If there is something that life has taught me, it is that the skill of reinventing yourself is of great value, especially in the field of photography. Little Explorer Big World will be a series of blog posts to explore the logistics, challenges and wonderful moments of being a dad and a photographer. Sooner or later in life, many of us photographers become parents. As photographers, we bring to the table a full set of visual skills and storytelling abilities that will turn our life moments into memorable images. There is a fine line between documenting and being the actor of your own work; a world of challenges and possibilities lies ahead.
With a few months of experience, I have already compiled a range of lessons that have affected my career, guiding me towards a more powerful and sensitive avenue of visuals.
1. Think small. Consider a smaller camera, something you will be able to carry around when immersed in your daily chores. There are some great point and shoot cameras out there. Maybe you want to explore photographing with a range-finder or even jump into a Leica.
2. We have an advantage: access. You have access to your own life moments. Your kids, if you start early enough, will be used to being around your camera. And your shootings might even become part of their games.
3. There will be challenges and bad moments. Take advantage of the hardships of the process, and the difficulties of the logistics, or the weather, into great photo ops. A visit to the doctor, bad weather, or any life moments, no matter how hard they are to experience, cope or overcome, are indeed, have the potential of becoming powerful visual records of life.
4. Family images are great. But… think out of the box. Bring your family on adventures. Logistics can turn many off, but who said it would be easy being a photographer?
5. Have fun! When chores become many, and the balancing act is equivalent to a circus performance, you can still have fun. Enjoy! Smile! Make people around you smile. Shoot, shoot, and experiment.
6. Being a great photographer is a nice feeling. But… being a great dad is much better. Try to balance your photography obsession with parenthood. Your child will always remember you for that. There are many books out there like The Father Balance that you may read for inspiration.
7. You are in new territory… Learn as much as you can. Maybe it’s time to scout some favorite feeds on Instagram or grab a few books from the library to nurture yourself with the overall knowledge of being a dad. As you do, new photographic ideas will be popping into your head. Write them down soon; you are probably sleep deprived, and you probably will be for a while. So grab your tablet or a notebook and immortalize all those ideas before they vanish!
And remember, we love photography. It maybe our passion in life, but in the long term it is still a job. Yes, the best job in the world, but a job nonetheless. Explore ways to evolve to make sure you can still enjoy it as time passes by.
Don’t forget to tag your photos on Instagram as #littleexplorerbigworld to be featured, and to follow our adventures on @little_explorer_big_world
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