In July, I started to teach myself photography with a digital camera. I called the whole process the Learning Curve. I'm up to Day 27. Originally, I was going to shoot everyday for 30 days -- a crash course. But that didn't happen because I couldn't find people to shoot, or my schedule didn't allow it. I improvised and started to take the camera with me to events I would attend and shoot there. It's been enjoyable. I'm grateful for all the support I've received during the process. There are a few people who have been very influential to my photography and those I know I will create beautiful art with in the future -- Thank you. And I have to thank my friends who always seem to end up in my photos...
What's happened since I started? Well, a few days ago, I entered the One Life Photo competition. It's definitely worth a shot. The judging takes place in November. Grand prize is a choice between $25,000 or a trip around the world! Prior to this competition, I entered the BK Loves MJ photo contest held by Spike Lee/40 Acres and won! I was pleasantly surprised and touched that my favorite photo of a brother and sister is the image that won the competition for me. The day I went to the 40 Acres office in Fort Greene to pick up my prize, I ran into Michelle, a woman I met the first day I started shooting. It's amazing how things come full circle.
I didn't know what I was doing when I took this photo of Michelle. I was really trying to capture her smile and expression and thought I "messed up". But the longer I looked at it, the more I liked it. And now I capture moments like that one purpose. Many of my photos have motion blur. I love the way it appears as though you can see someone's energy trail, their aura or the energy of a moment. Especially when I'm shooting at events or performers. These are still shots, but I still want the viewer to feel the motion when they view it. I also like to shoot the people attending the event - events at the event. All aspects are part of photo essays I create. So to say I've found my style or can identify my style would be correct.
I sometimes feel guilty that I've neglected my writing for the photography, but I have to remind myself that it all goes together in the grand scheme of my creative happiness. Hopefully photography will teach me some business savvy that I just haven't been able to grasp with my writing. I've been inspired by a few of my own images to write again. I'm not sure how far I'll go with it, but I have a small number of photos which a friend told me would be a great exhibit on the mating habits/rituals in today's society. I used a cropped, B&W version of the first one I took in my book and on my website. Here's the original:
I've dubbed the series "Bed" or "After" -- with men and bed, yeah... it inspired some stories.
I probably will stop posting photos once I reach Day 30, or definitely post less of them. Unless I learn a new, simpler way to post the photos (I just don't understand how to use simpleviewer), it will be easier to just post one or two images on in my Learning Curve album on Facebook and be done with it. I'll never stop with the Self Portraitry. Shooting at events is fun but I'm gonna scale back because 1) I need to start getting paid for it; it's so much more than just point and shoot and 2) I miss shooting one-on-one. I enjoyed spending time with whomever I was shooting and drawing out their emotions and quirks. Photography is another form of storytelling that I will master.