The Pros and Cons of Taking Your Own Photos

When I first started this blog I knew that I eventually wanted it to include photos of my outfits thus the investment in my DSLR. However when I first got my camera I was perplexed about what to do with it. Did I want to take photos inside or outside? Did I want them to be a mini-fashion editorial like The Stranger and Capture Fashion or did I want a more casual snap-shot style like The Man Repeller and Style Bubble? On top of all of this came the most periling of questions, did I want to take my own photos or have someone else take them?

To say the least I played around for the first four months with all of these ideas. If you go back to January 2012 in the archives (which I don't recommend you do, I have come a very long way since then) you will see the trials and errors of all of my experimentation. After a year and a half I think I have finally figured out why taking your own photos can be your greatest advantage.

1) No one see's things like you see things.
Trust me when I say this because I was a model once upon a time and now like to consider myself more of a photographer and I have definitely noticed a difference between the way I look in photos I take of myself versus photos other people take of me and you know what, I actually like the photos I take of myself more because I feel like I look more honest in them. When other people take photos of me I feel like I am putting on a show, a performance of Ashley Garner but when I photograph myself it's not about that. I can just be and to be is a very strange and perplexing thing to explain in a way that will not make me sound crazy. To cut it short I feel like when I take my own photos they are more real perceptions of who I am than when other people photograph me.

2) It makes a personal blog more personal.
Isn't that the whole point? I can't tell you how many times I've been on blogs where they either get all of their images online or have someone else take their photos and I can feel disconnected from the blog. With tumblr and pinterest the point is kind of to have a massive influx of images from a massive number of sources but to me a blog should be more intimate than that. It should have indiscretions, quirks and a point of view that reflects the blogs author. By taking your own photos, even if you aren't that great of a photographer you allow the reader to really get an idea of how you see things. 

I'm not going to make this a post about how everyone should go out and invest in a $1000 DSLR or else your life is lacking and your career as a blogger is unsuccessful without one because we all know that isn't true. In fact most bloggers don't take their own photos and either put that burden upon their boyfriends or siblings or they hire a photographer. Although I am a 110% supporter of taking your own photos there are a few negatives that can come along with it as well.

1) I can only be as good as my resources and experience allow me to be. 
I pretty much have no cash flow as a college student and somehow managed to save up after several months to buy the cheapest DSLR that Cannon sold. I don't have a 5D or an ultra mega amazing lens. I don't have any real training with photo shop other than messing around on my own nor do I know how to use studio lighting very well. To say the least I am limited by my experiences and resources and my photos will reflect that in terms of their quality.

2) It's time consuming.
I will spend up to an hour trying to find the right angle, position myself in the right lighting and then getting everything focused correctly just to get one photo I actually like. To say the least going out to take photos is my work out. Sometimes I don't even like any of the photos I come out with and wish that I could have someone else there to get the angles that I can't get with the limitations of my tripod and patience. If I had another pair of hands helping me take photos I could easily cut my production time in half. 

As a libra I could argue both sides of this to the death but as a photographer and as a blogger I do think it add's a great deal to the meaning of a blog when you take the images yourself. In the end all that really matter's is what you think so take my opinions with a grain of salt but I would be interested to hear other bloggers and photographers opinion's on this subject matter.