While I have been patiently waiting for my first two rolls of film to come back from the lab, I decided to use my digital camera to practice some composition techniques I recently read about. Because, let's face it, my portfolio could use a little diversity. So while my little ones were happily digging in the mud out back, I thought it would be the perfect time to embrace one of the advantages digital photography has over film: immediate feedback.
I ended up with a little over twenty frames (that would have cost over $40 and two weeks using the film camera), but here's the thing.... I didn't like any of them! As you can see, the images aren't particularly beautiful or all that inspiring.
And then I ran across this interview (via FB) with Gregory Heisler offering his advice to photographers:
My composition struggles now made so much sense. I was trying to force someone else's style into my work. I need to get out there and shoot what I can't help but shoot. And I have faith the rest will come.
And then it hit me: The week before I obeyed the voice inside that told me to run inside and grab the camera while the kids were out back painting. The way they were bathed in sunlight humming along as they created their own works of art. I simply couldn't help but shoot it, and they are some of my favorite images of late. That's not to say I couldn't use a little practice with mixing up the composition - growth sometimes requires testing our own boundaries. What I realize now, however, is that it can't be forced; it will come with time and with unwavering faith and gratitude. I'll continue to pick up my camera and shoot when the beauty of the moment is compelling.
Today, as I opened Adeline's door after nap time, there she was smiling and hugging her precious blankies, and it happened again: that instinctual urge to grab the camera and try and preserve the beauty I find in those moments. This time I grabbed the film camera and took one frame. It's only one image, but it's one very tiny step further along this beautiful journey where I'm allowing - but not forcing - my growth as a photographer.
How about for you, what are the things you can't help but shoot? I'd love to hear!
To catch up on the entire series, you can check it out here! And if you care to follow along, feel free to sign up (at the bottom of the page) for all the latest in fresh posts delivered straight to your inbox! If you are up for it, I'd appreciate any helpful tips, insight or straight up words of wisdom to help me along this fun and fascinating journey into film. Much love, Mara