Cerno: Official photographer to UGF


A camera was thrust into my paws and I declared the official photographer by our Usual Group of Friends (UGF). It’s a trickery “job” than I anticipated. I’m already feeling the title’s heft of responsibility on my shoulders. Its all my fault that I’m in this situation.

I’ve been the one whose always up taking pictures. Typically on group trips, at dinner dances, and weekend “meet-up” lunches that rolls on into dinner. Mostly because I like taking pictures over getting smashed or dancing to the same old songs. A majority of my shots turns out to be group photos of everyone bunched up around the camera, grinning. The girls worried about looking fat and the guys barely aware of what’s going on.

Then it branched out to “covering” gatherings by taking un-posed photos. They are the typical “what the Sunday lunch meet up looked liked” shots. I didn’t think much of them till Mrs C pointed out that quite a few of our friends had started using my photos of them as their Facebook profile pictures.

Things ramped up when our friends started to breed. Inevitably, offspring leads to birthday parties-currently for 1 and 2 years olds. My photo documentation of such events seems to be a hit with the parents. The main reason is that I have finally got “the hang” of aperture priority. The other is that if you take a few hundred photos of a swarm of 2 years olds there’s bound to be a handful worthy of an “Aney sweeeet”.

There is a worrying part of my new “role”. I am the preserver of memories for people and their children. My choices of framing a shot will influence how many years later, how events and people will be remembered. At a practical level I have the responsibility of organising, archiving and distributing the photos I take. The worst is when I have to take photographs with other people’s unfamiliar cameras. Specially ones that perform poorly in low light. It becomes a hassle when there’s an exception placed on you to produce “good” photographs.

Fact is I’m a shit photographer no matter what anyone says. But if some of my clickings makes anyone happy, so be it. I’m more concerned with juggling the expectations of the role and the practicalities involved pulling it off. I’m certainly not alone with this type of role.

Are you the official photographer for your family/friends? Or do you have one in your social circle? Either way their valuable insights you can to share about the role from both sides of the lens. The comment box humbly awaits your wisdom and you don’t have to “cheese” .

16 comments

  1. Congratulations on your new role Cerno. Hey, I’ve seen your photographs and they’re not shit man!😀

    I’m like the official camaraman representing our family at family events, you know? The one of many cousins jumping around taking pictures. I hate taking pictures of people though, much too impatient and fast moving. Hate taking posed photos but nobody likes it when I snap candid pics!😦 And don’t get me started on low light. I hate using the flash and this usually results in blurry (due to the low shutter speed) and under-lit photos.

    Sorry about the rant! I just enjoy taking pictures of mountains, that is it! hahaha😀

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  2. Great post Cerno🙂 My friend Bronte declared herself the official photographer for our 4 years in St. Andrews aiming to have a 1000 tagged photos of us by the time we graduate. I am at a 1,123 with a whole month to go and eternally grateful for someone taking the photos I often regret not having taken out of sheer laziness. So despite the photography skills, you really are doing people favours!

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  3. Chavie: Thank you🙂 I prefer to keep a low opinion of my camera work – forces me to improve all the time (or keep trying to anyway).

    Totally agree with your photography preferences-cannot stand posed photos myself but I’m begged into taking them. Yes I hate the flash too! Specially those red eye inducing pop up flashes or phone camera ones are the worst. I’ve been able to get away with it by diffusing the flash with a piece of white card – like a business card. Most of the time I’ve been able to bounce if off the ceiling but the process is very hit and miss.

    St. Fallen: :lol

    Vindi: Thank you😀 Over a 1000 tags photo!!! where do you manage to store all that! Have to admit I do like the act of taking pictures – even if the end result is a flop.

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  4. Yeah, I get tagged with that title. I usually reply with, if you want to make it official, you better plan on paying me!
    Funny, I’m always the one taking pictures for the same reasons as you🙂

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  5. Chavie: thank you for the reminder – I should check that site more frequently…🙂

    Pericles: Hmm payment! The danger is that that would stack up the expectations on my photos even highed

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  6. It’s a relief to know there’s other people out there ‘suffering’ the same fate! I vied for awhile to be crowned official photographer, I’ve got it and it is stressful now! cos people want their weddings photos taken! Ha ha and I still can’t work the aperture all too well! Oh the poor sods..

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  7. I too sometimes don’t like candid photographers…
    Once I had the bad experience of getting it on with this hot chick at a house party while drunk. I was very happy with my performance till I saw the photos mi friend had taken n realized that she was a minger

    I wouldn’t have known, since I would’ve thought mi friends said she’s ugly just cos their jealous if not for the proof

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  8. Pericles:😀 so demanding payment is a way out🙂

    CCS lover: I that makes you a member of Official Friends and Family Photographers’ Union – OFFPU!🙂 My sympathies and welcome aboard.

    Girigoris: Yow that sounds unfortunate. Goes to show that Mobile phone+Facebook = 1984 on Steroids. Its not just big brother whose watching you these days…

    kiri: Thank you😀

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