This photo is part of a set of photos telling the story of a visit to the Tate Modern but it diarises good times as I dine with family, people I love.
A pal of mine recently put a comment up on Facebook, “Can’t remember the last time I picked up my camera and used it in anger.” In his case he will address this himself and I am sure will photograph his Easter weekend to death, but the comment did get me thinking, about the importance of knowing exactly why you are taking the photograph you are about to capture.
Around September last year we joined our local camera club, which we enjoy immensely. Unfortunately a touch of poor health and a busy diary, has meant that we haven’t been for a little while but we are looking forward to getting back to the club after Easter. Anyway, one of the first meetings we attended was somewhat ad hoc as the speaker booked had to cancel. Instead we got six ten minute talks from various club members who were happy to do this at relatively short notice. All the talks were in truth very good and we were immediately impressed by the professionalism of the club members presenting their talks. The first talk had a title something like, “Why do I take photographs?” and I was on this chap’s wavelength inside of 15 seconds. His conclusion, if memory serves, was that we should take photographs that give pleasure to ourselves, that should be the first objective. We are not taking the picture for others but for our own pleasure and if others enjoy our photos than what a great bonus. There was a lot more meat and thought before he concluded with this and I was fired up immensely by this thought as I have dwelled on it long and hard myself.
Recently, my enjoyment with photograph went up immensely as I switched to Fuji kit and quite simply just enjoyed using the camera, its more analogue feel, its ease of use, its compactness and the emancipation I felt released from the weighty backpack of the DSLR world. However, the other big reason why I enjoy every photograph I take, is that I always know why I am taking a photograph, what the purpose of the photo will be.
Basically, in my case I take photographs to embellish the numerous blogs I write, be they for my photo blog, or my car blog, or my watch blog, or my Life blog. Put simply I photograph to diarise our life here at Beastie Folly, the events we go to, the car adventures we have, the holidays we take, and so on. Of course rules are there to be broken, so having a reason to take a photo doesn’t mean you can’t just take a photo for the heck of it. Take this gorgeous Easter weekend ahead, it is a great opportunity to capture some of the beautiful blossom trees that can be seen. I can do this just for the heck of it, but in truth in my case it would end up being part of some blog pontificating on the simple pleasures to be found just pausing to look at the beautiful world we live in and deriving joy from this.
I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Yes there must be a Wordsworth wannabe lurking deep inside me. Hey Wordsworth rhymes with Ainsworth. Hmmm so does Jobsworth.
In essence then, have a think about why you take photographs and what you want to do with your next capture. Having a reason to shoot, makes you shoot. If my photos don’t end up embellishing a blog I write, then they will be for another project in my mind, a wall print, or a photo book. The point is the photo will be part of a bigger plan and for me this, gives it importance and purpose. I need to take the photograph, therefore I do.
So please give this some thought, find your “Reason To Shoot” and armed with this I promise you, that your camera will be used more than ever.