Seven years ago (pre-kids), Dave and I loved taking the bus around the city on Friday nights. We would pack a greyhound roadie, hoodies and a camera, then take the bus from our Marina apartment through the city to a dive bar in another 'hood. We have a giant magnetic chalkboard that has been a staple in our various apartments for the last ten years, and we'd print our street photos in various sizes and pin them up by a magnet to the chalkboard. When friends came over, they were welcome to take photos home with them. It felt good to share the images we created and it also forced us to produce more images to replace the ever-changing art landscape of this chalkboard.
Fast-forward seven years when it costs $100 to have a babysitter for four or five hours out on the town and we simply haven't invested in this type of night since becoming parents. We've wanted to...we've talked about it...but it just seemed so frivolous to spend that kind of money on a night of doing "nothing".
Last night we found ourselves having a babysitter but no plans. With just a month left in SF until we move to Raleigh, we each brought our cameras with us, packed a roadie and our hoodies, and off we went.
The results? Ummm, rusty. At best.
You'd think that since I shoot for a living, I'd easily swoop into this freedom of shooting anything and everything my eyes see, without regard to what a client may want to see. And yet, I found myself frozen. I was full of self-doubts of what would make an interesting photo, hesitating to click the shutter for fear of not creating anything amazing.
What I learned from last night is: it's time to get weird. It's time to start shooting for the fun of shooting and not for the known outcome. You see with families, it's a known outcome. Toddlers, throw your best tantrums: I got this. Newborns, just try not to fall asleep: I'm clever with a swaddle wrap. I can tell a family's story and bring out their very best each and every time. That is the difference between an amateur and a pro. An amateur can get a great shot or two on any given day, but a pro MUST produce that same result regardless of the day.
Yet here I found myself with a night of freedom in San Francisco and realized I am an amateur once again.
More to follow, but I am EXCITED to explore this side of my creativity more. To shoot for the fun of it and to shoot for ME.
Out of 125 shots taken, the four keepers from last night: