While sailing in San Francisco Bay, I snapped this admittedly rather token picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. I don’t know why I like it so much. Intellectually I know it’s not a great shot, but it just does something for me emotionally. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of the day itself. For me, sailing on the bay is a very rare treat, and even the cold fog that day wouldn’t chill my spirits. Or it might be that I know how beautiful that bridge really is, from any angle and in any weather or light.
When taking pictures, even when you are striving to take the best shots you can, don’t forget to have fun and, more importantly, remember that, like me in this situation, you are often really just trying to capture a memory, not an award-winning photograph. (Although I will admit that I am ALWAYS trying to capture an award-winning shot!)
When I first started taking photography seriously and got my first SLR, I stopped taking pictures for fun and I stopped taking impromptu pictures. If I didn’t plan it stage it or light it, if the composition wasn’t perfect (at least according to me), or if the light wasn’t in that “golden hour” I wouldn’t bother. And now that I am mostly a studio photographer of wine bottles, I stopped bringing my camera with me sometimes. That’s terrible! I had to relearn to just have fun, and not always worry about being perfect. It occurred to me that I was most likely doing other things in my life that way…you know, not stopping to smell the proverbial roses. Like photography, life, first and foremost, should be enjoyable—working, making money, going through the grind should never be more important than just living, just doing the things that used to make you smile.
– Bryan Gray, Napa Valley Wine Bottle and Winery Photographer