with Courtney Slazinik
Photograph your family, beautifully
capture the everyday magic
Menu
How Photography Ruined My Life
Photography Ideas

That is right, I said, photography has ruined my life. Acceptance is the first step, right?

I used to love looking at old photos. I’d flip through old albums for hours, remember those wonderful memories. Now, I see limp chops, white balance issues and underexposure. Gone are the days of sitting back and enjoying old photos.

A few months ago, my husband found an old photo that we had framed, yes framed on our wall. He hung it up in our office as it is still a special photo for us. It is the only photo we have from our Assignment Night in Pilot Training. Basically, after a year of training to be come a pilot, they have a big event where they present you with the plane you are going to be flying and where you are going for your first assignment. It’s a big deal and one we looked forward to for a whole year. The picture captures our love as a newly married couple, my pride in my husband for completing Pilot Training and the joy on his face for finishing. I tell you all of this because this is the photo.
how photography has ruined my life

Don’t adjust your screen and it’s not your eyes, the photo is blurry. But my husband doesn’t see that it is blurry and hung it up. Clearly, I didn’t notice it was blurry because I hung it up years ago as well.

Now, how photography has ruined my life. Do I still love this photo? Yes, absolutely, but it still bothers me that it is blurry and unfortunately, that is what I see. Oh, why did photography have to teach me things like…how not to take a blurry photo. But I am a little envious of my husband and his lack of caring that the photo is blurry. He sees the photos as I mentioned above and I see blur. Darn you photography!

Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t trade my knowledge of photography and all the awesome photos I have been able to capture of my kids and family since starting this journey four years ago. I LOVE photography. It’s just unfortunately, it has ruined my life ;)

Am I the only one? Has photography ruined your life? Should we form a support group?

47 Comments
  • August 22, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Oh, that makes me so sad.

    I adore our old pictures! I laugh at my crazy photoshopping. I love the memories they bring back. Who cares if a picture is perfect? If it brings a perfect memory, then that is all that matters!

    Some of my favorite pictures are flawed. They hang with pride in our home.

  • August 22, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    I totally agree with that statement. I will never look at a photo the same again…lol

  • August 22, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    Oh yes, me too. I try to enjoy my kids albums but the poor photos really bother me. I can’t believe I didn’t see it before! I hope it’s something I can learn to ignore and just be able to enjoy the memories.

  • August 22, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    I know what you mean, but it doesn’t bother me. The way I see it is that noticing my past mistakes I’m reinforcing my learning. :D

  • Kristin
    August 22, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    It doesn’t bother me too badly, but it does bug me to look at me professional wedding photos and see what I would do differently! Especially since I’m the farthest thing from a professional photographer! They weren’t terrible, but the photographer we used has definitely improved since then! :) The only thing that makes me sad are photos of my kids when there were babies. I didn’t get into photography until they were all our of that baby stage.

  • August 22, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    AH! So true! I find myself doing that, too, with images.

    Perhaps that’s why they say ignorance is bliss! :-)

  • August 22, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Oh man, do I know what you mean! But kinda the opposite, it is also fun to see a picture I loved and I can see how I accidently had great composition, white balance, sharpness without even knowing it! So, that is kinda fun too. But overall, most of the pictures all i see are the imperfections!

  • August 22, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    I am right there with you. I also look at the old photos and see how far I have come.

  • August 22, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    lol aww it’s not so bad. it’s cute, and that’s all you should really see. a cute couple. :D

  • August 22, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    I’m right there with ya, Courtney! I have had these same thoughts many times! It is a curse!

  • Autumn
    August 22, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    I think sometimes as photographers we just need to sit back, relax, and get over ourselves. I was a single mother the day my daughter was born, I went out when she was about a month old and bought a cheap digital camera from Target so I could have some pics of my baby. Most of my pics are of me holding my baby in one arm and taking a pic with the other, there was no family around or friends. My photos are off center, some are blurry, some I only have part of a head. LOL. but they are what I could do. I cherish those photos, and I thank God I can do better now with my Rebel. But I will never look at those old photos and cringe and worry about what is off. Sometimes we have to take the knowledge hat off and just enjoy the time in space that was captured.

    • Susan
      September 12, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      Amen! Love your attitude.

  • Kristen L
    August 22, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Oh, boy! If you form a support group, let me know! I visibly cringe when looking at old photos.

  • August 22, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Ahh, yes….it has “ruined” my life in the same way! Whenever I comment on the terrible color, composition, lack of clarity, etc in a old photo my dear hubby just sighs….I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even want to be part of that conversation.

  • Kristen Piwetz
    August 22, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    I guessing you’re really exaggerating when you say “photography has ruined my life”… considering all the immense blessings you’ve received as a byproduct of your talent and intense work to craft your skills. Right?! I hope I’m right! But as you refer to never being able to go back to the simple but ignorant bliss of seeing a photograph and truly enjoying it for the memory it evokes, I get it. Without having to get caught up in the details of what was wrong with the exposure, focus, etc…I get it. I just wouldn’t let it ruin my joy for the great things it HAS brought you. But you’re an extremely thoughtful woman and a generous professional. I imagine you’ve actually figured that out already, whether you let on about it in this article or not. :)

  • Tiffany
    August 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Yes! I just made the comment yesterday, while trying to find photos of my girls first day of school, that I didn’t like that all of my old photos “stink”. I haven’t made it to where I think my photos are amazing, but at least now they are in focus (most of the time :)) My husband will keep me in check and remind me that it’s the memory that counts not the photo!

  • August 22, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    I know what you mean, sometimes I feel the same about my wedding photos, I spent a lot of money on them but back then didn’t know any better. I still LOVE the photos, they bring back memories of one of the best days of my life. BUT for example; the church we were married in has a window behind the alter so it is back lit. The photographer convinced me there wasn’t anything he could do about it, the pictures might just be a little off. But now I know he could have used spot metering, LOTS of photographers take photos that are backlit and they look beautiful.

    • Kris
      August 24, 2013 at 2:54 PM

      The white balance is off in all of my wedding church photos. I noticed it even when I didn’t know what white balance is, so it’s obviously bad.

      • Kris
        August 24, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        Let me add that it’s not due to my dress. The photos all have a yellowish cast, like he didn’t adjust for the lighting in the church.

  • Scott Fairbairn
    August 22, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Yes, support group please!! I’ve probably deleted hundreds of memorable moments because of photographic shortcomings.

  • August 22, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Let me know when you get that support group going. We might need several.

  • Christopher
    August 22, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    You didn’t take the picture did you? Then why on earth would you feel bad for liking it? It’s an important memory for you, so OF COURSE you loved it at the time when your photography was lacking. Even now it is an important event in your life, so liking a bad picture isn’t bad. It doesn’t diminish your love of photography or taking a good picture. I think in life many people have trouble separating things that bleed over in to one another. You have to know when to let go and say, “Yeah, this picture is bad, but there is a reason I love it and that is OK.” Even if you had taken the picture, you didn’t know then what you know now about photography. I have pictures I look back on that I took with a point and shoot film camera that I love, because they represented who I was at that time and what I was experiencing. But that’s who I was and what I was doing at the time, and that’s OK.

  • Molly
    August 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    I totally feel you! I try not to be too bothered by it, and some photos I do just genuinely love because of the memory it evokes, but others drive me nuts a little!!! I try to let go and remember that if the photo wasn’t perfect it’s because I was living in the moment instead of worrying about the technical aspects of a photo. And sometimes that’s just as good! Sometimes life gets in the way of the perfect photo.

  • August 22, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    This post made me laugh because I wondered the same thing! Am I the only one that looks at photos from a different perspective now. I find myself looking at old photos, snapshots .. and gasping at the yellow colors, lack of focus, and chopped off limbs. But, than I remind myself that those are memories, unfocused or yellow… They’re mine. :)

  • August 22, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    I totally agree with what you said! I see the same thing, especially when I go to other people’s houses. Drives me nuts that I nitpick like that. LOL

  • August 22, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    I love this post! You two are so happy and lovey that you ignore the blur. but oh yeah, if my husband tried to put any photos of us that were blurry, I’d probably take it down. It really takes over life. Last night I was so proud of myself for not running outside and taking a picture of a beautiful sunset, and instead just enjoying it through the window. ahhh photography….

  • Ashley
    August 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    I agree. Its so hard for me to just look at the happiness in the image instead of the technical stuff. I can pick out the smallest detail and a lot of friends and family don’t understand when I don’t oooohhh and aaahh at their out of focus baby…or the image that just wasn’t printed well since it was taken off of a phone.

  • Phil Cotton
    August 22, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Hello Courtney,
    Why don’t you digitize the photo and fix it to your liking? Lets see what you can do. You don’t have to but it is an idea if you are tired of the blur.

  • August 22, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    I’m going through the process of creating a portfolio and I feel the same way. There are a ton of photos I didn’t delete because they were blurry or “off” in some way… and while I hate they’re not perfect, I guess I’m still a bit like your husband… they bring back memories of moments I want to keep forever. Even if I only see them on the computer every now and then…

  • Amber
    August 22, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    This post makes me laugh because I was just having this conversation last week with another photographer. When I walk by pictures in my house, I now see those same things… (underexposed, limbs chopped, etc…) Drove me crazy that I was now seeing all the color casts etc…. but trying the thought of “I remember that moment and love that picture for what it captures. Forget about the imperfections in a “professionals” eye. It is perfect to me!

  • Bree
    August 22, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    A friend and I were talking about this yesterday. :) Great timing on the post.

  • Sandy
    August 22, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Yes, I agree. I can’t take snapshots anymore either….I feel like I have to compose, watch for sunlight in the back, etc. By the time I pose my kids, the moment is gone. That’s something to work on!

  • August 22, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    Lol!! Totally understand. I recently updated my photography website and some of the pictures that used to be my pride and joy of my portfolio even I looked and and thought- eek and quickly pulled them off my site.

    I sometimes hate it too as I feel like I should only post awesome, edited shots on my blog– but I am learning the moments and the phone shots are often “the best” as they are the ones I quickly took- the only ones that capture that moment.

  • August 22, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    I blogged about my imperfect, but favourite, pictures too! http://neenaballerina.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/my-favourite-wall.html?m=1 I’m still learning about how to build good photos – love your blog!

  • August 22, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    I know what you mean. I totaly cringe whenever I see someone post a blurry photo. Even if it’s just a photo from their phone.I’m like WHHHYYYY???

  • August 22, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    YES! That is exactly right. I am so horrified by the photos of the first 6 or 7 years of my marriage and wish I could start fresh from when I first got interested in making beautiful photographs! But that would mean throwing out pictures of my first four kids as babies and toddlers. Haha. I have almost considered it. But not quite. But almost. Still, the progression in talent for the six month photos along the wall from ick to ih to ok, bothers me on a daily basis.

  • August 22, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    So true. Looking through old photos I took back in high school in the last decade is pretty embarrassing! Still, memories are memories and I don’t have a hard time laughing about funny ones.

  • Liz
    August 22, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    Wow, this post has obviously hit home with a lot of people based on your feedback already. But I am right there with you. I can’t look at other people’s pictures anymore without thinking things about the focus, white balance etc. Not saying my pictures are perfect but my eye has seen so many pictures that I notice it all now. My husband is always teasing me about it bc he doesn’t see any of it. I guess there is no going back…. we do need a support group :)

  • Donna
    August 23, 2013 at 2:59 AM

    I had a bad habit of throwing out blurry images, now I wish I had hung on to them. They still told a story. Old school pals, places I had been etc, I have got fussier since those days. My biggest gripe would have to be this. When I took photos with film, I couldn’t wait to get them back, and put them into an album. Now with digital, I take them, make folders, copy to a disk for later, but they don’t go into the album anymore. :( silly me, I will regret this one day i’m sure

  • August 23, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Ah, Photographer’s Eye! Great post.

  • August 23, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    I totally agree but I still love looking at the old photos for the memories they invoke.

  • August 23, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    LOL. Same thing happens to me! :) I look at some old pictures and get embarrassed, and angry about the quality of the pictures. And if it’s a particularly memorable one i criticize myself even more. But then I tell myself “this is not just a photograph. It’s a snapshot of a good/great moment.” That helps a lot. BTW…that is such a sweet picture!!

  • mary
    August 27, 2013 at 10:47 AM

    I could have designer shoes and handbags. Instead my Louboutins are hanging around my neck in the form of a DSLR and high quality prime. I love my photos though.

  • August 30, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    I do the same thing when looking at old photos, but I do also like to see how much I have grown and can’t wait to continue to learn!

  • Susan
    September 12, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Perhaps putting down your “big” camera and just using your iPhone or smartphone camera would wipe away this problem. That’s what I have done and am having a blast with my iPhone 5. I’m enjoying not having to think about settings, etc. just capturing the moment and posting on Instagram.

  • Shawn
    September 13, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Yes. I am a photographer. And when I finally moved over to the dark side (5 years ago) and made my business official, my eyes changed. I have 4 children. And I used to take pictures of living. And life. Just hanging out in the house, making cookies, being silly. Now I can’t take pics of my family unless they are able to be perfect. Everything has to be edited in photoshop and made beautiful. We have to have good clothes on. Profesh (as my daughter would say). I hate any picture that’s not perfect! So now all my pictures are still on the computer waiting. No more handheld pics. I love photography. And I love my business. But I think I need an intervention. Lol. I need to separate life from my business.

  • Tom montella
    January 29, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    I think we should start a support grout indeed! Good thinking

Leave a Comment