The Do I? Or Don’t I? Shot

Well, my dream of my blog post last night failed to go viral.  *le sigh*.  BTW, I complain a lot and I can be a taaaddd dramatic at times.  My husband is a trooper, and just sort of rolls his eyes, takes a deep breath and walks out of the room.  So you can imagine how silent its been around the house since I’ve been sick.  In fact, he went camping for the weekend I’m pretty sure to run-a-way from me.  I’m just kidding, I pushed him out of the house so he wouldn’t hear me cry and have a pity-party for myself about twice a day.  I’m not kidding.  I have been that sick that I’ve been acting out like a five year old.

With that said, I wanted to talk about photography again and take my mind off of the fact that I haven’t stopped coughing in over a week.  I told you.  Complainer.  Actually, I want to talk about a subject that I’m not sure how to feel about.  When is it appropriate to take a photo, and when is it not? 5922_302599319875881_1447661970_nWhen we visited Peru in 2013, we were strolling through the streets of Cuzco, when a funeral parade came by.  Instantly my photographer instincts kicked in and I took this photo of a mourning daughter who just lost her dad.   Oh, sorry for the graininess, this photo has been through a few transfers.  Anyway, as the photo was snapped, I started to wonder if that was the pono (right) thing to do.  An answer so many photojournalists have to ask themselves every time that they are out on assignment.  How involved and emotional do they get? If need to step in to help, would they do that, or do they get the shot instead? It’s something that I struggle with every time that I go out to shoot.  Especially while traveling.

So my questions are these:

  • Where do you draw the line between spectator and photographer
  • If there is an emergency situation, would you help or photograph the person(s) being helped.  I can’t help think about 9/11.  The photos that were taken were necessary to bring us the images that will haunt us forever.  But what did the photographer do to help? Did he/ she?
  • Is it disrespectful to take a photo of someone’s grief?

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.  Also, this is a little sneaky way to get more people to respond to my posts.  Vanity.  Yeah.  I’m a catch.

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Welcome

I wanted to say thank you for stopping by my blog today.  In fact, if I could give each of you a high-five, I would.  Consider this your virtual high-five.  I wanted to introduce myself and my work to you, in hopes that we can get to know each other better over the course of our time together.  I’m going to leave out the boring part of the introduction, because I wrote about it here.  If you’re so inclined you can check it out.

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Sunshine.  My first photograph taken with my dad’s Fuji 35mm

I have been photographing since I was ten years old.  As I started to get older, I got more involved in media production, with an emphasis on photography.  As a matter of fact, I took a photography class in high school and received a certificate.  Back then we only had 35mm camera’s to shoot with, and I learned how to work in a dark room.  Here are some never seen before photos of my photography class in high school.

 

I should have taken that certificate and pursued my dream of becoming a photographer for National Geographic.  Instead, I wound up working in the corporate world, and put my photography aside.  Shameful, I know.  Instead of blossoming into a world renowned photographer, I was pushing escrow papers across my desk for ten years, and other as equally boring office jobs since then.  One day, I decided it was time to get back into photography.  I started small with a Canon Elf that my husband bought me, and took photos of the flora and fauna here in Hawaii.  I’d pack up my car and drive down to the local art fair to sell my photos.  Remarkably, people bought them.  I started to become impassioned yet again with my first love.  Soon after that my husband bought me my first DSLR.  Now I started shooting weddings, engagements, and family photos of my close friends without charge.  But it wasn’t too long after that I realized I could make a living off of something that I love almost as much as my pioneer and our cat.

 

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My dad’s Fujica on the left, my new Fujifilm on the right.  Practically identical.

Most of my photography when I first started, wasn’t really that great.  Average at best.  Let me tell you one thing, it’s not the camera brand, size, or whether it’s a point and shoot, or a professional camera; if you develop an eye you can shoot anything beautifully.  My husband has a great eye and shoots on his iPhone.  His pictures are amazing.  If anyone ever criticizes you, remember it’s them not you.  If you’re really passionate about photography, or anything for that matter, you can develop your skills just by making the effort to learn and to practice.  In fact, I’m going to recommend some books that really helped me in the beginning.  I still reference them, especially since I haven’t been shooting for awhile now.

  • Scott Kelby: The Digital Photography Book volume 1
  • Scott Kelby: The Digital Photography Book volume 2
  • Scott Kelby: The Digital Photography Book volume 3

Scott is point on breaking down and simplifying how to shoot like a pro, even if you’re not.  His chapters are also very funny and easy to read.  I learned a lot of his techniques and have taken them out in the field on several occasions.  If you are interested in learning more about photography, I highly recommend this book series to anyone, from beginner to pro.

Boy, I have a tenancy to talk a lot don’t I? Let me conclude that you can do anything with your life.  If working in an office is your passion than God bless you.  If you want to pursue something different, you have to find your passion and go with it.  Too many years have a struggled with this small fact.  My dad taught me a lot, but he was very practical.  I worked in an office because I wanted to make him proud of me, even after he died.  I realized though a week ago, that the only person I need to prove anything to is myself.  You only live once, so make it worth it.