For a big part of my life lately, I’ve been the guy who scans though loads of photographs for the shots with the perfect pose, the best lighting, composure that follows a nice grid or a golden rectangle, and subject matter that’s as universally interesting as I can manage. The rest either get deleted or languish on my hard drive.
I haven’t been doing this as a job. I’m not curating an album or making a documentary. Nobody hired me as a portrait guy. I’m just picky.
I’ve been the same way with other stuff too. If I manage an attempt that’s as close to what I consider excellence I won’t even try. What that means is I haven’t really done anything much.
Back to photos.
I’ve been mid-production on my daughter’s first year photo album since November. That’s when she turned one. She’s almost sixteen months now. I was making a one year album ’cause I never got around to doing one at six months like I originally planned. If I don’t get off my ass I’m going to be one of those parents who doesn’t have any real photos of my kid around. Unless a photo is good enough to get on my Facebook feed, it’s just going to be stored on a hard drive with thousands of others where only I can find them.
Yes, thousands. Maybe tens of thousands.
You know, in my entire childhood, I’d bet there weren’t more than a couple hundred photos taken of me, max. Most of the ones that are worth a crap are hanging on the wall in the hallway of my mom’s house. The rest were either bad snaps from my teens or pictures taken with a 110 Kodak Instamatic camera. Of the latter, the ones that haven’t faded to oblivion would need at least a 7200dpi scanner to make a two megapixel digitization. I swear one day I’m going to write a book about digression.
If I don’t get on the ball and organize some photos into a book and write down some first year memories I’m going to forget what happened when. I don’t want to do that. I also don’t want the same fate to befall my other photos. I still have to edit the shots from when my brother and his family came to visit in 2011.
I’m going to have to accept that not every photo op produces perfection… especially since I’m not being frikkin’ paid for it. Lately I seem to be able to do that. I’m actually kind of enjoying the snaps that don’t come out right. Besides, there’s value in the bad shots. At the very least, some are good for documentary purposes. Also, some of the photos that initially seem poorly composed or badly posed can be cool. So what if the kid cries? So what if your subject is halfway off the side of the frame. Someone sneezed? Cool. How often do you get a decent shot of that?