My First 10,000 Photographs
I don’t really recall my first experience with photography but I’m pretty sure I was around 8 years old at the time. My family had recently purchased a digital camera – I think it was a Canon PowerShot S45, and it resembled a small, silver brick. I didn’t really take notice of it until my dad asked me to hold on to it one day because he had a lot of stuff in his hands. And instead of just holding it, I took it out of its case, and started playing around with it. That was the beginning of a summer of filled with photography – if you could call my experiments with the camera ‘photography’. I just took photos of things I liked. I barely changed the settings and when I did, it was only to make sure the lighting was alright. Otherwise, I’d just point and shoot. Funnily enough, I considered myself to be a prodigious photographer though in hindsight, I realize I was just fortunate that my surroundings were so beautiful that they masked the fact that I had no photographic talent whatsoever. I must have taken 10,000 photographs that summer and I doubt any of them had any real artistic value. Of course, at the time, I thought I was revolutionary (oh the innocent confidence of children), and with every click, I thought I was making masterpieces.
I’ve taken a look at my photos since then and they’re average at best but honestly speaking, those pictures are the ones that give me the most joy. I spent hours photographing everything and nothing, right from my stuffed animals to my family members. The emotions and memories associated with those photos can’t be matched. So in a way, they are masterpieces. And they’re some of my most cherished photos.
Many people may say that getting the perfect shot is a very frustrating process at times, and can really test your patience. Chasing that perfect shot can cause you to lose sight of why you started shooting in the first place – not for fame but for the love you had for the art of photography. Of course, getting a perfect photograph is an amazing feeling in itself, but in the meantime, if you’re having fun and making memories, all your photographs are perfect in a way, right? Henri Cartier-Bresson said that your first 10,000 photographs are your worst, but for me, they are my fondest memory.