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 Katrina Kennedy! Enjoy!
I am an accidental photographer. I’ve always had a camera. I’ve always documented the world around me. I’ve used a Kodak 110 and a Canon5D, along with many others.
I never intended to be a photographer. I was just documenting life for myself. For the thrill of capturing the moment. After losing a dear family member to cancer, my husband and I were compelled to do something, anything, in her honor. We connected with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training in 2002. While training first for a marathon and then Olympic Distance Triathlons, I began taking photos in exchange for donations. I stalked the sidelines of events, looking for the perfect shot. Every dollar donated helped heal Dot’s absence.
When my son was born five and a half years ago my photography changed. I was no longer shooting fast moving bodies, outside in bright sun. The ritual of regular shooting improved my technique, but a new little life left me hunting for more photography information. I read each word of Bryan Peterson’s book Understanding Exposure repeatedly, finding something new each time. I poured over galleries and books, filling an insatiable hunger for information to capture this little person’s life before it slipped by me.
And then I found myself on a bus in Florida sitting next to Debbie Hodge. She asked, “have you ever thought about teaching others?” I knew it was what I wanted to do. More than anything. The perfect way to give back to the world, empowering others to capture their memories through photography.
I believe my photography is about connection. Connecting to my life and my subject in an intimate way. I see my subjects differently through my lens, but I also see them differently in the moments before I put the lens to my eye. Something about the subject moves me, makes me think differently. I am changed through the connection. And sometimes it’s just a snapshot.
I believe photography is as unique to each of us as the color of our eyes and the blueprint of our souls. Something hums in my brain as I balance the triangle of aperture, shutter speed and ISO. It wasn’t always so easy, but some analytical switch I’ve denied was tripped that feels so right. It balances the artistic craving to frame and compose in a creative way. It feeds the yin and yang of my being.
I believe my photography provides a wider view of the world. I seek events and colors and moments with my family we might otherwise miss. I get out of my house and out of my comfort zone to discover photos and memories we’ve not experienced before. And sometimes I leave the camera at home, using only the lens of my eyes to see the world.
I believe my photography is simple and complex. It moves as my moods change. Some days I need to be stabilized with a tripod and shoot at my longest focal lengths. Others I need the flexibility and freedom of my 50mm lens or the lens of my phone.
I believe that in seeing the world through my lens, I am changing the world. Ever so slightly. I crave stopping the moment. I crave gathering up the details to look back upon some other day. It is an act of preservation and an act of acknowledgement. Acknowledging the beauty that is my life and all who surround me.
Above all my photography is real. Simple. Everyday. Mine.
Katrina Kennedy is a photographer, teacher, author, and a mom. She is passionate about documenting the everyday moments of her life. Katrina has helped hundreds of people improve their photography skills in her online classes at GetItScrapped and through her tutorials and eBooks. She has taken a picture every day since February 2008, missing a photo on only one day. She still suspects that photo was misplaced somewhere! When not behind the camera, Katrina works as a corporate trainer where she is given the opportunity to help people identify ways to improve their lives.
Learn The Very Basics, a self-paced class with personalized forum support from Katrina.
Her class Your Life: Through The Lens kicks off March 22nd.
She is teaching Action Photography at the True Scrap three-day virtual conference.
Katrina recently launched CaptureYour365— a community for ideas, support, and inspiration for your 365 project.
And be sure to visit Katrina's blog, About a Boy!