So, every photographer has struggled with an area or areas of their work. Someone who says otherwise is only fooling themselves. We are human and we cannot be perfect at everything. I know I struggle with a lot of things. I have never formally been trained as a photographer. Everything I know to do I have learned on my own either by training myself or by accident. However, there are some areas that I still struggle with and may always struggle with. Two of the biggest areas I struggle with are Black and White photography, and portrait sessions.
You would think Black and White Photography would be easy. Just point and shot, right? That is not the case. You are dealing with a limited amount of color. You need to make sure the scene you are taking the photo for would be a good candidate. The contrast between black and white is very important. My problem is I cannot envision it. I have a hard time seeing past the color and what it would look like in Black and White. People who accel at this form of art can see it the moment they lay their eyes on it, and maybe in the future, once I have more practice I can too. But that is a very big Maybe. I have already decided that this may not be an area I will ever truly be good at. Now don’t get me wrong I do have a few good Black and White Photos. One of my favorite black and white photos is a glass hummingbird hanging from a pine tree in the winter. Now as you can expect there was not a lot of color for that scene, and I could tell this would be a good image for black and white. Others, I have experimented with in Photoshop to see if they would be good as black and white. But that was not the main intent when I was taking the photograph. I had read a blog about a photographer who takes photos of buildings. People asked him why they were always in black and white and not color photos. His answer was why, take color photos of something that is already black and white. That made a lot of sense to me, why make something it is not already. Now in these instances, if I notice most of the colors in the photo are already black and white say a rock cropping then I take it in black and white. Now say there were colorful flowers around it the contract between the flowers, and the black and white rocks would make me take the photo in color. This is something I would love to find a local class on and see if I could improve my talent.
So, most people ask me when they see my photographs do you do portraits? I always answer no, I am an introvert at heart, people scare me and make me nervous. But doing a portrait session stress me out, and is not fun. Photography for me is fun and a stress relief so why would I want to do anything that changes that? I did do one session this fall, with a friend and her kids. The photos turned out well, but I told her ahead of time. You come up with the poses and scenes you want and I will take the pictures. I did offer a few suggestions and changes some of them up so that the photographs turned out better. These kinds of sessions are not so bad, but if someone was paying me to do it I would be nervous as heck. I do know one thing weddings are out. I don’t mind taking pictures if I am a guest at the wedding I don’t feel the need to make sure I get a photograph of everything. But it would bother me to be paid for it, I would be extremely afraid that I would miss that one photograph that they wanted. It is not like you can do it again like a portrait session. The struggle in this area is not so much the talent of doing it as it is the fear of doing it. This is something I probably struggle with no matter how much I do it, and since I don’t find it fun I will probably never do portrait sessions except for close friends and family.
I would love to hear from you, comment on what your struggles you have with photography.