I’m self taught.
Yet, I have the audacity to call myself a photographer.
I started from the bottom. Mom’s old film camera and B&W film and things in the backyard. When things went digital I experimented with the things she taught me using an entry level digital camera. It was like going back to class—which is a funny story. The primer she gave me over the years was so thorough that I was summarily booted from one intro class. I already knew the material inside and out. Unfortunately, the class I needed was two hundred dollars above my pay grade.
So I turned to books, articles, and the good old street beat. From instant Polaroid, to Kodak point and shoot, to now, I’ve gone from simply trying to catch what is in front of me to actively trying to blur the line between record and art.
But it didn’t happen overnight. I had to start somewhere.
I love filters. I love stickers. I love frames. I will never bs you a #nofilter—I’m more like to give you the EXACT FORMULA for the filter I used.
I see these things as a pocket sized but no less complex version of darkroom processing… Though with fewer chances of getting a catastrophic burn. (A vented battery has happened.) Part art, part science, part aesthetic. And then you get to the glamour portions, and all heaven breaks loose.
As a kid I hated what I looked like in a mirror. But I looked at me in a photo and I looked good. I always wanted to do glamour shots at Glamour Shots in the mall, before whatever happened to them happened. Now I can do it myself, with this little computer in my hands.
And anyone who has something to say about it has clearly either a) never tried it or b) needs a life.
I’ve been experimenting with photography lately. There’s not a lot of things to do at a bus stop but there are often things to notice. In this particular day there were flowers from a bush. I’m not sure what kind these are (anyone out there know?) but as soon as I saw them I thought “OH MY GOD A SUBJECT” and broke out the Galaxy S3 (better camera) and started taking shots like mad.
…The next ten minutes were spent in Snapseed, editing the shot until it looked absolutely perfect.
I might need to rethink the “hobbyist” in front of the “shutterbug” in my Instagram profile.
I’ve actually been thinking that, beyond the cooking project I’ve got percolating (see what I did there?) I might be able to do a little something here. It’s not like I don’t have any training at all; I learned everything I know from my late mother, when she saw how excited I was about her old model Polaroid camera (it was the beige kind with the rainbow on it!) and got me the new one for Christmas. Simple stuff really:
• Watch for subjects,
• Make sure you use that square to say something,
• Pay attention to your Bigdaddy [my wonderful grandfather] because this is a lot like hunting
• sometimes, “because it’s pretty” or ” because I liked it” is a perfect reason.
I then proceeded to take pictures of everything I got for that Christmas. She showed me the “because it’s pretty” trick by arranging my new Game Boy and games and how it made for an even better “LOOK AT THIS” effect than just snapping away. She said it was more “exteticly pleasing.”
(…I was five going on six okay? I was precocious as fuck but I couldn’t wrap my mouth around the word aesthetically just yet. But I knew it meant prettier and arty.)
And yes I also wound up taking pictures of the pictures I took.