I went back to look at some of the first photos I took with my camera, as it’s been just about a year since I acquired it. Some of those shots remain my favourites and as I looked back on them, I realized that I was just spending time learning how to take a picture. Not how to use the camera, how to fancy up the shot, just simply how to take a photo. Up until I acquired this camera, I took pictures for a purpose – to chronicle an event or vacation, to document a moment in time. As a scrapbooker, I took photos that I could put into a story that would translate into a good scrapbook.
The first photos I took were under the watchful eye of my hubby who has a much more artistic view of the world. My idea of a good picture is one I like, all based on emotion. Tim can look at a picture or a house or anything really and explain what the elements are that make it appealing, how it works, how it doesn’t work. As much as I appreciated that he had a stronger aesthetic experience and therefore a valuable opinion, he encouraged me to go back to listening to my gut and take photos the way I liked because ultimately it is my hobby and we both benefit from my enjoyment of it. Over this year, I have found that there are photos I take that I don’t like that he does and vice versa. Many people I have shared my photos with also have very strong reactions to photos one way or another, and that has taken some getting used to. I don’t know that I’ll ever be completely comfortable with either praise or criticism, but I do take something from those opinions and go forward.
In some ways, I can see how much my photography style has changed and evolved. And yet, looking back, the simplistic photos of the “early days” still appeal, so perhaps what I like has remained the same and how I achieve it has been the area of growth. Who knows?