February 4, 2011
In the world of photography, there is a bit of debate surrounding the quality vs. quantity issue.
I am totally TEAM QUANTITY.
I think it's reasonable to see why. By taking lots and lots of pictures, I ensure that I have plenty to work with. The last thing you want to wind up doing is missing out on a great "shot" that you really wanted because you only tried once, and some one's eyes or closed or averted or your focus isn't quite right. It is my opinion that you cannot take 27 pictures on Christmas morning or your child's birthday or your family trip to Disney World, and expect great memories. No siree.
My advice to you all is to get that camera out. Use it. Sure, take pictures of the obvious, of the moments that make sense. But, then, stretch yourself to take pictures of things you normally would not. Your children doing day-to-day activities. Have you ever taken pictures of your kids at the table eating? Brushing their teeth? Working on homework or coloring? Take pictures of subjects other than people. Scenery. Signs. Flowers. Take pictures of it all.
So, in thinking about increasing your picture quantity, here's the caveat- please, please, please make your camera accessible to you. What does this mean? You tell me.
Is your camera in a nice sturdy case enclosed by buckles and zippers and hidden under a stack of blankets on the coat closet shelf high enough to require a chair to reach it? Not a good place.
Make the decision to take your camera out and set it on the counter or coffee table or fireplace mantle in the morning. A camera in arms reach is so much more useful than a camera on lock down, military-style. So obvious, yet so aha moment, right?? This is a great first step to committing to take pictures more frequently. Trust me.
When I had both of my babies, my camera was always on my nightstand. I didn't want to miss one important moment, day or night. It just grew from there. In making this a part of your daily activity, you may or may not become a crazy camera lady like me, but that's OK. There are support groups for that. Keep.it.accessible.
I digress. Back to quantity- by taking lots and lots of pictures, not only does it give you your best chance for success during editing, printing, sharing, or whatever it is that you do with your pictures, it also helps you learn and grow as a photographer. I think this is the most important argument for quantity...
Quantity is not only about the numbers. The more pictures you take, the more you understand... your camera, your subjects, your surroundings. Make sense? Taking lots of pictures affords you the opportunity to play around with your angles, lighting, posing, etc. Theoretically, the more you understand, the better your quality will become. It's a circle, you see?
Sure, there are certain moments that won't stand still for you and your photography desires- I get it. Blowing out the birthday candles, first kiss at a wedding... they only happen once. But, there are so, so many other instances where you have much, much more flexibility. Use it to your advantage!
I could keep rambling on, but I think I've made my point. Next time you are taking pictures... of anything... when you think you are done, take a few more. Play around. See what happens.
To Review (i.e. your challenge at this time, should you choose to accept it):
1. Make your camera accessible.
2. Stretch yourself to take more pictures than you are used to.
Let me know how it goes!