So I just realized that I've never mentioned the fact that I'm an avid photographer. I don't make any money at it, but I'm always the guy taking the pictures, but rarely found in them. While I love photography, I don't spend nearly enough time taking pictures. My regular workday allows me to be lazy about it and give me excuses for not practicing. The interesting thing is that all day long, I'm catching things while I walk around which would be great to photograph. While it's generally inappropriate to take photos in the office, I'm sure I could bring a point-and-shoot with me everyday to capture daily moments outside of the office. But I don't. Lazy me.
So anyways, friends and family seem to think I'm a great photographer. Of course, I know better :) My aforementioned lack of practice means that I'm really hit-or-miss on my photography. Generally, however, people are quite impressed with photos of mine where I've simply filled the frame with the subject - a group of friends, the Eiffel Tower, whatever. You'd be surprised at how much more impressive photographs are when the subject is recognizable rather than just a spec in the distance.
This past weekend, I was finally able to parlay my photo habit into practice for an environment that I'm not accustomed to: A large party. My dad's friend recently turned 50 and his family held a surprise birthday party for. They asked me to photograph the event and I happily obliged commenting that my gift to uncle would be a nice scrapbook through which the family can remember the night. I generally don't like to impose at such events since a hired photographer may be on hand, and usually, there are dozens of other cameras on hand anyways. But Sunday night I got to walk around and get in people's way just to get a shot of the most interesting thing I notice.
Overall, I'd say I had fun and I learned a lot. First off, I had a new flash and I was learning its wrinkles as the night progressed. Something which you should never do is buy a brand new camera (or anything else) just before you need it. Since I have a digital camera I was able to quickly learn some things and apply them as the night progressed, but I definitely wished I had some extra time beforehand to get used to the flash. Lesson number one: Get used to your camera and how it works before you leave for that big vacation.
The most fun of the night was capturing the candid moments. Auntie hugging uncle while she cried from her happiness. The birthday "boy" laughing at a joke. It's really those moments which help you to remember these times. Posed shots are nice to throw in an album, but the laughs, the hugs, the quiet moments...those are what bring back the memories. There's actually a genre of wedding photojournalism which aims to capture these moments. If you've ever seen any wedding albums by a photojournalist, you will no doubt be left with memories of being there...or wishing you were there.
That said, if you're in need of a good wedding photojournalist...don't call me :) Here's a link to an acquaintence's website whom you can call on for all your photographic needs. Here's his blog as well.
So now that I've finally talked a bit about my photography habit, I'll try to post some of the images that have capture my mind. I've posted a few linked pics from around the web, but I'll actually post some of my own shots. The only challenge is finding photos that don't include the people that I know. Even though I bank online and shop online, I avoid placing photos of friends and loved ones on open sites like this one. Come back for more pics soon.