I think anyone who knows me would agree that I love taking pictures–pictures of my family, my friends, pictures of momentous events like weddings and birthday celebrations, or of things I think are funny or sad or interesting.
Pictures of myself… taking pictures… of myself.
Yes, that is me with one of my first digital cameras.
I realize that the next thing I am about to say makes me sound like an old Asian mom (but I am; so, why not?) In the olden days, before the dawn of digital cameras, we used to have these devices called film cameras. Actually, I think they were simply called “cameras” back then but that is neither here nor there. Instead of a memory card that held an unlimited amount of photos you could delete from and add to, there was a single roll of film in your camera at any given time and when you ran out of film, you just couldn’t take any more pictures. Can you imagine?
Growing up, I was lucky enough to have one of those film cameras I could use to my heart’s desire. It belonged to my family and it was red and I named her Camille. Camille the camera. (As I young child, I never had pets so I named all my inanimate objects. This is perfectly normal?)
I must have been 10 years old or so when I first started taking pictures. Since then, I have learned a lot of lessons, a couple of which I will share with you now:
Lesson #1: You don’t have to reposition the camera after looking into the viewfinder to account for the height difference between the viewfinder and the lens. If you have no idea what I am talking about, that’s because it doesn’t make any sense. Suffice it to say, I took a whole roll of film, with the top of people’s heads cut off. One major disadvantage of the film camera was that you didn’t know what your pictures looked like until you took all of them. Then you had proof on paper of how bad a photographer you really were.
Lesson #2: Pictures capture moments in time–fleeting moments that you never get back. So, when you are invited to your cousin’s wedding and they have hired a photographer to take pictures of the single most important day of their lives, do not stand on the altar in between the couple, trying to get “the best shot.” You will probably ruin all of the photographer’s photos. Also, you will definitely cringe every time you think about it.
Hard lessons for a kid.
And despite all the mistakes, I just kept taking pictures. For some reason, I believed I could get better at it. Which is the complete opposite of how I felt towards piano, tennis, and Kumon. In fact, taking pictures is the only thing that I have really pursued consistently and naively. I just love all of it. The moments captured, the expressions, the emotions, the reminder of what once was.
This is my first blog entry but it has been a long journey getting here… to the beginning. So, as I begin this journey towards professional photographerhood (this is a term I just coined putting together the terms “photographer” and “parenthood”), I take with me the many lessons I have learned in the past, and the visions of what I hope to be in the future. I realize it won’t be an easy journey but nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. Wish me luck!