I feel a little bit as though I'm at a cross roads in my photographic journey. Up to this point I've devoured every book, article, blog, etc. I could get my eyes on to learn all I can about this art. I've come away enlightened, in more ways than one. I've learned things about myself I never would have otherwise discovered. I've learned things about photography I thought were too complicated for me to ever 'get'. But, all of this has left me at a cross roads. I am at the point right now where I need a new camera. My baby Rebel XSi has been described as "the mom camera." And rightly so. I mean, I bet all of you can count on more than one hand the moms you know who have this (or the equivalent) camera. It's a great camera to take better shots of your kids. But for professionals, it doesn't quite compare to the $2,500+ camera beasts out there. Well, no problem, right? Just upgrade! You're worth it! Wrong. (well, yes, I'm worth it, but no, it's not that easy.)
So here's the clincher (now don't fall off your chairs): I'm thinking about going film. (can you say that? I know you can 'go' digital, but can you 'go' film, too? Let's hope so). I know, Gasp. How could I EVER consider such an asinine thing as that. This is the digital age, girlfriend! Well...I've thought about this before, but then a fellow photographer (Becky Earl) really got my wheels cranking. Things she mentioned about post processing time being all but eliminated, spending more time with family, amazing color and crispness, etc. These were all very tantalizing, but it still didn't seal the deal. But the more I read, the more I'm convinced I'd love it. I get frustrated at the status quo for professional photographers being sparkling-sharp eyes, punch bowl bright colors, perfectly smooth skin, etc. Don't get me wrong - I think these things are beautiful, too. But it's not me. I like my freckles. I don't mind a little snot in my kids' noses (gross, I know, but it's reality). I like hair in the face. I like mud on my kids' clothes. This is very similar to my first big realization while living in New York City as a marketing intern for an airline. While riding on the subway to and from work each day I realized how much I loved to people watch and how much I wanted to know their stories. I discovered I didn't care if so-and-so really rode my airline or not. I got sick of telling people what they wanted to hear (even though I really did love that airline and spoke from the heart - I was, nevertheless, still telling people what they wanted to hear). So, I changed my major from marketing to journalism and never looked back! I still love journalism and feel as if photography is just another way to be a storyteller. I don't want to tell the story they want to hear or what their neighbors want to hear. I want to reveal the truth! Sometimes the truth isn't a worldly kind of beautiful, but it's still beautiful. Now don't get me wrong. I don't want to make someone look ugly. No. I want to make someone look beautiful in a raw, unadulterated (read - unphotoshopped) way. My photography skills are still not perfect. I don't always get the exposure right. I don't always get my focus dead on. My white balance is often off. I'm eternally grateful for digital capture to teach me how to better these skills with immediate feedback. It's amazing. BUT, like Becky says, "I don't want to be an artist in front of the computer. I want to be an artist behind the camera." Amen, sister.
So, what camera should I buy? Well, friends, I think I'm going to buy a film camera and that's that. I probably won't have the money for it for a year or so (ha! any donations?!?!) but I'm totally excited. I want to learn photography the way it started. My grandfather was a photographer (I love that) and his work from World War II is stunning. Crisp, clean, beautiful images. And he didn't even own a computer. :)
This is all just part of a big process of self-discovery, but it's exciting to see who I am coming through.
Here is the first installment of some images I took of my kids with the SMALLEST amount of photoshopping possible (like, I did about 10 images in 3 minutes). I realize my imperfections as a photographer make this more difficult, but it will give me more focus on what I get straight out of the camera.
Love this kid. LOVE his personality.
This is, quite possibly, my favorite picture of him to date. ZERO photoshop!! Woohoo! This is how I like it, people!