The Photo That Got Me Back into Photography

When I was a kid, my mom set up a tripod and an old camera pointing out our back window and taught me how to use them. I liked to take pictures of birds. Once I even had the honour of my photos being featured at the local birdfeed store. There was one of a cardinal and one of a goldfinch. They set up them up next to the cash register with a little sign. “Photos taken by Jon Bell, age 9.”

But I never really considered photography since then. My photos tend to be blurry, tilted, washed out, boring. Inveriably low quality. I don’t really try to get a nice shot, I’m just pressing the shutter down to get a GPS capture of where I was standing. My photo library is full of these sorts of bad (yet geo-tagged!) shots. So yesterday I did the same thing with this picture out the window of my car.

And as soon as I looked down at the picture I had grabbed, I thought “I want to get back into photography.” This storefront is so perfect, even if my photo of it is not. I love the people in it, the fonts, the colours, the beautiful house behind it, the peeling paint, everything. And it made me want to go back, with a better camera and a few more minutes to spare, to see if I can capture it better. And maybe I can’t! Maybe part of the appeal of the photo is that my slapdash photo matches the slapdash storefront. Maybe trying to make this photo good will completely backfire.

But it’ll be fun to try!