How Taking Photos Made Me Love My Hometown How Taking Photos Made Me Love My Hometown

How Taking Photos Made Me Love My Hometown

by Megan Greenwell

March 22, 2012

The first photo I ever took in Los Angeles starred hundreds of cars in bumper-to-bumper traffic. I still regret that.

My next goal is to take photos of people. I recently upgraded to a 50 mm lens, which is great for shooting almost anything but captures portraits particularly well. Though I've been in journalism since I was 14, I don't relish the idea of approaching strangers on the street, particularly without the pretense of a story assignment. But every time a teenager walks by on her way to her quinceañera or an old man in a dashiki crosses my path, I wish I had asked them for a photo. I'm getting there.

Of course, an expensive DSLR lens is no longer necessary for taking great photos—nearly half of Americans now have a perfectly good camera in their pocket in the form of a smartphone. With no need to spend extra money or lug a bulky camera around, there's no reason not to take photos, even if no one will see them but you.

Part of the value of the Art Every Day challenge is that it reminds us that art brings real value to our lives, beyond a simple appreciation of beauty. After my initial skepticism, I've embraced my adopted hometown in ways I wouldn't have without a camera. Taking photos may not have made me into an Angeleno yet, but it's made me aspire to be one. 

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How Taking Photos Made Me Love My Hometown