This is a question I don’t think gets asked enough.
When you’re just starting out it’s common to ask others what they think about your photography whether it be a friend, a family member or even strangers online.
But what we often don’t get asked by others is, “What do YOU think about your photo?”
While it’s important to get feedback from others, we need to start asking ourselves "What do I think about this photo?" We need to begin thinking about our work more critically in a way that helps us process what we're doing when we pick up the camera.
When you’re just starting out, it can be difficult to talk about your photography so I came up with an exercise you can do to help you.
Sort through your photos and find 5 of your favorite ones. Look through them and for each one, answer the following questions:
See if you discover some common themes from the 5 photos you picked.
As you start asking yourself more questions about your own work, you’ll get better at understanding what types of photos you’re drawn to shooting and what techniques you want to improve.
I’ll be doing this exercise over the next week and I’ll share my findings so stay tuned for an update!
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!