Prom, it’s filled with stress, anxiety, and excitement. All three were in attendance as the looming day came upon us. Prom has always been something for the girls. So it only makes sense to go in attendance with some of your closet friends. As the school year winds down to an end, it only becomes clearer that soon you’ll be leaving the comfort of home. That single night serves as a sort of last hurrah between you and the people you have spent the last four years of your life with.
Although some girls take the entire day to prep for those few hours, I was too lazy to start until around 3:00, which of course added to my stress since my group was arriving around 6:00. But we made it to dinner on time, even through all of the mishaps that happened along the way. Some of which included me running late, and one girls dressing snagging on a corner and ripping all the way up her leg.
Strangely enough the theme of the dance was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Weird, but it somehow worked. The invitations were Wonka chocolate bars and each held a golden ticket. The venue was of course all sorts of cliche, balloon arches, a photo booth, confetti cannons that shot off when prom king and queen were announced, and balloons that fell from the ceiling shortly after. But as soon as you stepped onto the dance floor you all but forgot that you were at a high school prom as you tried to maneuver through the throngs of sweaty bodies.
But the night doesn’t end when the dance does. Afterwards, everyone in the pictures and a few stranglers got together for a bonfire. There were s ‘mores, “scary” stories, and movies. It was a nice way to spend time with the people you’re closest with. While also being a bit nostalgic, the night served as a reminder that soon everything is going to change. I’ll be off to college, and so will all of my friends, some the same and some different. It was a reminder that I’m growing up, you can’t stop the hands on the clock, or rewind, all you an do is hold your head up and take the change is stride. Because although it holds the unknown, the future holds a plethora of great moments waiting to be experienced.
I’ve been asked many times as to what I “shoot” with and I am always tempted to vary my answer based on the question, but since the question is so general, I will give the most simplistic answer that I can. When I first started out, my dad gave me an Olympus E-500 along with the kit lens. Soon after, I ended up upgrading the kit lens to a Zuiko 50mm f/2.0 because naturally, I loved macro, and the reviews on the lens were excellent in regards to portrait usage. I didn’t have a flash for it at the time, so it was just the E-500 and 50mm at my disposal with a 500w softbox. These pairings gave me, what I personally felt was one of the best photos that I took during my first year as a professional photographer.
Shortly after a month or two I realized that I just simply loved portraits. Maybe that’s the reason why I also love macro. It’s the combination of isolation and attention to the primary subject that drew me in; even though I would try to take a full body shot of people, I was really bothered by the busyness of the image as a whole. Realizing that I was sensitive to the face and expressions more than anything, I began to just focus on what I liked rather than the picture as a whole.
I recently came across a user on DPReview.com who likes making comments about others in a very technical, emotional, and manic way. I don’t know what he does or what credentials he has, but he has over 23,000 posts on the forums. If you post that much then you either should be a professor or you’re someone who takes minimal photos with hardly any experience at all. This user made an attack on me stating, “A good portrait photographer (a real artist) knows that, and that’s why 99% of the real artists use stopped down lenses and selects the background accordingly so that it is not disturbing, or invisible if needed.” Just by making that statement we can assume that he is in fact no “real artist.”
When reaching the level of being an artist, we have a mutual respect among each other, recognizing that there are no rules when it comes to art. His view of what makes an artist real or what qualities a true artist possess has no meaning in regards to art, it only defines and sheds light upon his massive ego. He also made another remark of, “Why? Does the truth hurt? Could you please explain what is a personal attack in the above sentence? Isn’t composition a VERY important part of photography, ESPECIALLY for an artist?” Again, composition is subjective so how can it be within his school of thought to set the rules for the entire general public.
By rule of what this user states, one can assume that a real artist should only be recognized according to his rules. If they don’t meet the criteria he has provided, you must not be a real artist. Well heck, let’s just remove 99% of all works of art because they don’t meet this person’s standards.
An Important Message From Me To Everyone
Don’t let anyone tell you about your art, regardless of if you are a photographer or not. We all have different styles and approaches to art. Anyone can be a photographer. All you have to do is pick up a camera of any make/model and shoot at least once. To be an artist is different, but there are no rules to art so stop listening to what anyone else deems acceptable. Just do it because it moves, and express yourself in a manner that frees you as a person. It’s also not a bad idea to ask for advice, but don’t take photo critiques and apply it to all of your photos.
Remember, your photo is of your own creation. If I looked at 100 random photos and picked out three that I knew were yours, then you’ve made your mark. It’s your signature! So please… stay away from this dangerous form of advice known as the “The Virus.” Eventually you will get caught up and lose yourself and your art will be their art, not your own.
Bruce Lee said it best, “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.” His own heritage stopped him from teaching his own style of Kung Fu, but he defied it and opened minds like a wild fire. Be remembered for your struggles and triumphs, not the negative ideals thrust upon you by others.
I recently attended an anime convention at the National Harbor. The event is Katsucon 2014, and it was the 20th anniversary. It was a pretty cool experience and I got to take a lot of photos. This was a real test for my new Sony a7 with the 35mm. I also brought my Olympus E-M5 with the Leica 50mm attached. What a beautiful combination to have and I think it was the perfect gear for that day. Full coverage here!
Thank you for all of the love and support from my fans and clients. I started my professional photography venture in 2008 and it’s been five years strong. This year will bring some amazing and exciting opportunities!