Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Path to Photography

If you have followed my blog at all you would figure out pretty quick that I like to take pictures.

It wasn't always that case.

I actually never cared for photography. I thought it was boring, I remember when I was really young, my brother, Paul, once showed interest in photography (he probably doesn't remember this) and my dad got him a book about photography, I looked through it and thought it was actually really boring, and wonder why people did it for enjoyment.

Most of my life I didn't have a camera and I rarely took any pictures, which I regret now.
I took a Communication class in Jr High because I dropped out of band the last minute that semester, and it was the only class opened that hour, and I really disliked that class. It probably was because of the teacher, but we had to take pictures, and I learned how to develop film in the dark room and everything, that part was actually interesting, but not enough to keep me interested, and if I remember correctly I messed up a lot of my pictures...

My senior year in high school was the first time I probably started looking at photography and saw it more as an art form. I was in AP art and some students had some cool photography projects... but again I didn't show any interest.

Not until I went on my Europe trip after my first year in college did I really started liking photography. I started taking pictures of the amazing architecture and wanting to take pictures of "the feel" of every country, and capture moments of the people around me. Every night when we would be back at our hostels I would go through my pictures over and over and I would say to my room mate almost every night that it became this huge joke, "Did you know every country has it's own color scheme?", I'm not kidding I would say it every night and not meaning to, but I just loved how the pictures just captured the feel and flavor of each country, I was trying to express this to my room mate, also this was the time I started taking all my lamp post pictures haha.

When I got home I would go to the nature park or somewhere else and I started taking pictures. I did that a couple times, especially when I had a lot on my mind, it was a way for me to relax.
Than school started up again, and I stopped taking pictures. That semester I was taking digital illustration class so I was always at the photo lab printing of my paintings and there would be many photography majors working on their projects and I always loved looking at their stuff, again I didn't think anything about photography.

Not until that summer, a year after Europe and was engaged to Dustin did I start thinking about taking a photography class. That's when I started self teaching myself how to edit pictures on photoshop, I would practice on my Europe pictures and I would spend hours doing it. With my tight schedule with illustration classes and my senior project, I figured my last semester I would take a photography class for fun. Well it never happened, since I was going to have a baby my last semester, I just ended up having my senior project and chemistry because I wanted it to be less crazy.

I would tell Dustin several times how I wanted a really nice camera, but I didn't see how we would be getting one any time soon.  Than Dustin's parents got us the PENTAX SLR for Christmas/graduation gift! O my goodness! I was one happy camper, I teased Dustin that it was mine, well I do use it more than him!

I was a little timid about it too, I didn't know how to use it, I didn't know what aperture was, or shudder speed, or ISO, luckily Dustin's sister came to my rescue and told me the basics, but I was still nervous, it took a few tries till I got things figured and not all mixed up.
After that I just started researching a lot and PRACTICED, PRACTICED, and PRACTICED, Thomas has pretty much been my only model, but he's been doing a great job ;)

And now, thanks to my friends and family, and those who would comment on my pictures make me feel confident enough to think maybe I should go into photography. But I'm still not sure for many reasons, 1. because I still love doing illustration so I'm hoping maybe I can do a little of both? 2. I don't know if I have what it takes, and 3. I see this on the internet:

 Than I wonder am I that monkey? 

Fist thing, I want to say is I agree, and disagree with this picture. 

I agree that because of technology and easier access to a lot of programs and cameras there has been a lot of bad art and, in this case, photography. 
But at the same time I feel like being creative is an outlet for people, a hobby they like to do, and if they love it and they like their art/pictures that they should do it proudly and show it to the world. I hope this makes sense what I'm saying? 
Also, as a mom I want to have cute pictures of my kids, but I can't afford to have a photographer at every event in our lives, so yes, I'm going to play photographer. 

So I'm debating if this is something I want to do.... 
Luckily one of my good friends. Aubrey, asked me to take her wedding pictures this summer (which I'm very excited and nervous about) because this way I will see if it's something I would like to do for a career or more of a hobby. 

And I MIGHT, might is the key word, do free sessions for anyone in town that month I'm in Rexburg, so I can get some practice in, learn from mistakes, and to see if this is really something I want to do. 

I've also thought about posting tips and things I have learned about photography, and maybe some editing techniques that I have learned. Also I would love to hear from anyone that has tips or have techniques they have learned as well. 

So here goes my first tip....

Tip #1: Be Inspired
I'm always looking at other photographers' work, being inspired by others can help your creative juices flow. Also this way you can see what style you like, and what type photography you like.

For me I like the nice clean, bright look, and sometimes I like the vintage look that's popular right now. I also like a good pose picture, but LOVE the kodak moment pictures, the ones that tells the story. 

Here are some photographers that I love:

Find some photographers that you like and get inspired. I don't know about you but after looking at photography I want to get my camera and shoot away! 

Another source is Pinterest as well, I'm always pinning photographs that inspire me. 

*Anyway, most of my tips will be more in detail than this, but I figured this post was long enough, so if you actually read through this, congrats!


Anonymous said...

Great post Jess! I am so excited for you to take my pics! YOU are an amazing photographer and I think it is something you should definitely consider doing! Love you!

Celia said...

I was going to tell you what a great job you do in taking pictures. You have an eye for it and you have the talent. You should keep pursuing it!

Nancy said...

I share a lot of these same feelings. I do photography because I enjoy it and that's all that matters. I love your photos! I say do whatever makes you happy. You have a great eye and I love looking at your photos!