For those of you who know the LAF Lines Photography story, you can skip this first paragraph. For those who are new to LAF Lines, here's a quick recap: I studied photography when I was sixteen at Interlochen Arts Camp. Those were the days when we had to learn about cameras, processing film, and developing photos all in eight fast weeks. I'm a much slower learner than that. My father handed down a DSLR when my kids were little and I was able to refresh my love of taking interesting photos by using the back panel to teach myself the settings I needed. I took a few classes through Ella Sharp and in 2008 I started to get really serious.
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? PRACTICE!
I'm now looking through photos to prepare for my son's high school graduation. I've pulled out old hard drives that are full of images. Culling them is a tedious task. Especially in 2008. I. Took. So. Many. Photos. In. 2008. While I am enjoying the trip down memory lane, I am mad at my past self for not going through these before. It's an overwhelming task to do now- whereas monthly or annually it would have been easier to take on.
What I have learned in my eleven years as a photographer is that my most discriminating tastes are immediately after a shoot. When I photograph for a client, I typically choose the images I'm going to process on the very same day. The reason is, I can still smell and hear the shoot. I remember what we were talking about during each frame. I make quick decisions on which photos will make the cut. My instincts are sharp, because I've been doing this for a while. That's not to say there aren't other great images, but the best-of are easily and quickly chosen.
Now, I'm looking through countless images from 2008 and I'm emotionally tied to the little kids in them. My babies! How could I possibly delete any of these precious moments?
But really, why would I ever want anyone to have to sift through all of these ever again?
If you have the luxury of time during this pandemic-life-pause, look through your photos. Weed out the rejects. Make a folder with your all time favorites. And select the images that deserve to be printed. Hard drives fail. Technology evolves and your memory medium might become obsolete. Print more images. Display them. Or put them in a box to give to your graduate for when he moves out and let him choose his favorites.
There's a value lesson in this: quantity does not beat quality. You don't need 25 digital files of the best salad you ever ate. You need a few of your loved ones faces.
Here are a few unedited shots taken in 2008 as I was practicing my craft.
OMG... so precious.
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