Post Title. 04/30/2008

Personal Photography

That refers to the kind of photography you do for yourself.  I do not quite like the word amateur: it seems to mean that you are a non-professional who has not learned the ropes yet. 

In the yesteryears, at least in my country, photography as a hobby was time consuming; it grew costlier as the years passed. If you are someone who prefers to make your own black and white prints in your own studio-however small that may be, then these words will have no meaning for you. However, if you have an artist in you repressed and suppressed by the rigours of making a living (you may have made a fortune through your labours, but do you have enough time to yourself?), then you might want to consider taking up photography as a serious hobby.

Sounds a little contradictory, doesn't it? - 'serious hobby'- after all, hobbies are supposed to be fun. What I mean is that in today's world, it is important that you WILL yourself to have fun.  Imagine a morning when you are going out for work washing down the half chewed toast with a mug of coffee and - well, you know what I mean.  Would you remember to get your sketchbook or camera with you?  Doubtful.  On your way to work if all you have on your mind is work, then you will probably not notice the cute litte boy lost in the scenery outside as the train rushes ahead, or the plump street cat eyeing you thoughtfully from the top of a packing box... When you are back home and tired, all you want to do is rest and - yes - get back to work!

Like I said, you simply must WILL yourself to have fun.  You have a mobile phone like most people.  That phone probably has a built in camera. You probably have a personal computer.  Why not make it a point to (1) forget work when you are not working and look around yourself and (2) when you find something that catches your fancy, just click it!  Come home and feed the photos into your computer and see how nice it was.  You can even design a photo diary for the hours you never even noticed earlier.

Teach yourself to look: and surely you will like something.  The upside of technology is that now you can capture that pleasant moment forever.  And guys, I wouldn't recommend clicking every woman you saw and calling it your personal photography: you would surely get bored in a short while.  On the other hand, provided your 'models' don't sue you for voyeurism, you could actually get a whole album of women (or people in general) in various different moods.  This, again, could make for an interesting study.

The whole point of Personal Photography is that you do it for yourself, in your own time - after having WILLED yourself to find time.  If you, for example, wanted to make a business out of selling your photos, you would be clicking for others, and worrying about what might look or might now.  In brief, your efforts, unless you were totally confident of your abilities to shoot great photos, would spoil your fun completely.  This is fine for making money, and you could always get there.  Right here, right now, if photography is not your profession, I would recommend a camera phone, minimum 1.23 megapixel if you want to get decent prints, and a promise to yourself that you are going to have fun when you are not working. Go for it and see if it doesn't feel good!