by Jane Ammon – www.janeammon.com

When I first picked up a camera, it overwhelmed me. The numbers (fstop! shutter speed! ISO?), the dials, the buttons, the light, it went on and on. Gradually it all began to click as I learned and studied and watched others. I was excited to finally understand everything and it began to make sense. Yet, as I progressed, I quickly found that the technical aspects of the so called ‘perfect shot’ began to overwhelm me again, in a very different way. I felt pressured to always take a perfect shot. I remember setting my camera down and walking away for a few months.

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Gradually, the camera started to call me back as I remembered why I started shooting in the first place. Remembering why photography had drawn me in: emotion, feelings, a voice, moments, beauty in the ordinary, poetry of imagery, the magic of light and nostalgia.

It was then that I realized what I needed to do: Shoot What You Feel, Jane

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Photography is a tool to show the world what I’m feeling at that current moment, how I see people and things, what I hear in the hearts of others. My art is what is in my heart and my camera is the pathway that enables me to share it with the world.

Now, I know when my images aren’t technically perfect, my exposure is too low or too high, my highlights are blown, or my composition is slightly off. Yet, when I make an image where my voice feels heard, the emotion of the moment is felt, and others see what I saw and it triggers a nostalgic moment for them, then I know that putting my heart on the line is worth creating something that isn’t technically perfect…because it’s perfect to me.

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So, I encourage you, on those days when your camera is making you angry, the technical aspects of photography are overwhelming you and you might want to scream…ignore the technicality of the shot and shoot what you feel…I hope you’ll find that sharing your heart is what matters to your art (and I’ll bet the image will be perfect…to you.)

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