The prompt for this weeks Wicked Wednesday is to take a comment left on your blog and turn it into a blog post. What an inspired idea Rebel! I have chosen a comment that was left on my Sinful Sunday post, A Backward Glance, asking about my photography. One of my favourite subjects and something that I have not written about for a while.
“Out of curiosity, and if you don’t mind me asking, who takes your pics? Or do you take them yourself?”
The simple answer to this question is; mainly me and if not then Sir takes them. Sometimes, when you are, umm, all tied up, so to speak, taking a self-portrait can be a bit of a challenge and it is easier to hand the camera to him. However that is the simple answer.
I love my photography. I have not always been a photographer and I have certainly not always liked photographs of me, in fact for a fair proportion of my adult life I would have to say I actively avoided being on the wrong side of the camera (the wrong side being the subject matter not the photographer) I would always be the one taking the family pictures and if you ever had a chance to look back through our family albums what you would find would reflect that; A lot of pictures of them and very few of me.
So when did it all change?
I blame the internet for that one. I wanted to send a sexy picture to a man I was talking to on-line and with that one urge, the quest for the arse self-portrait was born. It was a long road of twisted contortions and mirrors that was finally revolutionised when Sir bought me a tripod. By the way they are remarkably cheap and if you don’t have one, but like taking selfies then I highly recommend you get one. My self-portrait work really took off though when I started posting them here on my blog and I blame Dick Dyke Dick for that. She no longer blogs (and I still miss her now) but many moons ago she was the reason I got brave enough and posted a picture of myself here and with that one move everything shifted for me with regards to my photography. Suddenly it became a pivotal part of my self-expression here, and my creative outlet. It has been a massive learning curve. When I started this I knew nothing about photography. I had a bog standard point and shot and a new-found passion. I spent nearly 2 years with that little camera and along the way I learnt a ton of stuff and took some amazing shots that to this day remain some of my favourites such as; If you Go Down To The Woods Today, Something Blue, and There’s A Nip In The Air, to name just a few.
Of course lots has changed since then. I am on my second DSLR, a Cannon EOS 7D which Sir just bought me for my birthday. I have 4 different lens, a selections of filters, a remote control trigger, a full tripod, a gorilla pod, a mini light box and a lighting kit, that I know bugger all about but I am determined to change that when I finish making my time machine which will manufacture me more hours in my day! I have never been to a single photography class in my life, everything I have learnt has been from talking, listening, reading and more than anything else just doing. I think there is a serious snobbery surrounding the whole art of photography that I have big issues with. Just because I don’t earn my main source of income from it, or don’t hold a piece of paper saying I went to art school that doesn’t mean I am not a photographer, that would be like saying unless you drive your car for a living you are not a driver….. say what?
I love my camera and I love my photography. I love the whole process from planning the shots, or more often than not, them just happening before my eyes and me reaching for the camera, to taking them, processing and editing them and of course the final publication of them. Every single one teaches me something new about myself, the world around me and my skills as a photographer, but in particular my self-portrait work has gifted me a whole new outlook on my body. Whereas before I saw my body in the mirror through my own highly critical gaze taking photographs of myself and sharing them here has led me to seeing my body through other people’s eyes. It has without a doubt been a truly liberating, exciting and life changing journey in that respect.
Of course I am not just about self portraits, although it is my first and probably main love when it comes to my camera but my 365 Project has been a key part in my learning and skills development and most of all it has made me use my camera a lot more. Now I take my camera bag nearly everywhere with me and gather the world I see inside my lens. Sometimes I capture something truly amazing and sometimes something just simple but I have discovered that I have a good eye, that I see things that others often miss and that sometimes the simple is just as powerful and beautiful. I am truly proud of my work on my 365 blog I love looking back through it, remembering all the things, times and places and seeing how my work has evolved.
I have no idea what the future holds for me with regards my creative work, my writing is a constant within that but if I ever had to choose between the two, then I have a strong feeling the camera would win hands down. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words’ if you don’t believe me just check out the rise of such sites as Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram and despite the list of equipment above, you don’t need all that stuff to create really good images. You just need a camera and a desire.
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