I am becoming a photographer again.

the top of a wooden fence with the sun shining through

wooden wall with white paint that is mostly chipped off

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.

the top of a wooden fence with the sun shining through

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.

altered perspective looking from the edge of a curb across to the other side of the street

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?