If you ask anyone who knows me, they can probably tell you that I have a serious problem with people who invest in a semi-nice DSLR camera and then assume that they are now a photographer. Photography isn’t about the camera at all, but about the artist behind it. Further more, that artist needs to have training and skills both with the camera and subject, and have an eye for editing and possess a vast Photoshop education. The same goes for most creative professions out there. Perhaps someone has all the ingredients to bake a cake, that doesn’t mean they should start a wedding cake business, as their work may be worthy of cakewrecks.com. Or perhaps someone learned how to use Adobe Illustrator, but doesn’t have an eye for design or art. That is how terrible logos sporting comic sans and clip art are born. Software does not a designer make.
But due to the ease of access people have to cameras, it seems like you have more posers behind the camera than in front these days.
I don’t claim in any way to be a photographer, but I do have a passion for good photography and feel like I have a pretty good discerning eye. I have a great appreciation and respect for a well trained photographer who has studied and worked hard to created beautiful images. How I would love to have that kind of talent and understanding of photography! I can most often be see in front of the camera (I’m tagged in 3,773 pictures on facebook as of right now…) and love being able to be part of that art form.
This is where my hypocrite label comes in.
Before Pen was born, Jeff suggested we invest in a solid camera. We didn’t really even have a camera up to that point, and I honestly didn’t see the point of having a nice camera. But he was insistent, did lot of research and finally settled on a Nikon D90.
At first I hated the thing. It was foreign and complicated. It reminded me of my photography class at UVU, which was the only class in college that I ever failed. There were too many complicated buttons and options and crap that I did not have the patience to learn, and it was HUGE. I just thought I did not have it in me to create good photos, so I resented the camera. So I just set it on the automatic setting and called it good enough.
It wasn’t until a year or so later that I finally started playing around with my photos in Photoshop that I realized the potential for greatness I had. I took a few pictures of Pen up in my sister’s house next to her big, sunny window and the pictures actually looked decent, and with my advanced knowledge of photoshop I could really make it look nice. The photography wheels started to turn in my head a bit, and I felt like I finally was ready to learn more about this camera of ours. It was as if my beloved photoshop bridged the gap between me and this foreign object.
Things that had no meaning to me before suddenly started to make sense. I started reading and studying up on all the functions and features of our camera, and took to practicing more and more. And since I am an artist, I felt like deep down I did have some kind of understanding of composition and creativity with photos, I just had to discover and develop it. Taking pictures suddenly became so much fun! I was constantly finding excuses to take pictures whenever I could. When we would plan vacations, I was more excited about the photo ops than the actual trip. This camera was no longer my enemy, but instead another creative outlet for me to produce artwork!
I will say it again- I am no professional, but I feel like I am finally starting to gain a greater understanding of photography from behind the lens. So call me a hypocrite, but I am now one of those people with a semi-nice camera who loves to take pictures. But I do feel like I have the upper hand on a some of my fellow photo friends. I have been Photoshop savvy since I was 15 years old. I have also been diligently studying and practicing for a good 2 years now. I’m looking forward to investing in new and better lenses, as I feel like that is what is hindering my progress at this point. Am I close to where I want to be? No, not at all. But I do see some big improvements, and it makes me excited to learn more and progress. Am I going to start doing wedding photography and charge thousands of dollars? Lololol! (no). But you can bet I will fill hard drive after hard drive of my own children’s adorable faces!
So, here is my very amateur beginning portfolio of my photography efforts. Feel free to give feedback or critiques if you wish, I can handle it. I’m constantly striving toward improvement!