I am a scrapbooker and I have an expensive camera. I know how to frame a shot and press the shutter. I know to avoid direct sunlight. I know what open shade is. I understand depth of field, more or less.
I never shoot on manual. I rely on actions to improve my images. The reason I am telling you this is that just because I’m not some highly paid professional photog doesn’t mean I can take an awesome snapshot of someone and make something special with it.
If you’re the family photog, chances are you get asked all the time, “Hey (insert name here), can your bring your camera to (insert event here)?”
Yep. It’s the curse of owning a camera that likely cost more than your entire shoe collection.
I’m happy to bring my camera along. So often I end up leaving it home these days, but if asked directly, I usually comply.
Such was the case a few weekends ago to celebrate the recent wedding of my friend Christine Teel (I call her CT), and her new hubby, Brian. CT is the person responsible for introducing me and Dan back in 1989. She and Dan were friends from high school. In fact, they dated for a while and were voted “Biggest Punksters.”
I met CT in French class at the University of Texas–Arlington in 1986. One day she was called on to stand up and say something about herself. “J’aime la musique du David Bowie,” she said, and I thought, “I can get with that.” A friendship was born.
CT and I spend our latter college years hitting the clubs of Big D (Dallas, Texas). Deep Ellum was our new wave stomping ground. We filled our days with cheap beer, alternative music and Kodak T-Max film. I used her for nearly every photo assignment I had in my various journalism and photography classes. She was the coolest chick on film in all of North Central Texas. My Nikon F3 loved her.
When it came time to graduate, CT, originally from Winnipeg, decided she was going to move back to Minneapolis where she had gone to high school. At that time, her boyfriend and a guy named Dan Zielske were going to drive down to help her move back up North. She told me, “Oh, you’ll LOVE my friend, Dan.” Truer words were never spoken. But back to the story at hand.
I arrived before the party started to snap a few shots of the newlyweds. It was very casual. I had them stand here. I had them sit there. I took about 20 photos. Done and done. Throughout the night, I snapped a few more shots of friends, croquet games, drinks, flowers, etc. Just enough to capture the essence of the night.
When I got home and looked through the photos, I found a couple nice shots of CT and Brian and then hit them with a few Totally Rad Actions. Then I made one set of 8 x 10 Signature Prints from Artifact Uprising. I think the results are really cool.
The thing I love about these is that they are not professional photos. They are the result of me looking through a lens and taking a few shots. I also love the idea of giving people the gift of a photograph. Something tangible and more substantial than just a 4 x 6 print.
The best part of all of it? She loved them.
And that’s good enough for me.
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