Thursday 15 March 2007

In praise of the snap

It's so easy for the keen photographer to fall into the trap of only taking "important" photographs.

We get up at stupid times, drive for miles and wait patiently for the light to be right for that important shot, we then spend ages converting and managing our images to produce the result we want. But, in 10 years time, will these shots be close to our hearts? I doubt it.

We spend hours setting up home studios, to get stunning images of a model we don't really know or a beautiful still life that looks good on the wall. Will we ever clutch these images to ourselves and smile? I don't think so.

We grab the camera and take a snap of a loved one, who is just being themselves. The lighting is rubbish, the background cluttered and you didn't even hold the camera straight. Is this an important picture? You betcha.

The shots that really mean a lot to us will be the snaps of those we love, or a few grabbed shots of a happy time. Holiday snaps act as a postcard to our future selves, sending us messages of great times and golden memories. A single snap of a lost loved one can mean so much more than a hundred "fine-art" prints.

There is nothing wrong with striving to produce the finest shots you can, but don't forget to take a few snaps while your won't regret it.

To be honest, I had real trouble finding images to illustrate this article. I had plenty of snapshots that are important to me but most of them were so personal that I didn't feel happy about sharing them on the web. So here is a snap that is important to me:

It is a picture of the day we picked up our rescue dog "Smudge" from her foster home. We often look at it to remind ourselves of the state she was in when we got her and how much she has progressed and changed. It will never win any awards or competitions... but it is very important to us.

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