When I created the #5weekshutterbugchallenge, I did it to motivate myself to do something different and to see what photos I’d capture. Here’s my thoughts about each photo I took for each theme.
Festive - I wasn’t super happy with my photo despite the fact that I love penguins. But it was what I was able to capture that week. I wasn’t able to find another photo that was “cooler” looking that I felt was “festive”.
Lights - I went out of my way to go out to capture this photo. Filoli in Woodside, CA has lights during the holidays so I was happy head somewhere knew in hopes to get a few good holiday lights photos. I was glad I was able to capture it even with my point and shoot camera. Point and shoot cameras are not known for being able to take great photos in low light, fyi.
Family/Friends - I had originally planned to post some photos of my family/friends in a traditional sense; group shots and so on. But I was sitting in a hospital pre-op room that week, waiting with my husband before he went into surgery and wanted to take a few photos. The photo of his feet while he was in bed made me think about the things you do for those close to you. That your time together with loved ones isn’t always happy and fun but can be stressful and nerve-racking. Nothing like waiting in a hospital to make you worry and feel stressed. Anyway, this photo is probably my favorite from the challenge because of how it makes me feel.
Tradition - This was really funny. While my family and I were opening gifts, we had a gift exchange mix up that resulted in my brother-in-law having multiple shoes of the same kind. Christmas gift exchanges are tradition in my family and this was by far the year where we really messed up because several folks didn’t read their piece of paper correctly, including yours truly. Anyway, this is a fun memory and I’m glad I took a photo of it.
Joy - I wasn’t sure what I was going to capture for joy, but I ended up at Ocean Beach here in San Francisco which I used to go to a lot more in previous years. It’s been my place to reconnect with myself, to reflect, to de-stress, to think, to exercise, to meditate and so on. It’s a special place for me. There’s something comforting about being at the beach and it was really nice being there again on New Year’s Day and feeling the sunshine on my face. It felt like a joyful moment for me.
Overall, I enjoyed the mini challenge. I liked some photos more than others. Some were more “artsy” but I know there will always be photos that are less impressive. I really debated on whether I should post the more “snapshot” photos. But I realized I wanted to remind myself (and my followers) that photography isn’t always about having nicely polished, edited photos. For me it’s about the story of the photo. What was going on? Who was there? What made me take the photo? And that was my big takeaway from this challenge that I didn't expect at all to realize. That sometimes knowing the story behind a photo makes a photo more interesting and special than at first glance.
Happy New Year!
I can’t believe the holidays have come and gone and now we’re starting 2019!! I know everyone and their mom is probably planning out what they want to accomplish this year and set goals, but I’m not super into that. I don’t think I’ve ever made resolutions before, though I did do a vision board one year …
Anyway, something I am super stoked about are a few photography related gifts I got this week! Secret Santa gifted me Photo Journal: Personal Photography Reflections and Creative Every Day, both by Eric Kim.
I’ve been following Eric for a while now who is a street photographer. While his style of photography isn’t really my thing, I really respect the work he creates and how he thinks about the art of photography.
I wanted these books because after I read the blurbs on them, it made me want to have more fun and be more creative when it comes to photography. I never realized it until recently, but I haven’t reflected a whole lot on my photography. I also sometimes get a creative rut and the assignments in the books feel like they’ll the creative juices flowing.
Anywho, I’m really excited to dive deeper into learning more about my own photography and reflecting more about creativity. Do you struggle with creativity when it comes to photography? Let me know in the comments!
I’m part of a few photography groups and the most common questions I see are:
While these are important questions, I love the more interesting questions like what’s someone’s motivation for getting into photography? Why do they take pictures? What makes them want to take that particular picture? What do they think of their own photo?
I wanted to get a more interesting conversation going and decided to ask the group how photography has impacted their lives. While I got some sarcastic responses (“I’m more broke!”), I saw lots of really interesting answers which I’d love to explore more at a later time. But one of the common responses I saw that stuck out for me were the folks who said photography has helped them with their anxiety, depression, etc.
I later came across these two TedTalks by Ryan Pfluger and Bryce Evans where they talk about how got into photography and how it became therapeutic for them in dealing with their own mental health.
While anxiety, depression, suicide, etc., is not something I personally struggle with, reading the responses in the forum and watching the videos made me sad in knowing how much others struggle with mental health all the time. But it also showed me how powerful art and being creative with a camera can be for people. It can change a person's perspective on life and the world around them. Taking a picture may not seem like a big deal, but for some, it can save their lives.
I hope you find their stories inspiring too!
Earlier this year, I fell down a flight of stairs which majorly sucked. To everyone’s surprise, including me, I didn’t break anything or injure myself too bad apart from a nasty laceration on my right shin. I’d never been immobile in my life. It was hard to just sit at home and rest and not be able to walk very far except around my apartment to go to the bathroom, kitchen or to bed. I couldn’t be on my feet for very long due to needing to elevate my leg all the time.
Needless to say, staying inside was giving me serious cabin fever. It reminded me of how much I take being able to walk for granted. I really wanted to go outside and take pictures and just walk, but I couldn’t. I wanted to take photos but I couldn’t just get up and go outside.
So what did I do? I realized I didn’t need to leave my apartment to take photos.
It made me think about how easily we can forget about photographing our everyday surroundings. Maybe it’s because we’re immersed in it all the time. Maybe it’s because why would I want to take a picture of my kitchen? How boring, right? Wrong!
The cool thing about photographing your home is how can you make the everyday look interesting. What if you put your camera (or phone) on auto and took pictures of everyday things in your home?
Here are some ideas if you’re stuck at home and want to take some pictures.
There are endless things you can photograph in your own home. Experiment too with the time of day as how something looks can change during the day.
In short, there’s no excuse of why you can’t take photos even if you’re stuck at home. This time of year is perfect since the weather can make us feel more like retreating inside. And if you need a chance of scenery, go to someone else’s house and photograph their space! You never know what you’ll find.