Snap shots

Snap shots are one of most rewarding and irritating events in photography. Allow me to explain.

Say I am on vacation and I take my camera along because anticipating you will see is impossible (even while planning your itinerary). Besides, who does not take a camera when planning to do so many fun things? I mean, that is a given. Even if it is the old Polaroid camera!

I carry my camera with me every where I go, so that means; hiking, flying, driving, activities (especially so), reading a book on the patio, camp fire, dinner meetings, museums, parks, monuments…I think you get the idea. In fact I carry my camera with me so often that in some department stores have asked me to keep my camera in my bag or leave the store. *Sheepish grin* (In addition I suggest never to make a scene in a store. It is not good for your business nor theirs and may even destroy possible future business relations.)

The main thing is to always have you camera so that you can capture that ever so rare moment!

Next: Learn to anticipate things. A parent is an expert at seeing possible dangers their children can walk into, mostly from experience. So, if you miss a snap shot because you lack this anticipatory experience, avoid condemning or punishing yourself! No one likes a “grumpy” photographer (parental or professional). Smile, laugh and enjoy the moment!

I think of snap shots as an art form all their own! Snap shots have no preparatory time, meaning you cannot clean up the living room before the moment passes, or that large field of uncut grass cannot be manicured. Take heart! You need not document the unkempt living room or the uncut field.

Friday, we will talk about some solutions in avoiding distracting backgrounds.

“Beef-ing” it up.

As a photographer there are many moments when a prospective contractor is looking through my portfolio and I see each photo they inspect wishing that they would move on to  the photos which in my opinion are better. Yet they linger over the photos that I consider “the worst” of the lot and they still ask me to participate in their events as a photographer. Why is this the case?

I have found in many cases (not all cases, by any stretch of the imagination) that capturing only the intended object perfectly is not the desire of the event coordinator.

So what do they and other viewers see in my worst photos? That is a good question to ask when people comment on a photo. For instance, you can ask “What drew you to the photo”, or “Why do you like this photo the best out of the rest of them?” Of course it is always polite to ask them permission to ask these questions so as not to embarrass them or imply the wrong message by your question.

Let me use an example from personal experience to make the point a little bit more clear. 

The photo inserted on the left was a quick snap shot taken while I was on vacation. As I began to focus and was once again reminded of my camera’s perspective of the world I readjusted my imagination to fit what the camera could see.

By readjusting I was adding interest to the photo by allowing some “white space” and an un-harvested field to contrast the cut fields seen in the vehicle’s side view mirror. This is very important to remember, when photographing; keep a natural amount of interest in the photo (whether that means taking a different perspective to leave things out of the shot, or to bring things into the shot, being posed or candid).

This is not to say that all photos do not have some inherited interest, but some may need more or less interest than others. I hope you have fun playing with interest and it serves you well in your next photo opportunities!