If there is anything photographers can agree on, it’s that we are obsessed with quality. This is a good thing when dealing with business, clients, and even personal projects. How many times though has this caused a glitch in documenting your personal life? I can personally say that I’ve let this get the best of me.
I’m an obsessive person by nature to the point of it being a fault. This has helped me get to where I’m at in a short amount of time, although I’m still never content with where I am in that moment. To a degree, you can feel defeated or even a bit self-conscious when keeping that grainy underexposed image of your mom at a birthday party. Is it really about that though?
I’m 26 years old, so I haven’t had enough life experience to speak for the sake of people with children and grandchildren, but I have lost family members and friends that were important to me. Maybe it’s not even for those types of situations. Maybe it’s your marriage. Don’t you want to remember the good times and even some of the rough patches?
The following shot was taken on my iPhone 7 with some editing done in VSCO. There’s situations that it’s not appropriate or smart to bring my Canon 5D Mark III into, such as being on vacation in Mexico paddling through a cave.
Sometimes you're going to be happy with a keep-sake shot. Sometimes you’re happy with it and hate it later. I took this shot of my wife on Thanksgiving a few years ago, at which point I had only being shooting seriously for a year or so.
Don’t misunderstand me, you can take great and even emotionally moving pictures at home while opening Christmas presents or of a family member that you know you won’t be around much longer. The important thing is to hold on to them. Years from now what’s going to be the most important to anyone emotionally involved with you or your family is the fact that there is a consistent trend of archived images that they can reflect on their lives and even your life.
So keep the blurry shots. Grain is OK this time. Heck, take them on your iPhone if you have to. You don’t have to post the images or add them to your portfolio. Your children and loved ones will thank you one day. Nothing is more of a contradiction than a photographer with no photo archives.