What if I told you I like it when an image is a little off? As in, it’s sorta blurry in a dream-world way. Perhaps a bit off kilter in the way it was framed and the horizon lines are wonky? Or important parts like the top of the head or a hand was cropped out of the frame. What would you think of me as a photographer?

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“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”

― Dalai Lama XIV

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I will admit that sometimes I simply see in color and in light. It’s much more about shapes and forms then it is about the subject. It’s about feeling the moment, no matter how fleeting that might be.  I admit that sometimes, it is truly about trial and error.  And the results are happy accidents. But if I don’t shoot in crappy light situations, how am I going to get better when shooting in ‘perfect’ light situations.

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Photo credit goes to my 5 year old son. The world from his eye level is different and fascinating.

I have been taking cues from my kids lately as well. They both have been begging to use my cameras and (for better or worse) I have handed them my film camera and let them go for it. Seeing the world from their perspective and interests is fascinating as much as it is educational. It is truly interesting to flip through the photographs, fresh from the lab, and smiling at what they shot. They remind me to keep moving and adjusting within space – a different point of view is refreshing.

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Photo credit goes to my 3.5 year old daughter. Girlfriend captured some mean leading lines here.

When I shoot film, I feel much more open to breaking the rules.  I think it might be in part because digital has allowed all of us to become uber perfectionists during the post processing portion of the craft.  Film gives me freedom to shoot and not “chimp” to just go with my gut and find the moment, the light, and break some rules. Don’t get me wrong, I get a little wacky-excited when an image comes back with amazing light and focus (case in point below).  It’s just another place where the lines are blurred, finding that balance between seeking perfection and completely throwing caution to the wind and just shooting.

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*All images were taken with my Minolta SRT, 35mm SLR camera, 50mm 1.8, 100 ISO, color film

Keep finding the light, Vanessa