pics or it didnt happen- my experiences w photography

photography week, lets do this! i’m big into taking photos, but its usually not for the purposes of an artsy, high quality shot. More often then not i take photos to capture the essence of a moment (in a “pics or it didn’t happen” type mindset), which i suppose sounds a little bit artsy, but trust me its not. its for memory purposes; i want to be able to look at a photo and feel the moment. I take A Lot of photos, but the quantity is usually because my modus operandi (i doubt that’s spelled right but nothing matters!) is to take Many Photos and one of them will probably turn out good; which, according to this post about photography, is really not the way I should be looking at things. Although i certainly do see the appeal of taking my time with shots and thus getting a higher quality photograph, some of my favorite shots have come from me or a friend of mine just snapping pics really quickly in succession. There’s a time and a place for both types, candid photos have to be quick and planless, but Cool Artsy Instagram shots are oft better suited to a little bit of planning and thought.

So in regards to my personal photography approach, i already sort of went into it, but i want to elaborate. i like the mass picture approach because it gives a lot of material to work with, and makes me feel like im in a model-y photoshoot, which is just a Lot Of Fun. it gives me photos like this!

which is just one photo out of a Whole Lot, and although not all of them are good, there are quite a few fun ones. The appeal to the mass photo approach for me is that its kind of part candid- because the subject doesn’t have the pressure of stand Very Still and make this photo count- but still holds the purpose of “we are taking photos” – so theres more likelihood of nice photos. A lot of the cooler, interesting lighting or perspective photos i take just happen out of serendipity, and also are usually photos of a sunset because the colors are So Pretty. I have purposefully played with lines in photos, although not too often. One relatively recent example is while i was out hiking with my family.

the slant of the tree vs the upright trees in the background vs the angle of the actual camera is just really cool, and the shadows also add a little bit of linework and interest into the photo. and of course, my photography experience resume wouldn’t be complete without including my ~extensive~ food pic collection. It took me a while to get good at food photography, but i’ve finally started becoming happy with my pics. I think adding a sort of background, giving ppl something to look at other than just the food, and also shadows and lighting really makes the pic.

im also the designated selfie taker for my family, which is hilarious, and i wont be including pics bc they would Not Appreciate it, but its no great loss because my goal when taking that type of picture is usually just “get everyone in and making a nice face before someone- usually my father- gets bored. I think a lot of the photos i take currently definitely convey memories, but i don’t think i would call it a narrative, because you sort of need the background. Like the thumbnail of a youtube video: looking at it sparks a narrative if you’ve seen the video already, but if you haven’t already seen that video it doesn’t mean much. Thats a really good metaphor for my photos actually. go me!

As far as tactics i want to start including, i really like the tip on being more meaningful with the photos i take. in general, my current photo style is to try and capture a moment or a specific vibe or memory before it disappears, which does not lend itself to much thought. I want to try and incorporate the contrast and depth tips; getting an interesting background as well as foreground, rather than just focusing on the latter. i want to be able to take photos that are interesting to look at as well as speaking to memories or emotions. the storytelling of photography is, although fundamentally similar to words storytelling, kind of a whole different animal. you can only really fit so much into a photograph, and editing can only do so much to modify what is in the actual scene. i feel like pictures can’t really tell specific stories like words can, there just isn’t enough space for specifics. instead, photographs speak more universally, speak more to concepts and ideas In General than to the specific concepts or ideas of one. They certainly still can do the latter, but i think then it become more like a thumbnail in the metaphor i mentioned earlier. I’m looking forward to experimenting with photography and trying to actually tell stories with my photograph (rather than just thumbnail the stories happening).

rock on! -liz

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