so much? I always get serious about improving my photography skills about the time I want to take pictures of a special event such as at family gatherings for holidays, birthdays, weddings, when the children are in special occasion events, etc. There is never a shortage of excitement for photo opportunities coming when we are going on a vacation to somewhere special, or if going on a trip we have planned and looked forward to for a long time. When the event is over, though, the camera goes back to its storage place not to be thought of again, not seriously, until the next “big event.”
If I really wanted to improve my skills in photography, it would seem to me I would have to examine my own perspective / motives of just why I want to take pictures of anything in the first place. It starts with the evolution of my attitude about it, the change in my thinking that has occurred over the years. I’ve gone from an attitude of taking pictures without a focus on the meaning, or objective in doing so, almost mindlessly creating a stockpile “to do something with someday” to wanting to capture the moment, to capture the joy, the heartache, the emotion, to find a way to capture the present so that moment could last forever. The moment, the memory, to last forever so that everyone who comes later in future generations can share in a loving legacy of which we all are a part. An evolution of attitude to be a creator of a visual story of everyday life and the beauty that surrounds us that so often we just can’t see because it is taken for granted.
So what’s been in the way of becoming a better photographer of life before? I have had 3 excuses and I wonder if they will sound familiar to you:
Time – I don’t have time to find something “worthy” of capturing in picture. To orchestrate would take more of my most precious resource, time, and I just can’t afford to give more of it up. Just not important to do now. Later.
Money – I don’t have the right equipment. Can’t afford to go somewhere exotic, or somewhere cool on vacation to find worthy picture taking opportunities. Someday, when the children are grown,
I’ll buy a “good camera,” go to amazing places, and I’ll be set.
Skills – I surely don’t have any, it’s nothing I’ve ever had the luxury of even thinking about much less having a focus. Someday, I’ll take lessons.
We all know that deferred gratification in not capturing memories through photos in the moment never comes because life has past by; all so many things truly are only once, and in that moment never to be experienced again.
Here are the realizations I have come to and I wonder if you will agree:
It’s never going to be convenient or we will have extra time available, but really? How long does it take to snap a picture that will become the memory of a fleeting lifetime? Not much at all, the blink of an eye and it’s just a snap. We have to be watching for the moments that surround us in our everyday lives. There is nothing more precious, nothing more special than the here and now with those we love.
We don’t have to have money because we all have photo devices with us at all times with the existing cell phone technologies. While I love full frame camera, any camera will do just fine if you’ve got it with you ready to use to capture the moment. The special places, those special photos, are all around us filled with our loved ones, with the beauty throughout the streets in our lives. It is with those we engage with from the moment we get up in the morning until we go to bed that night where beauty is found and those memories we truly want to capture.
We’re not going to get any better by doing nothing. In the meantime, life, the moments of memories to be captured in the present, are fleeting and will never come again. The more we practice, the more we can share with others, and the more we can learn by doing, the better our skills will be; the richer our memory making will be. Life is truly an art.
I will look forward to your comments and sharing memories “from your community!”