Whew. I did it. PhotoPlayDate was something that Bryan hatched up a while back and we have been mulling it over for forever and – we. finally. did. it. Several friends gathered at Washington Park last weekend to listen to me yammer on about photography. And a few couldn’t make it at the last minute, making it a smaller group than anticipated from the smaller group I wanted on purpose… so I wouldn’t throw up in my camera bag as I yammered on about photography.
We talked about going for it on the manual setting, or at the very least, trying out Aperture Priority… about the Rule of Thirds… getting our kids laugh and smile… and the crazy brashness of squirrels at Washington Park.
Here is one of my favorite shots from the pitiful number of photos I took (I was yammering, remember?!) – a photo I took to illustrate how I have kids hold things up to the camera to force Depth of Field.
I can’t wait to see the results from attendees: @fruitlady (and son!) @z3rr0 @torreybelle and @imelda, who happens to be visiting from Houston. Their photos should start joining mine in the PhotoPlayDate Flickr Group soon.
But what I really liked was just the friendly conversation, hanging out, walking around and taking photos together, showing the results in real time, laughing with our kids. Perfect. Exactly what I wanted.
It’s funny, a friend invited me to a Flickr group that “grades” photos. Actually, to be more accurate – they vote your photo in or out Survivor-style and after 10 “delete” votes, you’re out. They do warn you how snarky they are, but I just was not prepared, or maybe I was still high from PhotoPlayDate good vibes.
Now, I am totally open to criticism. HELLO, I was a graphic design major and my mentor in college made a few people, including myself, CRY. I can handle it. But, these people were saying things like “What the hell it this?” …and “I hate the colors!” …and “This composition sucks.” Worse yet, I went and looked at THEIR Flickr streams… and, um, let’s just say some people should not be throwing stones in their sucky photo glass houses.
Either way, I hated it. Even the mentor who made me cry had a point that was valid, which in turn made me a better graphic designer.
I deleted the worst of the comments and quit the group. Clearly they were not for me. I may snark-a-plenty myself sometimes, especially in relation to American Idol, ha… but when it comes to photography, I like to stay positive. Or at least constructive.
Which is totally what PhotoPlayDate was for me. Yay!
How about you give us some of your best photo ideas in the comments? Tips or tricks that help you take better pics of your kids? Whether it’s technical, like leaning in a doorway to steady the camera… or having the kids make faces at you to loosen up and eventually smile more naturally.
Let’s hear ’em if you got ’em!