Tuesday, November 2, 2010

D-307 Letting go of perfectionism

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. ~Harriet Braiker

Nikhil suggested I read Cheryl Jacob Nicolai's blog, and although the readers of this blog are probably tired of me mentioning Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai, she has brought a breathe of fresh air into my creative photographic life. If my sole purpose was to read her blog and get it out of the way and look at her pictures I could have had that done in 2 days. I have taken the activity of reading her blog like an assignment. I want to read and reread them until I not only understand them in my head but also with my heart.

The messages are not earth shattering or "breaking the atom" in photographic terms. The messages are good old fashioned, down to earth basics, we, as creatives tend to forget about while learning all the technical stuff and the rules of photography. I mean messages like "In your quest to create the best images you can, don't forget that sometimes it's the snapshots that mean the most" and one of my favorites "Don't worry that you aren't creative enough. Express yourself deeply and allow your work to be what it is."

There are so many many more . . .

She made me step back and consider why I started this photographic journey. Remember why you started?
I started because I wanted to take better pictures of my family and for my family - better pictures for my scrapbooks. That's all I wanted. I wanted to capture my family, interacting, loving, playing and living our not so perfect life.

So, what happens now? I take pictures of my family and if they are not "technically correct" I discard them. I dare not share them with anyone.

Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai made me remember a photo shoot I did of my oldest daughter with her daughter Isabella in September 9, 2010. After the photo shoot I picked my 4 favorite images and I was done with the rest of the images. I was actually disappointed that Isabella was not cooperating with us and I decided not to edit these images. Last night I wanted to revisit that set of images and behold - the magic of what is the relationship that my daughter has with her child. (for those of you who do not know, my daughter is in the army and was activated several states away - these visits are precious). I stayed up until 3 AM playing with these pictures and time just stood still.

The ones that almost got away - I am absolutely in love with these pictures now
I converted to black and white and added some noise to a few of them.

These almost got deleted
Sandra & Isabella



You can visit my Flickr account for the whole set

So no new pictures taken today just edited today.
Thank you all for visiting and commenting on my blog, I look forward to your comments, suggestions and friendship.


Carolyn Ford said...

I am SO glad you didn't lose these photos...they are beautiful in black and white. Fabulous editing, Sandra! Wow!

Nikhil Ramkarran said...

Wow! Those are photos you were going to throw away?? I started reading Nicolai a little before I started the 365, but it wasn't until I was at least halfway through that I "got" a lot of what she says.

Since I am feeling a bit pinched by the whole photography thing now, and not enjoying it so much, maybe I should go re-read her posts :)

I am glad you got so much out of it though. And more importantly, I'm glad you got these pictures (at least) out of it.

snaphappee said...

These photos are so beautiful, and show so much more of Sandra and Isabella's personalities - I'm so glad you didn't discard them! Actually, I don't know how these ones made it into the "substandard" pile! You do such beautiful work. I am so often inspired by you!

Leslie said...

This is such a touching post to me. I appreciate you sharing it with us. Love the photos that almost got away...so glad they didn't!!

AB said...

They are great -- all of them

Anonymous said...

I am glad that you were able to keep them and tweak them ;)

Really lovely portraits and like the monochrome conversion on these shots.

Jennifer said...

beautiful, know the feelings with when think pictures are not perfect as you try to expect. glad you went back and find way to fall in love with your beautiful girls' pictures!

I have to admit.. I am stuck with taking pictures.. feel like I was taking boring pictures. No motives.
Many different reasons. Not meant to ignore photo group in that way.

Felt like people have things can use with camera while I don't have a studio. I know it not true. Just how I felt.

Other main reason.. I don't have exciting to take pictures. kids and other people to practice other than Myself, Mo and rocky.

I often try work on Mo to take me out to places.. just for fun to take pictures.. not happen. Think has do with motives.

Andrey Dorokhov said...

Beautiful people!


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