I have now been a photographer for four years. I started age 14 with a Nikon D3100, I bought it because I’d see these beautiful photos online and in magazines, and I always thought with the right camera and the perfect setting anyone could take an amazing photo.
I am the youngest of 5 and a Auntie to 7 and at the time I wanted a camera so I was able to capture them all growing up and have lovely photos of them.
From the moment I got the D3100 out of the box I realised there was a lot more to the perfect photo than a nice camera. There were a lot of buttons on the camera and I only knew what two of them were (on and off!) I did soon get use to the buttons on the camera and how some affected light and which one made the shutter speed faster, I leant the things anyone could learn.
The more I photographed the more I realised that not having a clue what the majority of the buttons did didn’t matter any more.
Photography starts before you touch the metal round button that takes the photo, it’s before you change the ISO, sutter speed, aperture and zoom, its even before you pick it up from hanging around you neck. Photography is listening to 3 different conversations all at once, not because you are nosey but because you’re waiting to hear when the punch line of the joke that the drunk father is saying, because you know at that point everyone will be laughing and you’ll capture a moment in time that they’ll look back and laugh again saying ‘I wonder what you said then!’ It’s listening to that conversation whilst hearing another where the mother of the flower girl is asking her husband if he has seen their little girl, that’s when you hunt quickly with your eyes and find her under a table eating the wedding cake. It’s hearing the Bride say ‘thank you for coming’ and quickly turning because you know they’ll be a hug about to happen. It’s knowing because of the other 40 weddings you’ve shot so far this year when a Bride says she needs something you get it for her because she’ll then relax enabling you to photograph a natural happy bride. It’s using your wisdom in the art to know when to ask people to do something because you know the perfectness of the photo you can then capture. Photography is taking every moment and making it look like a memory.
” Henri Cartier-Bresson called it “The decisive moment”, some call it being in the right place at the right time, others might call it being lucky. I call it “awareness”. If a photographer is aware of his/her surroundings, has immersed themselves in the atmosphere enough, and has enough experience of the situation they are in to predict the next move then they are more likely to capture that moment. – Mark Gawthorne ”
One of my nephews that was a guest at one of my 2014 weddings. Photo taken by my assistant Amy without me realising.