This weekend I attended a Christening and took lots of lovely photos of generations of family members that I hope will be treasured forever.
I love my camera. Sorry no, that's not exactly true... I love the fact I can use the camera. It is one of my treasured skills. I often write in my Self Journal about being grateful for having a good eye for a photo.
I ended up getting into photography 9 years ago when my husband was doing wedding photography on the side of his full time job. I was his second shooter and I quickly picked up the lingo, learned the technicalities and started shooting for fun.
Over the years my trusty camera has been the best thing in my media toolkit. In this age of image obsessed social media, I've perfected my style and love to take great photos and video footage that packs a punch. My videos and images have directly helped people win awards, get additional funding for projects and some have even used my footage to propose to their loved ones. Mainly though my camera is used to capture memories for friends and family.
But there's one thing about being a photographer (albeit an amateur one) that really drives me nuts...
"Do you want a photo?"
"No I look awful in photos."
"Go on, I promise it's painless and if you hate it I can delete it."
"Go on then but I always look awful in photos."
"OK so stand this way, raise your chin slightly, keep looking into the lens and I want you to concentrate on thinking about something or someone you really love. Someone who makes you smile and gives you the butterflies when you think of them. Don't tell me who it is, just think about them and how they make you feel."
Show picture on the back of the camera.
"Oh my God! That camera is boss!"
I don't have the heart to say anything back because nobody ever realises how offensive this common exclamation actually is.
If you get a great haircut do you immediately tell the hairdresser their scissors are fantastic?
If you buy a beautiful painting do you gush about the paint brushes or the paint the artist used?
If you listen to Ed Sheeran on spotify do you immediately think his guitar has incredible powers?
Yet when you take photos it's always "That camera is boss!".
It's more than the camera. It's being able to construct the right scene and frame people correctly. It's understanding natural light and its power to make someone look haggard or glowing. It's being an empath and anticipating a moment, a look, an emotion, a smirk, a genuine smile from the eyes - all in just that split second before it actually happens.
Yes, the camera is boss. It was expensive. It should be brilliant.
And you know what? For an amateur I'd say I was pretty brilliant too!
So I'll just shrug it off and be happy I've captured someone at their natural best and be proud when I see them change it to their elusive Facebook profile pic or see it printed and hung on their wall.
PS - to prove a point, some of the images in the gallery here that I've taken were actually shot on an iPhone 6 and iPhone 8. So is it the tools or the artist that's got the skills?