Originally Published January 13th, 2019
“Why do we photograph strangers with expensive DSLR & Film cameras, but we photograph our families with our iPhones?”—Eric Kim
I’m making it a goal this year to take more photos of the people in my life that I love—my family, my friends, my pets. Maybe you know some of these people, maybe you’re one of them? Whether you’re new to photography or you’re a seasoned professional, here’s my list of why you need to take more photos of the people you love.
1. To Practice Your Craft
One of the easiest ways to practice the craft of photography is by photographing your loved ones—there’s really no excuse. I’m surrounded by crazy people who are always laughing or crying, eating, sleeping, doing interesting things etc. I make it a game to capture these moments in order to practice being a better photographer.
2. You Won’t Regret It
Whenever I’m pouring over photos from a trip, a family event, or a walk with the dogs, one of the thoughts I always seem to have in the back of my mind is, “why didn’t I take more photos”.
Some of the first photos that I ever took were images of my friends. Looking back, I wish I would have taken more. I never regret taking a photo (unless you count the time I was in a high speed chase for taking a photo of a lady’s yard couch).
I never regret taking a photo—I regret not taking more.
3. To Tell The Truth
When you’re constantly taking photos of your family members—eventually they get used to having a camera in their face (at least I hope). What does this do? It allows you to capture their “true selves”. When people are no longer paying attention to the fact that they’re being photographed, you can tell the story of who they really are.
4. To Make More Prints & Books
I think it’s great that everyone has a camera on their phone. People are taking more photos now than ever before. But what happens to the images? We throw them online for a few likes & then we forget about them.
Whether you’re photographing your loved ones with a DSLR or a flip phone, I challenge you to make more prints—or better yet make a book. In my opinion, books and prints will last a lot longer than a hard drive full of forgotten phone photos.
5. Because One Day We Will All Die
It’s a little secret we keep in the back of our minds—one day we’ll all die. But we can live on in the art & images that we create. In my opinion, the most important job of any photographer is to document their loved ones. It’s the most mundane aspect of our lives—but its also the most important—it’s your story and its what makes you unique.
One day I hope to leave behind a legacy in photographs that shows how much I loved the people around me.
Take more photos. Make more prints. Live in the moment.