Stop Taking Pictures. Start Taking Photos.

I look down at my phone, puzzled — it was as if I had destroyed something beautiful. It’s an OK picture, but nothing compared to the sunset that was right in front of me. The image on other side of the camera did not tell the same story…something happened when I tried to put a border on what I was seeing.

I hear my mom:

“Ug. I wish they didn’t put that ugly house right there!”

I look to the left and see a lone building sitting on top of a dock that’s jutting out into the sea. She had a point. The house did take away from the otherwise entirely natural view. On the other hand, the so-called docked-atrocity would probably make for a better picture. I walk over, camera in hand:


The Ugly Dockling made for a pretty alright photo. I’m surrounded by a seaside sunset over the distant islands, and this eyesore turns out to be my favorite photo. Herein lies the difficulty of photography: just because something looks good in person doesn’t mean it makes a good photo.

As a hobbyist photographer, this can be very frustrating. To better come to grips with this, I’ve created a personal distinction between a picture and a photo.