Snaps as small pleasures
July last year I had a photography exhibition, received artist mentoring and ran community photography workshops. I decided to focus in on my Instagram and develop that as a way to grow my photography business. My photography business has grown a little, I’ve just finished going into best practice schools for a very large and well known arts organisation to take photos for their upcoming book. It’s been wonderful and I really enjoyed that.
What I found is that it killed my taking photos for pleasure, for enjoyment. I also felt I couldn’t take a photo unless I was going to make sure that it was perfect. Which means a lot of faffing about, getting the right angle, the lighting right, rules of three etc etc…
It meant that I wasn’t taking photos of the small things which made me happy, which is how I got the photography exhibition in the first place. I also stopped sharing on Instagram as the course I took made me think that because I wasn’t doing it how they were (and that had a huge following, complete with a companies wanting to work with them) it wasn’t worth it.
In the last couple of weeks I’ve decided to take snaps on my phone when I am out with Buster, my friends or my husband. I realised that I didn’t have any photos of these at all. Now, when I hang out with my friend or my husband I quickly take a snap, not worry about it being a good photograph, or if I look fat, or grey or anything else.
And here’s the important bit…
They are not for sharing on Instagram – I save them in a folder and then my computer desktop rotates through these images every 15 minutes. I have been back through my archives, and added more photos. What this means is my computer shows me something which makes me smile every 15 minutes. They are not exhibition quality photographs, and certainly not client photographs, but it does mean that I am recording my life – the every day moments, not the grand days out and using it to make me smile. To bring a little pleasure to my day.
I think this is vital to living a good life – actively looking for the good things in our lives with other people. Since I made the decision to do this I have started asking my friends if I can grab a quick photo… and it’s made me realise how many things I haven’t got photos of – eg band is a weekly important part of my life – do I have a photo of me and the people I sit with? No I don’t. Well that is going to change in September.
I let perfection get in the way of small pleasures. No more, quick snaps and then uploaded onto my computer folder, it takes 5 minutes at the absolute most and it makes me so very happy.
What about you – what are you letting perfection get in the way of?