Welcome to our special guest series, Photo Philosophy! We know how important photos are to scrapbookers, bloggers, and memory keepers of all types—and while technical know-how is important, we believe that good photography begins with what you believe about your camera and its possibilities. We've invited five incredible photographers to share their own personal photography philosophies with you this week, in hopes that you'll consider your own philosophy. More meaningful images begin with knowing what you want from your camera. Today, please welcome Erin Cobb! Enjoy!
To this day, I consider the Canon Powershot to be a gateway drug. That is, if photography is an addiction, which to me it totally is.
Back in 2005 that trusty little Powershot led to the Rebel which led to the 5d which led to the 5d Mark ii. And a booming portrait photography business for 4 years and counting. But the thing that led me down the path to Erin Cobb Photography, and the thing that still buoys my creative soul to this day, is the pursuit of capturing the beauty in my own life. Sometimes it glistens and sparkles and shines so brightly that capturing it feels like the easiest crime. I cherish those moments, those images. I do. But when challenged to find the beauty in dishes and diapers and daily motherhood drudgery, that is where my heart sings. When the beautiful is a child's sticky face or a bedroom that hasn't seen a vaccum this month or a pair of overtired children who refuse to nap for the third day in a row, my creativity is challenged and pushed. The images captured in those moments are the ones that stay with me. They tell my story. They help me remember the nitty gritty of this life we have together. This dirty, tired, sticky, dusty, beautiful life that I love.
Therefore, I believe....images © Erin Cobb
That beautiful moments are all around us. They may not seem beautiful in the right now but I guarantee they will look amazing through the lens of 20 years from now. (Coincidentally, this is also my daily mantra about my 30 year old thighs.) Taking time to photograph the seemingly insignificant moments has blessed me beyond measure over the years. The images I have of my loved ones doing literally nothing are the ones that I wouldn't trade for the world. Easter morning in our best dresses? No thanks. My child's chubby fingers rolling a marble down a chute? Please sir may I have another.
images © Erin Cobb
That the images I take are gifts to myself. It's hard to imagine but I know there will come a day when digging couscous out of the carpet will be a distant memory. If even a memory at all. And hearing "check on me in 10 minutes!" hollered out from the bedroom down the hall will be a thing of the past. I may not know it today, but I'll want to remember those things. Each of those tiny drops of water will one day make up the overflowing ocean of my life. If I can find a way to document them, they'll be with me forever. If I don't, I won't even remember that I forgot.
images © Erin Cobb
That light and angles cast beauty on the simplest things. Watching the way light falls on my children's faces often tells me when to grab my camera. Sometimes it has nothing to do with what they're doing and everything to do with where they're doing it. The way window light plays in a room energizes me like nothing else. Getting low to the ground and photographing my children absorbed in their own world instantly gives me an insight into their experience that I never get unless I'm looking through the lens. Light and angles can instantly transform the mundane into the extraordinary.
images © Erin Cobb
That I'll never regret taking the shot. But I will regret not taking it. Digital is easy. File storage is cheap. Running through the house at break-neck speed and lunging for my camera burns me a few extra calories if nothing else. There's just no good reason to not take the shot. But there are a million and one reasons to take it. Take the shot. Any shot.
Erin Cobb is a mother, blogger, photographer, and expert baby swaddler. If she were to hold a world record it would be for number of cookies eaten in a single sitting. Or number of minutes it takes to get comfy in bed at night. Erin makes her home in Huntsville, Alabama with her two children—Sarah (5) and Ephraim (3)—and her husband Brent (age not released). Her portrait photography business is centered in Huntsville but Erin regularly travels throughout the United States for commissioned portrait sessions. Erin's most recent project is her Clean Color Workflow Video Tutorial which gives users (of Photoshop and Elements alike) two comprehensive hours of Erin's editing workflow from beginning to end.
Don't miss her family blog about everyday life in the Cobb household, The Pigbear.
Check out Erin Cobb Photography.
Connect with Erin on Facebook.
Learn about Erin's workflow with her exclusive two hour video, Clean Color. Thinking about purchasing Clean Color? Enter writeclickscrapbook as your discount code and the full Photoshop version will cost $100 (regularly $129) and the Photoshop Elements version will cost $79 (regularly $99). Offer is good through Friday, March 25, 2011!