Embracing Imperfection in Photography: Why I Avoid Being Technically Correct

When I took a color developing class in college, the teacher would often tell me I was doing something wrong. “Your photo looks muddy.” She reprinted my photo to show me how it should look.

While it’s important to have a technical grasp of what you are doing, I did not like how the technically-correct version looked. I liked the color tones I chose! At the time I liked the vintage-y feel it gave (nowadays I tend to edit with more natural tones).

By technical standards, my work is flawed. The horizon may be crooked, the subject slightly blurry, or a laugh so big it shows every single wrinkle in someone’s face.

I like imperfection. Often moments happen so fast that I don’t have time to put my camera on a tripod, set up lights, and check if my camera settings are perfect. In fact, often I will purposely choose settings that create a little blur or graininess because it gives texture and shows movement. Texture = depth. Movement = energy.

In a split second what I see is a girl run across the room because she’s happy to see her friend…

My priority is to capture that moment. And let’s say if the photo was tack sharp with everything perfect: 1.) I would have missed the shot fumbling around. Or 2.) It wouldn’t be as good of a photo because the moment would no longer be organic.

I’m a person who loves to be right, but I have no need to be technically right. 🙂

Know your gear. Shoot from the heart.

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