If you’re stingy with your shot selection because of rising film costs, remember this: you miss all the shots you don’t take.
Years ago, while everyone around me was busy blinding each other with Colorsplash Flashes, I got to thinking. “Why would I waste perfectly good film on me and my friends’ parties and gatherings?” There was logic behind it. It’s not like I was scrimping on portrait sessions or planned photoshoots. This boycott of sorts was strictly for parties and such. For the cookie-cutter group shots, there were digital cameras for that. All those group photos don’t look good on film anyway.
Then, while looking at old photos, I chanced upon this one.
This isn’t an award winning photo by any means. It’s just a silly photo of silly people doing silly things. But this is a photo that my friends laugh about to this very day. Its importance and significance doesn’t lie on its technical merits (it is rather underexposed). It remains relevant because it means something to me. It conjures up memories of moments that have long since passed. And these moments are forever lost without a photo to remember them by.
It’s understandable to reserve your film work for more… serious subjects but to exclusively refrain from shooting is inexcusable. And in hindsight, shooting group and party photos with film is actually advantageous as your subject’s are likely to be less on guard and more receptive to the lens, giving you a better glimpse of what lies beneath.
With that said, I guess the lesson to take from all this is that whether you’re shooting casually or for art, don’t wear blinders. Learn to recognize and don’t think that any other subject is beneath you.
What are your thoughts on not shooting something in particular? Share your thoughts here!