Is my pursuit for great blog photos stopping me from taking pictures in the first place?
It's a question I found myself pondering the other day as I browsed through some pics from last year. I used to take an awful lot of photos of my kids and I would never have dreamed of editing them before sharing with friends and family but now I find myself holding back from taking a photo if the light isn't great, or the background is too messy. I often find that I want to edit out a dark smudge here, or add a filter there and although I don't edit any features on my children I find myself wanting to tweak the contrast, colour and clarity of nearly all the photos I take.
And I find myself hitting delete if a particular photo isn't up to my exacting standards.
I wonder if I am throwing away mementos that I would want to look back on when I'm older. Or worse, that the kids would want to look back on.
Perhaps I was taking too many photos in the first place. Perhaps I am over-thinking things in general! But no matter what, I don't want to be chucking away something that I might regret at a later date.
Part of it is that I have a new camera and am still learning how to get the best out of it. Outside, with time and concentration I find that I am pleased with the results, but in other situations I am disappointed. I am a perfectionist without the time to pursue perfection right now. I'm learning in most aspects of motherhood to accept what is fabulous about the here and now but when I attempt something for myself, I wish I was able to dedicate more time to be really good at something.
Another part of the problem is an unattractive shade of blog envy. There are some amazing photographers out there, and they're creative, and they can write, and they're successful/stylish/charismatic and probably tons of other things that I wish I could be. Their blogs look amazing and I'd be lying if I didn't want my blog and photos to look good too.
So what can I do about it?
- First I'm going to start taking photos just for the sake of it again, rather than with an aim to share it on social media or here on the blog. They are photos for us to look back on as a family. The kids won't care if the lighting isn't right!
- I vow not to hit delete just because part of the photo is blurry, grainy or messy. If it is a moment worth capturing then I shouldn't throw it away for not being 'perfect'.
- I need to practice, practice, practice with my 'proper' camera rather than reaching for my iphone.
- Finally, I need to stop comparing myself unfavourably to others. Blogging and the photography that goes with it is a hobby, not a competition. I know that and need to remind myself when I feel gloomy and low on confidence.