I’m taking fewer pictures, and making more photographs.
My camera will have fewer shutter actuations, but I’ll be printing more photographs than ever. Images like this, which I found while cleaning out a junk drawer, should never be lost. Isn’t it strange that one of the best memories of my life isn’t in immediate recollection unless I see an image of it? Sure, I’m young in this photograph, but this memory should bless me every day, not only when I find a digital file of it that was left for junk.
In our photography community, January is slow. People have spent plenty enough on their holiday gifts, so hiring a photographer at this time seems to make little sense to most. That’s why I planned to make January a month to reorganize and get our bearing for our business.
This led me to reorganizing my entire photographic library. If you know a photographer, and ask them about their indexing, naming, filing, storage, etc. you’ll hear 1000 different ways on how they organize their photos. I won’t dive into that here, but when you take thousands of photographs a year, and you want to reference a single frame you made, this can get dicey pretty fast.
My most recent find as I was indexing everything was a photograph my mother took of my grandfather is teaching me chess in this image on a campground up in northern Idaho. What you see is edited from the original film shot that was taken on one of those point and shoot disposable cameras that you used to get at the store.
For all the younger folks, these were plastic cameras with usually a green or blue paper branding on them, which told you which company made them. You’d take your 24 (sometimes 25 if you got lucky) frames, and send it in to the nearest developer, which used to be as convenient to find as gas stations are now, but that’s a separate point. From there, you’d get your photos back developed and printed as printed copies in as much as 24 hours and as little as 1 hour. You didn’t need digitals, because there was no Facebook, Twitte, Instagram, or even email at the time.
This is where the stories of people showing them their photo albums came about. People used to keep guests in their house for hours showing them photos of their trips, weddings or kids on holidays. Once again, for you younger folks, let’s look at the following analogy: You’d be forced to sit on Facebook and pretend to like every single baby picture they’ve posted for the last three years… when you clearly don’t have children yourself… and want to leave… but can’t.
So I’m taking fewer pictures, and making more photographs.
This isn’t because I’m forced to, but rather that quality work trumps all other. Less time editing and culling through multiple frames will lead to the editing of only our highest quality photographs. Be it the film rolls we shoot each month, or the event, wedding and corporate sessions we photograph, the frame we take will matter more than the quantity.
If resolutions are your thing, I challenge you to exceed them. They’re not for me. I’m choosing to exceed my own previously held expectations to deliver more often, and with more quality.
Until next time, enjoy each moment and don’t lose the best in the junk drawer.