Tuesday 24 September 2013

Say cheese!

I hate getting my photo taken. Well actually, it's not the process of getting snapped I don't like, it's the fact I'm not very photogenic and end up looking some some crazy scrubber on the sidelines. Not cool. I could probably step it up in terms of increasing my chances of a good shot, but frankly I'm too lazy. I don't know my 'good side.' I don't know what the best poses are to make. Open mouth smile or closed lips? No idea. I don't own a good camera. I'm not on Instagram and don't know how to add nice borders. I haven't a clue how to use groovy techniques on my phone to change the lighting to make me look good. And I most certainly have not perfected the art of taking a selfie, because I do not have time to take selfies. But I am fine with all of this. Sure, I'd love to have some smokin' hot mama pics of myself lying around or plastered on Facebook, but it's never really been on my list of priorities...until now.

It occurred to me recently, that in this present day there should be no such thing as a 'bad photo.' Long gone are the days of snapping blindly and then anxiously picking up your prints to check how many of them are blurry and feature shut eyes. Technology is smarter than it's ever been and the tools for capturing and creating the best photos are available to basically everyone - they're not just for fancy magazine airbrush wizards anymore, they're right here at my fingertips but I'm not using them. Who is though, are savvy ten year-olds, groovy grandmas and everyone in between - particularly the younger generation.

Ok, so big deal right? Well sure except it means that in the future when my children look back at records of this time, it will appear that everyone was seriously good looking - except their mum! Sorry kids, I wasn't totally bad looking I promise - ask your Dad! If you're looking average in photos when every single other person is channelling professional models, it seems a little off though right? Photos just aren't real anymore.

I look at photographs in the media and online on things like Facebook and think, is that real? I don't get excited as much as I used to when I see a great photo anymore, it reeks of effects. On the flip side, the positives of all of this is that on average people are recording way more still and moving footage now - everyone is a budding photographer or filmographer these days. Everyone except me that is! I grew up in a family where my parents were obsessed with taking family videos and photos, yet sadly I struggle to do the same even though the desire is there.

Now that I've got children I worry all the time about recording memories with photos and home movies. We have a video camera and a camera, but every time we go to grab them they either need to be charged or the memory card's full. So I end up grabbing my iPhone instead. The quality is of course pretty good on iPhones, but when you take into account it's me taking the footage, well, it ends up being really crap.

I've therefore decided that over the next few months I'm going to set myself a little mission. I'm going to make a conscious effort to up the ante on photography - for my sake and my children's. I'm going to:

1) try and become better at taking photos
2) buy a really good camera
3) make sure our video and still cameras are always charged and full of memory
4) take my cameras everywhere and make sure I use them at functions
5) learn how to do a few editing tricks (without turning the photos into fictional works of art)
6) back up and store all my photos and footage properly on a hard drive
7) actually print really good shots and frame them
8) start making cool photobooks to keep and show the kids
9) have home movie screening sessions at home with the children

So look out world! Super hot photos of me and my life coming soon to a computer near you...

Do you suck at taking or having your photo taken?

photo credit: Lotus Carroll via photopin cc

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