Your everyday life should be photographed

Adding to this, everyone should be able to photograph their regular life. The day-to-day is when the really magical but forgettable moments happen. It's impractical to call a photographer friend and be like "oh hey, hi, it's me, do you think you can get here in the next 3 minutes for a 6.5 minute session? 'Preciate'cha." But it is completely within your power to grab a camera and make some memories on your own. Better yet, grab a film camera.

Oh, I always have my phone on me! ;)

Not. The. Same. Thing. When people photograph with their phones (and to a large degree, fancy modern mirrorless cameras via the Live View), they cease to participate and struggle to see. The last time you took photos of your one year old sitting on the couch, you took 600. And they all sit on your phone at best only to be reviewed when Siri pops them up in the randomized memory maker OR you finished and sat there and culled 599 of them for 10 minutes while your brain left the reality it was living in. That is not the point of self-documenting your life. The point is to be able to snap a moment in one or two tries, accept what you got, and then hop right back into living. I believe, more than anything, that is why we love old photos. Each photo was taken with a purpose because it was too expensive to do anything else. Limitations are the source of creativity and accepting imperfections in your reality are their own form of beauty.

But wait, I'm not a film photographer!

I hear this type of comment a lot, and I know where it's rooted. I felt that way once too. The internet has made it seem hip and trendy and nuanced and hard to shoot film. However, once I started shooting film, I realized quickly that it's not rocket science (and I'm married to a rocket scientist). Taking it a step further, it used to be the only documentation tool for the masses barely 30 years ago. Everyone took photos on film or didn't take any at all. We haven't devolved so far as a species in 30 years to make us incapable, en masse, of doing something that was once a given. That's like saying once autonomous vehicles finally are perfected that we will no longer be capable of driving a car for ourselves. We may not want to, but we won't be incapable.

Ok fine, but why film? Can I do it with my digital camera?

For sure. For sure for sure. I'm advocating for you to take one more limiting step than you currently do to break up your routine. If that means picking up your digital camera you never use, do that. If it means picking up a film camera, do that. What I like about a film camera, especially medium format, is that I have a finite number of images. It both makes me be a little more intentional with shots AND provides a de-facto stopping point. There's a clear end. When it's over, I put it down and move on. If you do this with 35mm rolls, you'll probably have 36 or 24 frames before the end. Maybe that's perfect for you. I like even fewer frames (underachiever, heyyyo), so if I shoot medium format (120) I'm getting a max of 16 images, maybe less. The exercise is quicker and more manageable for me this way.

Do as I do and as I say

I absolutely do this frequently in my own life. It's a processing mechanism for my reality. It's therapy. It's fun. It only takes me 5 minutes and then I'm back to whatever is going on in the rest of my life or I hop back into the activity and participate myself. The images below I shot with a Pentax 645n, Pentax 67 105 lens adapted for the 645, Kodak Gold 200, and self scanned with Negative Lab Pro using my z7ii. It wasn't a particularly special day. It was a Sunday, and my husband and daughter were painting a bird house in the shape of a rocket we got from Hobby Lobby underneath our deck. They're not all bangers, but quite a few of them are framers. One, in particular, is an instant classic. My keep-rate was 14/16 frames too which never happens with my digital camera. And when I need a pick-me-up, need to remember what Autumn in December felt like during that time we lived in Austin, TX as a young family, I can look at these and time travel back to my present that would've at best been remembered only in the nebulous abstract and at worst forgotten completely.

Want to learn how to do this?

Feel free to drop by an Office Hours some time and I'm happy to get ya kicked off for free. It's a thing I do for fun, because I love intermixing community with photography and meeting new people.