Friday, February 4, 2011

I Have Everything I Need

And everything is enough.

Many photographers say it's seasonal, but wintertime is not kind, and I'm in a photography slump. I don't like my work, I'm not accomplishing my goals, blah, blah, blah.

I wonder if I specialized if I would improve. Like if I only shot newborns (which are my nemesis right now). But, I don't want to tie myself down to one subject. That sounds pretty restrictive.

I read on a newborn photographer's blog that she has spent $40,000 in equipment since she started five years ago, and that is a suggested minimum. She suggests spending up to $80,000 if you are a serious photographer. In that case, I'm an extreme minimalist. I don't have backup cameras and double lenses, and I don't provide insurance for clients in case they stub their toes at my house, and I only drive a sedan, and I don't send my kids to daycare while I take your photos, and I've never attended a workshop. So, I'm nowhere near professional and I don't claim to be, and even though I call myself AM Photography, it's not a business name, it's just our initials, and I'm what is called a hobbyist.

So, I took my pricing page off my blog. The prices are still in effect, I'm just not posting them. I feel like it's presumptuous.

When you see a good photo, you think nothing of it, but when you see a bad photo, you notice. Sometimes I look at photo blogs, and I wonder are they serious? Do they really think these photos look good? Do people think that when they see my photos? No one would ever tell me, right? So, I guess I'll never know.

I know everyone takes good photos sometimes, but I guess a goal would be to take good photos most of the time systematically, and not just by chance. But, I think that takes a talent and a conscious knowledge of what makes a good photo. Not luck. I think some people are born with the eyes to magically see the whole picture, and some people aren't. And I don't know which group I fall into.

We usually try to take our own family photos, because we can't afford the photographers we admire, but we're not very good at it, as evidenced in the following photo.

Yes, I purposely blurred my face out. I like it better that way.

Photographers usually take better shots of their own children and family and friends than of strangers, because they are with them all day long, they can grab the camera when the lighting is best, and they are not afraid to experiment a little. Last time I paid someone to take our photos, I chose someone who I admired for her creativity and experimental style. But, like most photographers, she played it very safe with our photos. The photos were fine, but I was a little disappointed. Note to self: try something experimental in every photo shoot.

So, we hired someone to take our photos (because Julie needs a photo for her wall!). I do like this girl's work, and she has a knack for making people look good (another Jonathan Canlas skill that I think I share), but I'm not getting my hopes up too high. In most photos, I look like I just took a bite out of a lemon.

I still have a week to worry about haircuts and what to wear. Then comes the moment of truth.


P.S. I drafted this post last week, and today we took the photos, and I have a really good feeling about them. Really really good. Eerily good.


germanjules said...

while we are all home with the flu...the 7 day chills, fever, headache kind...i needed a smile...and you gave it...thanks...we miss you...and please don't be too mad at me for the picture request

Sacajawea said...

I'll tell you the truth about a photo if you ever want to know my thoughts. I'm accustomed to receiving and giving critiques when it comes to art.

This family portrait though?
I have ZERO idea why you don't 100% love it. I love how you are blurred, I love the composition, the lettering on the wall. I don't think it could be any more perfect.

I can relate with being disappointed about a professional session.

But I LOVE LOVE LOVE the photos you took of my family! We'll keep them forever.

Mrs. Darling said...

Um, Sorry to break the no comment trend, but I would like my pictures taken (Again). And I would love somehting 'experimental'.

Abby is one now and we need to actually put some pictures on our walls.

Would you, could you?

AMa said...

Thanks guys. I wasn't going to publish any comments, but I decided to after all.

Sarah, I don't know what you're talking about. That picture of us is really bad.