bad photographs make great memories

bad-photographs-make-good-memories This is a bad photograph.

It's poorly composed. It's hard to tell what's going on.

I shot it through a dirty window.

But I love it.

And here's why: a photograph's artistic merit is not the same as its value. The sweet spot is when you make those two things come together in a single photograph.

But that doesn't always happen.

This is why photographing weddings and families are so much fun. I'm forever chasing the intersection of composition and meaning. Well-composed and meaningful images are a tricky thing to find. Sometimes I shoot something and the structure of the image is great, but a person's expression isn't quite right. Sometimes I shoot and the images aren't award-winning compositions, but the person or event in the photograph is so significant, it trumps everything else.

Which is why I love this photograph. It's my mom playing with her grandkids in the driveway in the afternoon. I don't care that the composition is boring, that it's taken from far away, and that no one else may find it meaningful.

I will treasure this photograph because I want to remember (and I want my children to remember) that their grandma was the kind of person who would duel with them in the driveway.