Glancing Backward, Looking Ahead
2018 was a crazy year for me. As some of you know, at the beginning of the year I started my photography instruction business. Then in the spring of 2018, my husband and I started a total renovation of our forever home. In order to complete the renovation, we had to move out of our home for almost ten months. Between overseeing the construction, and spending time building my new business, the year flew by. Now that we are settled, and things are getting back to “normal”, I thought I would catch up on a few images and take some time to glance back and look ahead.
I’m not one to dwell on the past, but I am proud of what I was able to accomplish last year. To start with, I wrote 26 blog posts and five articles for Photography Life. In addition, I shot my first two weddings, including one on New Year’s Eve! Additionally, I enjoyed two fabulous photo trips, one to France and one to Lake Tahoe. And most importantly, I learned a ton from many fabulous students. It was a great start to photography becoming my full-time gig!
Besides expanding my business, there are three things I am going to focus on this year. Firstly, I want to shoot more. Although I try to get out and photograph every week, sometimes life gets in the way. Secondly, I plan on shooting a wider range of subjects. I really enjoyed my trip to Tahoe last fall. Spending a week dedicated to landscape photography was refreshing. The experience re-energized my creative juices. Last, but not least, I would like to write more. I will be splitting my time between my own blog and posts for Photography Life, such as the story on street photography I wrote last week.
To get pointed in the right direction, I started a 52-week project with the group 52Frames. Each week we are given a theme. Over the course of the week, we must capture our take on that theme. The challenge is meant to not only get you out with your camera but also to push you creatively and technically as well. Taking the challenge will ensure that I am shooting every week. And, it will force me to try different genres and new techniques that I wouldn’t normally have undertaken.
I encourage you to give a project like this a try. It is not too late to start. In fact, I began my 52-week project just four weeks ago. Contrary to what some people think, you do not have to start a project like this on the first of January!
Here are my takes on the first four themes; your desk, city at night, uncommon, and negative space.
If you follow any of my social media platforms, you will notice that I am now posting non-street photography images on the weekends. Although many professionals say that to be “successful” you need to specialize, I disagree. My photography reflects who I am, and I am more complicated than just street photography. I hope you enjoy the variety.
Life on the Street
For all you street photography fans, don’t worry, I’m not abandoning street photography! This genre of photography is very near to my heart. In my opinion, it is the most difficult genre of photography to master. The fact that I still have so much to learn, drives me to continue exploring this genre.
This year, I am going to concentrate on capturing moments. Recently, I have seen a trend in street photography, where many photographers are relying on contrasty light, deep shadows and subjects walking through beams of sunlight. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike these types of images. In fact, I have taken more than my fair share of them. These images can be very artistic. Their strong geometry and bold blocks of shade and highlights are very dramatic. However, to me, they do not document daily life as it unfolds around us today.
I love looking at the work of artists such as Vivian Maier, Mary Ellen Mark, Elliot Erwitt, and Fred Herzog. These photographers mastered the ability to capture storytelling moments so well. These types of documentary images, I feel, are much harder to create. They rely on patience, recognizing the difference between a snapshot and a defining moment, and being able to react instinctively. It is these types of images that I am going to make a concerted effort to create more of this year.
The Next Frame
I hope you will continue to join me on my photographic journey. I’m very excited to see how 2019 unfolds. I’ll leave you with three images I took not too long ago. To me, this series epitomizes what street photography is about. I noticed the fellow and car as I was walking down the street. Realizing that this was a shot that I must get, I ran down the block, dodging a few pedestrians, and ducking out between traffic to capture my photograph! After all, it is not very often that you see an old car like this, with a very well-dressed gentleman casually leaning on the back fin. In addition, I loved that the red of the tail lights was mimicked in the awning.
His body language told me that he was waiting for someone. Realizing this, I decided to wait to see how the scene would unfold. Not long after I took the first shot, his friend appeared and they greeted each other with a huge hug. Just after the hug, I was spotted. An instant later, he turned around, tossed his hands in the air as if to say, “you got me!” We chatted for a few minutes, laughed and exchanged contact information so that I could forward them the images. This is what capturing a moment and storytelling is all about to me.
Thanks for reading and cheers for now!