This week, for the first time in 5 years, I scheduled a time during my day to go outside and photograph. This used to be my life. My camera came everywhere with me and captured my life and the lives of others I saw along the way. I stopped loving photography during my undergrad studies and have had a shaky relationship with it ever since. But, after photographing two of my friend’s weddings, I am beginning to remember why I loved photography to begin with.
It is almost like I need to practice at not taking it so seriously. I had to go to art school to learn how to technically take photographs and now I have to almost unlearn all of that–in order to take away that pressure to take the perfect photograph. The best advice I ever received from a photographer was (I am paraphrasing) “Take as many photographs as you can because you will be lucky if you get one image out from one roll of film.” 1 in 36 is apparently the average for a talented photographer. The digital age makes it a great deal easier to take a ton of crappy photographs in order to find that one gem. And, reflecting on that advice today, what I really think he was getting at was, just take it! Don’t think, just photograph.
I could not just take it last week. I had a really hard time photographing. It’s like I lost my touch. It used to be automatic for me. I didn’t think, I just pointed and clicked. It was straight from my gut. That’s what I love about photography. It can be so genuine and honest if you approach it correctly. That’s another part of me I will have to find again.
Photography used to allow me to look at a scene as though I had never seen it before. I was like a 5 year old at the circus for the first time. Instead of pointing my finger in awe, I was pointing my camera and recording that composition I framed in my head. Where did that photographer go? And can I get her back?