Challenges and being vulnerable | Abu Dhabi Photographer

I’ve always been one who doesn’t take the path of least resistance – I’ve always pushed myself to keep learning, to keep being an observer, to stay true and authentic, but to grow and be open to change and new experiences – I try to do this in life, and in photography… but often this leaves me vulnerable… to go against the grain is to open yourself up to criticism, to people who won’t understand what you do, who just don’t see it… and that’s fine, there will always be people who don’t see how I see…. isn’t this the greatest gift of the human race? That we are different? That makes us challenge our own thinking…

I recently signed up to do a film course – by which I mean, taking photos with film – yes, that old fashioned, pre-digital age stuff. I knew what I needed was to slow down, to be more deliberate with my photos. I already shoot film from time to time, but not properly, not with any real care and attention and  I learned the theory of photography by studying film waaay back but can’t say I retained anything so really it was like starting anew. Not only did that make me vulnerable – I mean what if I totally sucked at this and could only do photography because I can check each picture is OK on the back of the camera? I KNEW that wasn’t the case – I don’t chimp much, I’ve never been an overshooter because I understand composition, exposure and lighting, and I’ve always been an under-editer, again, because I understand those basic principles and use just 1 action on 95% of my images.  But hell, you never know…

But add into that the fact that sitting on my desk was a camera that hadn’t been used in almost 30 years… it belonged to my wonderful Grandfather who passed away 28 years ago last month, and then passed to my mother, before being claimed as mine… but it’s old, and replacement batteries are impossible to get, meaning no internal light meter and no auto focussing, and heck, it might not even work at all because who knew what it’s guts would be like! So I took the challenge head on, and downloaded a light metre app to my iPhone and went out and shot.. and these are some favourites that I got… And so yes, they’re imperfect, and I have more to learn, but they’re me, and my Indy, they’re singular moments of time rather than just one of a series of shots trying and trying again to get the perfect one. I accept them, and actually, I like them, they’re us, being ourselves, challenging ourselves, being authentic, being vulnerable… and you know what… even if I never shoot another roll of film again – I rose to my own challenge, and yet I also let myself be true to me…. and that feels just so right… Kirsty xx

PS I like to think my Grandfather would be happy to see his great-granddaughter dancing around for his camera in the way his granddaughter did before her too 😀

I'm Kirsty Hello There!


Hi, I'm Kirsty, a lifestyle photographer and photography educator who lives in India. My approach to photography is to capture real life – with a little sparkle on top fueled by my obsession with pretty light. I want to treasure the moments that need to be remembered.

Grab a cup of tea and have a roam around my blog to see my photography style and ideas. (Check out the Details section up there on the menu bar, and the FAQ's for lots of info too). I post pictures on here from recent photo sessions, as well as some personal photo projects and some ramblings about life in general. Leave some love, check my page out over on Facebook to stay up to date, and come back again soon,

Kirsty xx

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