If we had every dreamy camera that has come down the pike in the last two years chances are we would be making the same photos that we’ve always made, except they “might” be technically better and the button pushing, menu scrolling experience could improve our experience of picture taking. Knowing how to take a picture is good and knowing when is even better but I direct your attention, here are two more crucial techniques. Knowing where and why you take a picture is huge. [ I say this not because I have attained to some great status with an arsenal of published photos but because I use the most powerful tool I have which is the power of observation. That and the fact that I’m geek enough to read through stuff most people don’t have the patience for.]
Why is pretty easy because sometimes you don’t need a reason, it might only be a thought, a smell or a snapshot. Something about it caught your attention and you can sort that out later. You might also have the happy accident. HCB had those too. Why can also mean there is a larger story which can be instructional, inspirational or even familial. To know the why or the reason is good to know and you only need to explain that if you’re being paid to take pictures.
Where is a little more difficult. To get yourself and camera into a place or situation to take a picture can be much more difficult sometimes. Access to a place where people have allowed you in or where you can be the proverbial fly on the wall is what separates the casual snapper from someone who’s work is known. That work that is known to inspire and communicate. Should it go far enough, you, the person, might even be associated with the photographs.
That’s speaking of the work but who you are as a person is far more important than all the accolades afforded by your work. Creativity is it’s own reward. Financial gain and fame may be grand or non existent. Your reward is in knowing that you expressed the gift inside of you. To bring joy into the world is a much greater thing.
[ Photo: Small Town Fire, project: The Power of Rural ]