Sunday, April 18, 2010

Family photojournalism...

…And the importance of taking photos of your family in general.

While not the type of stuff I’d normally like to show and discuss here, because of my real job eating up a lot of my time at this point of the year, I haven’t had much time to focus on new photography projects. What I have had time for, however, is carrying around the camera when visiting family. 
I used to feel awkward and weird carrying a camera around at family gatherings. I mostly still do. I realized, however, that what is going on only happens but once, exactly as it just happened – that and no one is around forever.

Hit the jump to keep reading.

Your photos don’t have to be anything amazing. Case in point, look at the images I’ve included though out this post. They aren’t about to win me any awards. They will provide a great amplification of memories, however. 

When I shoot family stuff I don’t want to think about what is going on with the camera too much – I just want to snag moments as they happen. I’m really not too good at this yet. No worries though. As far as settings go, I like to stick on aperture priority and I make use of auto ISO, to increase my keeper rate no matter the conditions. If none of that makes sense to you, check your manual or just do a Google search. I don’t want to get overly technical here. Or if you’d like, feel free to send me an email and I’ll try to help you out.

Perfection – it certainly isn’t needed to provide memories. Some of the images I’ve posted here are noisy – some aren’t even sharp. They likely mean nothing to you. But they mean a lot to me.

 Something important – backups – in the digital age lots of people tend to not have their photos printed, as was pretty much required in the past to enjoy them. They often just hoard them on the computer. I’m one of those people; which is why backups are so important. If your drive goes down… you don’t want to lose all of those memories. Storage is cheap these days – whether that’s an external hard drive, DVDs, or even USB flash drives – you could fit a ton of JPEGs on those things. In addition to files on my computer, I have two backups onsite of all my images, as well as an offsite backup. I’ve heard some horror stories of people losing their images because of a drive failure, etc. You definitely don’t want it to happen to you.
As far as the images I’ve scattered though out this post, they aren’t really that ‘photojournalistic’. Some of them are quasi posed, with the subject(s) certainly aware of the camera. Doesn’t bother me, I’m just making memories. If you’d like to see some great family photojournalism and also get some tips on how to shoot it, however, Daniel Shaw and Chuck Anerino run a great blog called The Family Photojournalist. They definitely have some nice shots of their families and they also cover a lot of the technical how-to. Definitely worth a read and a visit now and again if you are interested in that sort of thing.

 The images in this post are all of my grandma and grandpa. You may recognize my grandpa from such images as the original muscle men, shown below (say it in the Troy McClure voice – you know you want to). A few are from my grandpa’s recently celebrated 84th birthday. He is a WWII Navy Veteran and all around good guy. Slowing down a bit now, but it happens to the best. If you ever meet him you’re in for a pleasure – just don’t ask him to tell you his classic joke that involves a chicken – and his belly button.

As I mentioned before, you might notice that of the images I’ve posted, maybe only a couple of them might actually be considered ‘photojournalism’. It doesn’t matter how you do it – just remember to take some pictures of your family every once in a while. 

Until next time – thanks for dropping by.

The Family Photojournalist


JOHN said...



pri said...

hi paul! thank u for sending me one of ur beautiful photos! it surely brought a smile on my face! i just checked ur blog and i like very much what i see! i love ur family project! keep up with the great work! i will be sure to come back and see ; )