One of the things I love about photography is that there is always something you can learn. That's one reason I spend so much time reading blogs and watching Youtube videos. One video I watched recently was a presentation at B&H Photo by Jeff Cable, a great photographer and fantastic photography educator. In the video, he told the audience this:
"The camera sees both ways."
What does that mean? It means that the skills, attitude, enthusiasm and energy of the photographer has a massive impact on the quality of the photographs taken. Some people might argue that there's no connection between what the photographer is thinking and feeling and the end result, and I get it. If you're shooting landscapes or architecture and working alone, then skills, experience and technology are by far the bigger part of the equation. But if you're shooting people, it's another story. People feed off of the enthusiasm of the photographer. If you look and act like you'd rather be somewhere else, you'll never get he best out of your models, whether they're professionals or just guests at a wedding,
But that should be obvious, isn't it? Everybody knows that the way you interact with people affects their performance. I don't feel I need to argue that. The point I'd rather make is that as a photographer, your enthusiasm influences the way you work, how hard you work, how many setups you take, how far you're willing to walk to a difficult location, how fast you're willing to run to get there in time for the action and even how early you're willing to wake up.
If you want to capture beautiful images, whether you're a pro or just an enthusiast, you've got to go out of your way to capture the best images.. More importantly, you've got to be willing to try your best and still go home with nothing interesting. While I usually come back with something I like, some of my pictures are better than others and, indeed, there are times when I come back, review what I've shot and say "Yuck!" But if the location is promising, I'll go back. Maybe for sunrise, maybe for sunset, maybe in the middle of the night if that's the best time to get the shot I want.
So, to recap...no, the camera isn't alive and can't see what you're thinking or feeling, but the people around you can, and so can you, and that makes all the difference in your work.
Thanks for reading.
My simple blog about the art and science of photography.