From The Hip / by Simeon Smith

Lomography started it all. 

I blame Maria.

She introduced me to this weird world of film cameras via the plastic fantastic cameras of Lomography. 

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If you’ve never heard of the company, they try to portray themselves more as a movement than a business, and do this via their “10 Golden Rules”, one of which is “shoot from the hip”. 

Shooting from the hip is supposed to be about surprising yourself. About not being sure what’ll come out. About guessing. About speed. About stealth. 

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I think it’s something that all kids do, if given a camera. Take a photo without looking through the viewfinder. Most beginners do it too, just playing around, trying things out. But if you’re a beginner or a kid with a camera, you’re not going to be any more or less surprised by shooting from the hip than by trying to compose the shot properly. Especially if you’re using a plastic toy camera. 

The people that really need to shoot from the hip are people that have been taking photos every day for the last few years. We’re the ones that have been repeating the same, boring composition ideas time after time. We’re the ones that “know how” to take a photo, but have forgotten how to make art. We’re the ones that could do with surprising ourselves. 

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So the other day I was meeting Howard for lunch. We had veggie burritos at Bynmill Coffee House near my office. On the walk there, and the walk back I shot from the hip. Exclusively. No looking. 

Are these great photos? Well, no, not really. 

But are they different to what I’d usually do? Sure. Did they get me out of my comfort zone? YES. Were they a challenge to select and edit? Definitely. 

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Give it a go. Shoot from the hip.