On photography and writing

A good photograph anchors the story you’re telling, and helps to give it weight.

I’ve never been more aware of the relationship between photos and words than I am now, as a writer, a mum, and an amateur (read iphone) photographer.

Photography is one of the skills that bloggers or writers tend to pick up while doing our art. In the past year or so, I think I’ve grown more attuned to aesthetics, placement of subjects and the space around them, and the networking of colours.

And obviously the kids make naturally awesome subjects to practise on.

God knows how much I covet a DSLR…For the record, I haven’t found the courage or time to pick up a DSLR. I heard it’s a route that one will travel and not turn back on. Plus lugging the kids around is weight enough for me, and so I’ve been content just playing around with my iphone.

I’ve also found that apps make cool toys. I’ve started falling for picfx, which is the app I used to edit Vera and dad’s hadouken moment. And of course instagram, which almost everybody is on these days. I think apps like these satisfy our need for beauty, as well as ย community, as exemplified by the avid usage of #hashtags. And perhaps a bit of narcissism, since we all get to prettify ourselves and earn likes for the most adorable pictures of our children. But I try not to think so much, and just enjoy the process. Anyway the cute/fun/funny/lovey pictures will be more for us to reminisce and savour in old age, no?

But I digress. (See what apps do to me?) I wanted to talk about the relationship between photography and writing.

For me, my photos are often the main starting point of a blog post. Like the picture of Vera and her granny walking in the park. Or the lovey-dovey one with dad and daughter holding hands. Or dreams by a window. They give me the spark of inspiration with which I need to start a post and the focus so that I don’t digress.

Sometimes, like the hadouken example above, the photo IS the post. On all other occasions, they embellish a post and help bring out the essence of the story.

I love taking shots of the kids outdoors and at play. It’s where they’re in their zone, and where I can feel comfortable running about in shorts and doing silly things like experimenting with angles, focus, lighting and so on. I also secretly love the green and blue backgrounds that come with those shots. Where there is sunlight highlighting the subject, all the better.

Here are some of my recent favourites, all instagrammed or picfx-ed.

JJ’s selfie, all joy at being able to hold the iphone and seeing himself on the screen.

a joyful boy

Happy boy at the top of the slide. Photo taken literally through a hole in the floor.

shining happy boy

Another variation of the hole-in-the-floor shot.

Just chillin’ (also the cover pic on my facebook page)

Defying gravity.

defying gravity

Like I said, I’m amateur-ish and there’s still lots to learn. Here are some of my inspirations:ย 6 tips for better instagram photos, scissorspaperstoneย for herย photos of crafty and yummy things, and photographers like Project Alicia and Steph Tan.

I harbour a hope that one day I’ll make that leap into the DSLR world, and never look back, except to perhaps laugh at my own naivety at thinking the iphone was ever enough for me. (But hey it’s all about my own growth and development, so no judgment calls are being made here.)

If I may say so myself, I think I’ve grown in writing and photography in the past few months. I feel as if one passion feeds the other, and creates a giant snowball.

What do you love about photography and/or writing? Do you own a DSLR and why or why not?

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  1. says

    I know exactly what you mean about getting started on photography! I got a mirrorless camera for my birthday this year. It’s a step down from DSLR but a lot more automatic, good for noobs like me. I also started a photo blog to share and store these photos that are so precious but really am an amateur. Your photos are really nice, June.

    • mamawearpapashirt says

      Hey Delia, ahh I’ve been thinking about mirrorless cams too, think they are really quite handy to bring around, and yet function pretty well. Thanks, and hope to see your photos some day too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. says

    June, I think you have managed to put into words all that I feel with regard to writing and photography! I’ve always been interested in photography but never really furthered the interest until I started my blog. Like you mentioned, I think one passion really feeds the other. Sometimes pictures add another dimension and flavor to a post and breaks the monotony. Other times, a story is inspired by a picture.
    I love your pictures by the way (the writing goes without saying). Your pictures are always very heartfelt and real and you’ve captured so many beautiful moments on your camera! I think a good camera is also defined by the camera you have with you all the time, so you are always ready to snap! Therefore, a phone camera to me is still my best camera ๐Ÿ™‚
    I was deciding between a dslr and a mirror less camera and eventually decided on a mirrorless one. It has served me well so far!
    Zee recently posted..{Wordless Wednesday} – What’s Cooking?My Profile

    • mamawearpapashirt says

      You’re always so kind with your words, Zee! I agree, the best camera is the quickest one. I would have missed a lot of those special moments if not for the trusty ol’ iphone. Then again, there were a few times the camera function took eons to load, and by the time it did, the moment was long gone. Also thinking of getting a mirrorless cam, so it’s timely that you shared about yours. Most mirrorless cam users I know rave about them…I love the pics you took for your Eat.Play.Craft cafe post btw!

  3. says

    Hey June, you have a good eye and your photos are always beautiful! You choose interesting angles and have managed to capture gorgeous shots. I do think you are off to a good start with your photography interest! If/When you do get a DSLR, I reckon it will simply be learning the technical bits, and then it is about understanding your camera and applying your naturally good eye to capture shots!

    I now have a Samsung S2 and the camera is really not up to par. I do regret not getting an iPhone! We do however own a DSLR and a Panasonic Lumix. The former is great for portraits especially with a prime lens, but I seldom take it out with me because of its weight/size. The Lumix is the one that gets chucked in the diaper bag. The husband used to be really into photography – messing around in the dark room to develop his own photos. Now, I am the one that takes most of the family’s shots! I am still very much learning to use the features of both our cameras though!

    But I do agree wholeheartedly about what Zee says above, that the best camera is always the one you have with you ๐Ÿ™‚
    Corsage @ A Dollop Of Me recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – Past their bedtimeMy Profile

    • mamawearpapashirt says

      Hey Corsage, thanks for the encouragement! We have a Lumix and yes it’s usually the one that gets carried around when we go out. It’s such a learning journey isn’t it? The hubby thinks however that we don’t really need another cam, since there’s “nothing wrong” with our cam right now. LOL, sad but oh well. After hearing what people have had to say, I think the mirrorless option is the way to go, at least for this phase of life I’m in right now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. says

    Hey thank you for the link up! ๐Ÿ™‚

    My resolution for this year was to stop using phone cam pics on my blog, but look how far that went. ๐Ÿ˜› I have a Nikon with me but it’s borrowed, not bought. I keep it away safely and am usually a little stressed if I bring it out with me because I don’t want to damage it! So yeah, it’s the phone cam for me most of the time too, but one of the things I’ve wanted to is to branch out a little from family and home life, and start capturing the strangers around me too. But I still feel awkward doing that!

    p.s. Love the moments you’ve captured, esp in the last shot!
    Evelyn recently posted..An Old Story Lives AgainMy Profile

    • mamawearpapashirt says

      Pleasure, Evelyn. I know what you mean, and in that aspect the phone does become very handy, since it’s smaller and you don’t feel so intrusive taking pictures! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. says

    hi June, iphone is not amaturish, there are so many creative “I” photos out there ๐Ÿ™‚
    Maybe grab a DSLR from a buddy for two weekends?

    1) People who drop out of DSLR always quote “weight”, that’s when the DSLR starts to mothball.
    2) An entry level DSLR will allow us to pick up fundamentals like ISO,Shutter,Aperture which can then be applied to other camera platforms

    Andy (SengkangBabies)
    SengkangBabies recently posted..Tulips in Tropical Singapore !My Profile

    • mamawearpapashirt says

      Definitely agree, some iphone photogs are really amazing! Yes, I should try it out soon, and when I do, don’t be surprised if I come asking for tips. Haha ๐Ÿ˜›

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