Yesterday I did something I haven’t done in almost a year: I whipped out my DSLR.
I used it (mostly in auto mode) to take a few clunky self-portraits for my upcoming vegan lipstick post (look for it this week!) and ended up making a fairly crude home “studio.”
What can I say? I caught a bit of a photography bug.
Who would have thought shitty selfies would awaken something in me? I’m not going to lie: ever since I bought the camera I’ve had a weird case of Impostor Syndrome regarding it — I’ve never been particularly adept at picking up photography, and every time people (especially my sister) sit down to try to teach me something, it honestly goes in one ear and out the other.
I’m not very good at learning things when someone is merely talking “to” me — I tend to learn best through dialogue and exploration together, which is why my educational path was definitely more on the humanities side of things (although, don’t ask me why, I have a huge passion for stats and still like to “practice” data management constantly). Although photography is an art, it’s also highly technical, so it’s harder for me to adapt or make sense of instructions or concepts given.
I’m sure I’ve frustrated many photographers who have merely tried their best!
Anyway, the absolute best advice I’ve been given is to just pick it up, shoot, and keep trying, learn through experiencing and learn through critiquing my own work. The same goes for Photoshop and other editing tools.
After I took my self-portraits I decided to go over to my recently baked set of cookies and think, “How can I photograph these?” I won’t spoil it ’cause the end result is coming to the blog next week, but let me tell you — it went well, and that confidence kept building.
I’ve spent all morning thinking about photography, really really thinking about it. Where, in my crowded apartment with fairly limiting light, can I set up a makeshift photo “studio” for my food pics? What tools can I use? I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve, and you may notice (I’m being optimistic here) a few nicer pics around the blog in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, I’ve also started a photography “to-do” list in my goal book (I may write a post about my goal book soon — I have a very interesting relationship with it). I’ve also decided it’s finally the time to do a 365 photo challenge of, well, self-portraits.
Why, you may ask? I recently got called out on having too many selfies on my Instagram, and, feeling upset and embarrassed, reacted by pulling almost every selfie in the past six months off my profile.
But I do want to remember things, and be able to look back at myself on days, whether important, unimportant, mundane or strange. I’m getting older — not old, just older — and I feel more possessive of the time that is passing me by. I don’t have (and won’t be having) children, but I really feel the need to have something to look back at. When I’m older, I’m certain that I’ll wish I hadn’t spent so much time worrying about what I looked like, what I wore, how I felt, etc.
The best day to start it would obviously be Saturday — my 27th birthday. Now, keep in mind I’ve never even successfully completed a 30-day photo challenge before. But this year I’ve gotten way better at sticking to my goals. I doubt I’ll post photos every day, but maybe I’ll do round-ups every week or every few weeks. Who knows? I’m not one to set “reasonable” goals because I hate selling myself short. So I’ll set a goal that’s a little out there.
Maybe I’ll surprise myself.