I got interested in photography because of a boy. And like all hobbies-to-impress I hard core faked it till I made it in order to seem like I knew what I was doing. I watched YouTube videos, learned some hacks, talked to other photographers that I knew to learn a bit of the lingo but am going to be completely honest and tell you I don’t know anything about the actual fundamentals of photography. I don’t own a DSLR camera, don’t have fancy editors on my computer, don’t spend hours talking about shot angles and new lenses.
But, even after the guy was out of the picture (pun intended) I found that I do happen to actually enjoy taking photographs. I’ve found that my jumping over the tech gap and just using my phone and a simple editor, I’m able to express my emotion and experience around a place by telling a story through light. I’ve found that understanding how a collection of photographs works together, I can enhance that story even more.
By me both being bold behind, and in front of the lens I have been able to share my most memorable experiences with people in the most creative way.
The first time I ever stepped in front of a lens and tried to model I was so nervous. The aforementioned guy got maybe three shots of me not smiling because I had never done anything but smile in a photograph. Anything else seemed way too intimate and vulnerable. I felt that if I were to actually give his lens my gaze it would be too much, he would see too much. But, by being bold and seeing the result, that thought almost immediately changed;
For the first time ever I understood that participating in photography, whether that be taking the shot or modeling in it, was to participate in creation itself. All of a sudden a switch flipped in my brain. Being vulnerable and capturing the deepest part of someone’s soul was the point! Not something to hide from! Grasping the very essence of someone or something’s soul in just one frame is so powerful and has to be just right. Lighting, environment, and circumstances have to work with you in order to fully express the subject of your shot and when you get it right, you get it so right.
That shot not only struck a chord in me creatively, it helped me see myself differently. By having someone else take a photograph like that of you, intimate and vulnerable, you give them the opportunity to express how they see you. They have the power to focus on your eyes, lips, or hands, and alter the color or lighting to match how it is that they are feeling. It instantly creates this intimate relationship between the two of you, model and photographer, and a great deal of trust needs to be met on both ends. That shot, with that photographer, on that particular day, taught me a lesson that has struck so deep it still resonates with me today.
Over the course of the last few years, I’m proud to say I’ve gotten the chance to be the subject of some amazing pieces of art.
And the best quality ones typically come from the people I know the best personally. It’s hard to fully connect with a perfect stranger whom is simply saying “Tilt your head left” and taking a picture just to take it, not being fully inspired by it. I can tell, and so can everyone else! That’s why I’ve actually learned to say no to a lot of meet-up things because I find I’m not inspired by a girl in a jean jacket in a lit studio. I want nature! I want beautiful memories encapsulated and genuine moments of joy. I want that perfect candid photo, or that perfect ray of sun to give light to the amazing life I live.
The beauty of avoiding the DSLR life and just using an iPhone, means that everything automatically is portable, accessible, and easily manipulated. Thank God for tech people smarter than me who have put a strong camera in a device that allows me to store everything in a cloud, quickly upload into an editor without changing size, and then directly export that photo to social media where the world has access to it and my friends and family can see the amazing place I’m in.
By me NOT investing in fancy camera equipment, I’ve actually been able to enjoy my photography more.
I didn’t have to climb a mountain with a heavy camera, nor worry about being a target for petty theft. It didn’t once cross my mind to make room for my extra lenses in my carry on luggage, or worry about breaking such a precious piece of equipment while hiking. I’ve never forgotten a memory card or lost an entire moment because my settings were not in focus. By me simplifying my process, I have been able to still enjoy the actual creation part of photography, and not get hung up in the logistics of it. This has made my travel experiences more enjoyable too, and by me not taking things too seriously, I have also been able to live in the moment more.
With that being said, the power photography has given me, I can now look back at beautiful memories I would have otherwise forgotten and be immediately transported back to my same thoughts, surroundings, and emotions. I can rely on photographs to accurately depict my love for a person or place, not only to me, but to others also viewing the photo. I can use the medium as a form of expression to help me personally and professionally in a way words simply cannot! It’s a powerful thing!
Now, will I always be an iPhone user? Probably not. I will invest, heck, I want to invest in equipment soon and have fun playing around learning. But, I also want to remember that my pictures are first and foremost a personal expression, and it should be used to ultimately bring people closer.
If you are a photographer and have tips for me, please leave them! Have a whole blog about photography? Tell me about it! I wanna know and grow!
As always lovelies, have good weeks and I’ll talk to ya soon.