I take a lot of photos, especially bad ones. Okay, maybe not bad ones but I take plenty of boring ones.
But once in a while, I’ll come across a photo that I actually like. I may not love it, but I’ll think, “Oh, this isn’t that bad.”
A few weeks back, I dropped off a number of rolls of film to be developed at the local photo lab. I had no idea what was on most of the rolls since some were old, but I was super eager to see what I took photos of. I got the scans back and I just about died. They were so bad! The most recent roll wasn’t as bad, but the other rolls really didn’t have any photos I remotely liked. The focus wasn’t great, the composition wasn’t great, I should have not been so close to the subject or I should have been closer, the color was off (expired film) and so on. I was totally going to town nitpicking my photos.
I got annoyed at myself. I thought “Look at these horrible photos! Why did you waste your film on this picture?” And to top it off, the recent roll I shot, I think the film was loose at times in the camera so some negatives were not fully exposed. Argh!!!!
But I looked back at them again and realize it’s part of the process. Ask any creative person, especially those who you would consider talented and ask them if they like everything they create. Chances are they’ll say, “Hell NO!”
If anything, it reminded me of how far I’ve come as a photographer and not every photo I take is going to be great. As long as I keep practicing, the closer I’ll get to getting that photo I actually like.
It’s really easy to be critical of yourself about your photography but we all start somewhere. We gotta push through the negative thoughts we can have about ourselves about where we don’t “measure up” and know we just have to keep going and taking baby steps. One picture at a time.
Let me know in the comments your thoughts!
I don’t know about you, but does it seem like everyone have a DSLR camera? I definitely feel I’m in the minority because I don’t. And here’s why.
Have you seen a DSLR camera? The lenses? I just can’t. I can’t! They’re bulky, heavy and I’m definitely not willing to carry that around often. Sure they look fancy and “professional” but I don’t want to lug it around with me.
While prices for digital cameras have come down (but smartphones have gone up, huh??), DSLR cameras are still on the expensive side when compared to SLR cameras and point and shoot cameras. Not only do you need to buy the body of the camera but you need the lenses which can add up real fast.
Ease of use
I’ve taken a few pictures with a DSLR camera and while the photos they take can be be super amazing, have you ever looked at a menu? Oh my gosh it makes head hurt. They have SO MANY features which can be a great thing, but also really overwhelming. I have patience but not to learn the many many many features that come with a DSLR camera.
I won’t use it
It’s too big to carry around. I already carry enough stuff during the week going to work and having a bulky camera next to my multiple container lunches isn’t going to cut it. I probably wouldn’t use it very much.
So, what do I use and why?
I have a point and shoot camera I carry with me close to 90% of the time.
It’s small, compact and I can sometimes stick it in my jacket pocket (depends what jacket I have) and head out the door. It’s also pretty light weight too. Plus, there’s no extra lenses to fiddle with either.
There are definitely some point and shoot cameras you can drop some cash on, no lie. But they are a lot more affordable and available in a range of prices.
Ease of use
Point and shoot cameras are a lot less complicated than DSLR cameras. They’re great for beginners since the menus are a bit more user friendly. If you don’t want to shoot in manual mode (you should try it at least!), you can automate it to take a decent photo without much thinking.
I love using it
Since it’s small, compact and easy to use, I take a lot of photos with it. I can take it out, take a photo and put it away in my bag in less than 30 seconds. You can’t do that with a DSLR unless you have it out with you all the time and are OK with that.
Don’t forget your phone!
I do use my smartphone of course to take photos like 90% of people who own a smartphone. The camera technology has come a long way and so have apps to help people edit their photos. You can take some pretty great photos with a smartphone which acts as my second point and shoot camera. What? You didn’t know you already had a point and shoot camera on your smartphone?
The cool thing about photography is it isn’t so much about whether you have an expensive camera with all the bells and whistles, a low end point and shoot camera or you just have your smartphone. You can learn to take great photos with whatever “camera” you have. It’s not the gear you have, it’s how you use it.
What do you think? What do you use to take photos?
Hi, I’m Imelda and I’m a photographer in San Francisco.
When I was a kid I loved drawing (a ruler was my best friend) homes and I wanted to be an architect. Yeah, a bit like George Costanza. I eventually discovered I needed to know math and that dream died because I can’t do math to save me.
In school, I never really connected with other art mediums like sculpting, painting, drawing (ruler, please!), etc. They didn't sound appealing to me because it was intimidating creating something out of a blank piece of paper or a blob of clay. No thank you.
I enrolled in a photography class in high school and ended up really enjoying it! I learned the basics by borrowing my aunt's camera for the class and loved the anticipation of seeing the end product. Digital wasn't really a thing yet (yes, I'm that old!) so I was shooting and not knowing how the photo looked until I developed my film. I loved printing my own photos and seeing the image appear before my eyes when I placed the photo paper in the developer. I never had a problem with hanging out in a darkroom developing my work for hours.
After high school, I enrolled in a few other photography classes in college for fun and even took some local photo classes when I moved to San Francisco. I loved learning more about photography and being around other photographers. I loved when we shared our work because it was so fun seeing the photos other students captured.
I was so happy to have a creative outlet!
Sunset Shutterbug was officially born in 2006 after my aunt had mentioned that my photos might make for interesting greeting cards. I opened up and Etsy shop and sold prints and greeting cards.
My relationship with photography has had its ups and downs, but I’ve always come back around to taking out my camera and taking photos.
Fast forward to 2018, I felt a calling to do something beyond selling my photography and had my A-ha moment! What if I helped people with their photography? And so I’ve decided to shift my primary focus of selling my art to helping others take better pictures.
It's my mission to help people know they can take great photos with whatever camera they have, even if it's their smartphone or a point and shoot camera. I love documenting the uniqueness of everyday life and hope to help people see the beauty, humor and joy of the world through photography.
And that’s a little about me. When I'm not taking photos, I'm playing board games, going to theme parks, cooking delicious food or getting my fitness on at the gym.
More to come!