Friday, August 1, 2014

Your First Day with a Camera

Photograph by Kristen Phillips -- soaking wet and cold, having the time of my life with my camera

Reading through all the big-shot photographer websites you see a lot of beautiful images and many varying opinions on vision, composition, gear (all the gear), film, sensors, prints, books, etc.

You know one thing that is all the same? Everyone has their story about how they first started shooting. About their first memory with the camera in their hand, that first picture that made them feel like they had found something special.

Then, they have a bio somewhere that says something to the effect of "I've been shooting since I was 11," or "I've been honing my craft since the age of 8."

Can I call bullshit on these statements? You haven't done anything seriously since you were 11 except chase girls (or boys) and cost your parents money. PLUS, nobody worth a damn cares how long you've been taking pictures. When they ask you how long you've been shooting, they are really asking one of two questions:

1) Are you any good at it yet? (obviously, look at my big expensive camera)
2) Are you sick of it yet? (obviously, look at all the crap I have to schlep around for my big expensive camera)

Looking back on all the stories that these photographers have, the story each of us has when we realized that making pictures was something we could never escape, I realize we are all chasing that first picture, the first time we held the camera, the first time printing in the darkroom.

I want to reconnect with that moment.

I want to shoot every day like it is the first day I held a camera. 

The next time someone asks me how long I've been shooting, I'm going to say it's my first day. I bet the conversation gets more interesting from there.

(thanks to zarias at DEDPXL for today's inspiration, and to Dano at Fotodano:headshots for pointing it out)