I think I’ve always been fascinated by photography, mostly by how it combines capturing freeze-frames of life along with a certain level of technology that appeals to my nerdy side. I didn’t take photography in high school, which looking back I kind of wish I did so I can get a greater appreciation for the analog way to process and develop photos. When I did get a digital camera finally, I began carrying a it everywhere and taking pictures of anything I could. It gradually progressed to getting my first DSLR, then a couple lenses, and now a nearly-complete setup for weddings. My photography aspirations grew along with my inventory, originally focused on food photography to parallel my cooking adventures; leading up to now, where I’m focused on learning how to improve my wedding and studio photography. If you haven’t read it yet, Ken Rockwell’s Levels of Photographers is a great satire that seems to describe many types of photographers – makes you wonder what kind you are, but also what kind of photographer you might become.
I’d like to think I have some strengths that make me better suited towards wedding and event photography over studio photography. I like to photograph people acting naturally in natural settings than in a studio-style shoot where you control every aspect of the photo and subject. I like the rush of needing to be quick enough to set up for a moment, but also waiting for the right moment to take the photo. The tempo for event photography is quick and hectic, where I feel a studio setting allows for more planning and careful set up.
There is a gradual progression of photography where accessories and other items enhance or broaden your capabilities. Flashes, light modifiers, tripods, stands, bags, belts, upgraded bodies, upgraded lenses, cleaning tools, etc are all things photographers are familiar with. Photography really fits for anyone because you can choose how “into it” you get. you only need a camera to start – even a shoebox pinhole camera works. it doesn’t really matter what you use as a camera, I think the feeling is common among all photographers that getting the perfect show is satisfying for the soul, and even the simple act of taking pictures is relaxing and fun.
these are all great organizations that a philanthropic photographer can help give back to the community. Other less-tangible ways to give back help satisfy your soul, too. It isn’t always about the big gesture, but sometimes just being nice will help make someone’s day. Some of the fulfilling ways I use photography are:
Helping people by taking photos and provide processed final copies that they otherwise may not get. One of my favorite memories of a visit to San Diego was on the Coronado Beach. I came across a very budget wedding that really drew me in – possibly because it reminded me of the first wedding I photographed. I approached their rookie photographer and helped take some portraits that I processed and shared with the couple when I got home. They were very surprised and happy with the result.
Sharing the knowledge I’ve gleaned through experience. I like taking photos with people, finding out what they liked about a certain photo they took and the story behind getting that shot. I definitely believe that people tend to lean towards either studio-style photography or event-style photography – which isn’t to say there aren’t people who are great at both, but I think most people have a preference. with friends getting started with photography, I try to help them understand the basic relationship between shutter speed, ISO, and aperture – turns out it is a good review for myself, too!
In the end, I think the motivation of all photographers is to make people happy. be it the client, a company, or yourself. I’m no exception. I think every photograph I’ve taken has at least some story behind it that makes it memorable for me. Be it a friend’s wedding, a portrait session, or even candids of people hanging out, every time I see one of my photos I can remember that moment and the things going on. In a way, photography helps me appreciate these moments more.