Have you become your group's designated photographer?

Candid photography 4 people looking out at a field
(Image credit: Freddie Collins)

Whenever I go on holiday, a weekend away, or even a day trip you can find me, camera in hand, documenting every part of the trip. From the journey there (unless of course, I’m driving), to arrival, to every meal, and even the moments of rest, I’m always ready to take beautiful candid snaps of my nearest and dearest. Capturing these moments is incredibly important to me, I love being able to tell a story of our time together through images but sometimes, I really do wish I was in more of them!

The one problem about being your friendship group's sole photographer is that you won’t be in 90% of the photos. And the ones you are in are usually forced group shots or photos you have asked someone to take of you so it’s very hard to act natural. 

• These are the best cheap cameras - perfect for someone just getting into photography without a big budget

It was my choice to be a photographer, no one is arguing that but sometimes I look back on the photos I've taken and it feels like I’ve written myself out of my own life. Sure my friends take photos of me on their phones or Instax but it’s not quite the same as being captured mid-laugh or dancing, completely unaware you’re even being photographed. 

Woman in a catsuit lying in daisies

Caught frolicking in the daisies  (Image credit: Jack Canham)

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to a yurt party in a charming little village called Bradley on the outskirts of Basingstoke, UK. The theme was Time Travelers Ball so, of course, this was going to be an excellent opportunity for photos. As normal, I got my camera out and started snapping away but much to my surprise as the night went on and sunset was upon us, my friends suddenly became very interested in using my camera. I let them take the reins for a change!

I didn't make it easy for them, I passed over the camera in manual mode and told them which dials would affect the exposure and then left them to it. On its return, I expected to see quite a few blurry, out-of-shot photos but honestly, I was blown away by how good they were. Turns out my friends are actually a bunch of talented photographers and now I know this secret, I'll be passing over camera duties more often. 

Natural photo of 4 friends sat on a sofa

Oh so natural (Image credit: Freddie Collins)

Not only was it really nice to appear in some photos for a change but it was an absolute pleasure watching the joy on their faces when they took a photo they were proud of. To open someone's eyes to the reason why something is your passion is humbling, rewarding and totally magical. Most of my friends are DJs and producers, so they regularly discuss music-related things it was a really nice switch-up to see them getting excited about my area of expertise. 

Of course, I'll never stop being the designated camera lady, I love doing it and I admit I can think of it as my gift to everyone in attendance, but it's good to know that I can pass the baton sometimes. It means that in years to come when I look back at photos, I'll actually be in the photos, not just appear as a shadow from behind the lens. 

All images were taken on a Sony A7 III and a Sigma 28 - 70mm f/2.8 DG DN lens

Girl wearing a fluffy jacket waving a bubble wand

Playing with bubbles because being a real adult is overrated (Image credit: Ali Horton)

If you enjoyed this why not also check out our 10 top tips for amazing portrait photography 

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.