“One thing I wish I could tell my younger self: take photos of everyday life, not special occasions; later, that’s what will be interesting to you.” ~ Gretchen Rubin
This is part of a new series I wanted to start about blogging, photography, and the ins and outs on what is a billions of dollars business, influencing. And yet, there isn’t a lot of accessible information. Many influencers are understandably cagey, and if not you have to pay to take “Courses.” I have always strongly believed that those who want my content will follow especially if I am my most authentic self. And sharing tips, does not take away from that. We are a community and we are so much stronger together.
Laws of Photography
It might seem like I am starting in the middle with this series, but this post is actually the matriarch of this idea. I have been toiling with it for ages, and just have not had the guts to hit post. Mostly because I don’t consider myself an expert on any of these matters. I am not an influencer I don’t even know if I could be called a micro influencer.
As for labelling myself a photographer, I have always shied away from that label. In this day and age where most everyone has a smart phone and a camera attached to it, calling yourself a photographer is as common as finding a Starbucks in Manhattan. It is easy to call yourself as such, but what does it really mean? For my job, both blogging and marketing, I need to take pictures. Does that mean I am a photographer? Not necessarily.
While yes I took photography classes in high school and college, it was more of a requirement then any passion I might have had and the stringent rules of filling the frame, shooting eye level, lighting etc, seemed a bit antiquated to me. Of course as the best artists say, “You have to know the rules, in order to break them.”
Photography Hate Turning to Love Photography
As a kid, I HATED pictures. I have written about that a lot on here. I always shied away from the camera as a teenager. Always putting my hand up, hiding in the back (which was pretty easy given my height) or just point blank refusing to take a picture due to distorted views of how I looked, as I slowly grew up, thanks to therapy, a new environment, a great group of people and copious amounts of yoga, I began to appreciate myself and thus began finding beauty in the pictures that were taken.
The irony of working in a career that is very image conscious was not lost on me. But it is also an industry that is breaking the rules on what was considered traditional marketing and forced it to evolve and adapt especially in this COVID era. It also made me want to showcase people and products in the best possible light. While yes rules are important, as humans we are all unique and what angles work for a six foot man do not work for a 4’10 woman. Sometimes you have to shoot farther away, and sometimes it is from up high because, hello, no one wants to see a double chin. It all depends on what works for your model and the content you are creating and envisioning.
When I take pictures of others I want to high light their best selves. I want to get their best sides and make them feel beautiful instead of constantly shying away from the camera as I did as a teenager. I had several friends that I ended up converting away from the selfies, which I can’t take and never will unless I somehow grow giraffe arms. The only exceptions are friends (who usually take the pictures) or my nieces and nephews the we are being silly. Working with my friends, I discovered their best angles, and it was amazing to see the transformation as they moved away from hiding from the camera to welcoming it.
It also made ME feel amazing that they trusted me enough to capture themselves and find their light. Having that faith meant the world to ME. It is difficult to let go (at least for me) in general, but doing it in a way that is captured, is scary, and to have someone you trust cultivate that and show you in your best light (a couple weird faces, mid pose not withstanding) you have to have confidence with in yourself also. Finding a photographer who showcases that is so important. There ARE blogger and lifestyle photographers and it is a niche that is needed especially now.
Finding the Beauty
With the evolution of Camera phones, really GREAT camera phones, I might add, as well as smaller less bulky cameras in general, taking photographs has become accessible over the last decade or so, and with the rise of social media especially Instagram, everyone takes pictures, whether they are a photographer, it isn’t up to me to label or determine that.
As someone who has been a blogger for close to two decades, (though do ten year old live journal ramblings really count?) one aspect that really drew me to blogging was imagery. As a Modern Day Renaissance woman who writes about travel, and fashion, and the ocean, and everything in between, I love how photos can really enhance a post, or let the reader view an outfit. I have gone from hating photos to developing a love of finding the beauty through my lense. It is a progression I never imagined would happen, but I am sure happy it has.
What do you think of photography and how it has evolved with blogging? Do you consider yourself a photographer? I would also love to hear your thoughts on this series, and what kind of information YOU are looking for.