Things Around My House

Dusty bottles
Flannel, unfolded
Hello, Mr. Fish

No matter how insignificant a photo seems at the time I took it, I've never regretted taking any of the ones that captured genuine moments.

It's these little moments that I'm not good at taking when I'm carrying my film camera. When I'm physically limited to a small number of shots, I'm more reluctant to take shots of “minor” things.

I upload all my photos to Flickr (obviously) and on Flickr, I suffer from multiple personalities.

There's me trying to be a more serious photographer, where the aesthetic often matters more than the subject matter. There's me also hanging out with my friends, trying to remember what we had for dinner, or what Meghan was wearing on a date night. For these, I care so much immensely more about what I'm taking a picture of instead of if all the “good” photography stuff applies. (If I was a better photographer, I might not have that problem and every photo turns out decent. But I'm not, so I do.)

Like many humans, vanity is one of my (many) character flaws. I want to be seen as intelligent and creative, and I can convince myself that I'd rather put my own memories in the backseat, so that I can be seen as a decent photographer, and thus, only upload the 4 or 5 decent shots from a roll of a film that I took several weeks or months ago.

And I realize that I've been missing a lot. There's something magical about being at a party taking photos, and then waking up the next morning to comments, faves, and seeing the same scene from different point-of-view from your friends' cameras.

The bigger point I've missed is this: what's important at the moment of capture, from the point-of-view of the photographer, is not a great measure of what's important throughout the entire lifetime of the photo. Each photo is viewed through many prisms of different people's experiences and it's a stretch to think one knows that it won't be significant to someone (and probably yourself) later. I'd rather not miss out on the part of a story that one photo could be telling, especially when I don't know where the plot is heading.

So I've started using my iPhone and Instagram a lot, which brings me back to the title of the post. Yesterday morning, I went through and just took pictures of things around my house, insignificant things, things I wouldn't normally upload to Flickr. And you know what? It was fun. The Instagram filters put enough “smudge” on the photos, that they don't necessarily look like they came from a phone and most of the time, that's good enough for creating a visually compelling photo.

And I can still upload the nicer film shots. I still enjoy shots that are more artistically composed but it's a different kind of a pleasure given than the small snaps with my phone that I immediately upload.

Is this a fault of Flickr and other online photosharing sites to not embrace these multiple personalities? Possibly. More fine-grained sharing controls could be used, like Google+'s Circles, but, to me, those systems aren't fun. I hate compartmentalizing and labeling every aspect of my life, and while this can guarantee proper sharing controls, it sucks out all the organic, fuzzy fun like we have in the Real Life, that it is supposedly representing.