Lesson 03: Current Photography Approach

Welcome to Lesson 03 in the In My Pocket class! Today I want to share with you my approach for photography this year.

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At the beginning of each year is a great time to ask just a couple of questions related to your photography. I want you to be able to expand your own photography and push yourself to use your camera and grow your skills. I love that this project gives a great place to include all the random and specific photos and it gives a great motivation to take photos on a regular basis. This is a gift to us – a gift of our identity and our memories. Who we are.

Above anything else at all, I want you to embrace wherever you are right now in your photography. Whatever it looks like today, even if you are only able to take photos today, embrace that. No matter what your equipment, no matter what your editing looks like, love what you have today and what you are able to accomplish today. I promise if you look back you will see your own growth in photography so be proud of that!

I think each and every one of us is somewhere in the process of learning photography and memory keeping, and there is no specific destination.

At this stage, identify the equipment you are using. What is the camera you most use for your documenting? How many cameras are contributing in some way to your memory keeping? Do other family members take photos and do you include those in your albums? Sometimes other people lend a fabulous different lens in their photos.

Assess what your goals are in photography. Are you looking to add to your equipment? Are you looking at learning new methods? What can you do to work towards those goals?

In the end, no matter what tools you use, no matter what your goals are, those are not as important as what you are actually capturing and what you actually have. Don’t get so bogged down in technical aspects that you forget to notice how precious your photos are today.

I also want you to sit down and walk through your photos and albums and list some of your favorites. I listed my Halloween photos in the video above, and you are probably all familiar with the dining room photos and the street photos outside my front door – those are my go-to photos that I take over and over again. They capture growth, changes, seasons, changes that I otherwise might look right past!

What is so awesome about pocket pages is the ability to capture our every day life. Nothing staged here, nothing has to be fancy or elaborate. You don’t have to live a super rich life to do this. The stack of laundry tells a story. The medications you take every morning tell a story. Our kitchen tells a story. For me this is a kind of more realistic photo-documenting. For some folks, they travel a lot and find themselves in different places and circumstances and this is also a fantastic place for those awesome memories! Whatever your life is like, it won’t be like this forever so grab it!

My most important priority in memory keeping is capturing our relationships. Especially our relationships to each other, but this can also include our relationships to places and things as well. Sit down for yourself and think about what your priorities are in photography. Relationships are a great prompt – family relationships, marriage, children, parents. Our relationships to thing – the things around us that help us feel connected to ourselves and to each other. How we have dinner around the same table year after year. How we make others feel loved. Our relationships to places can be particularly powerful. What I see when I stand on my front porch. What I see when I travel to the coast. How many times I have traveled to the coast and what I experienced in those trips.

One day we will be so glad we took these photos. Even if it feels obsessive at times. Even if we need to take breaks at times. We already have a progression of life documented in some way via our stored photos and via our albums we have already completed. I can look up the street already in 4 years and see change. What change can you see?

When you look at your favorite photos, I want you to think about what makes them your favorites. What is happening in those photos and what is your sentimental attachment to those photos? Especially once we leave a place or when someone leaves us, the sentimental value of that photo multiplies way past the technical aspects.

I want you to practice thinking about these priorities throughout the weeks and months to come. Take the same photos over and over again. Play with your camera settings and see what happens. Make a concerted effort to use your equipment you have and simply play. And smile at all that you have already documented. I want you to feel accomplished, and all the photos you have taken over the years are an amazing accomplishment. Go you!

Let’s move on to the process videos for this lesson.

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