Say, 'Cheese,' Long Beach!

The Green Girl entered her first photography contest this weekend, the Say, 'Cheese,' Long Beach! competition.

The contest was sponsored by Justin Rudd's Community Action Team (CAT) organization.

The challenge was open to both amateur and professional photographers. The goal of the contest was to visually record aspects of the Long Beach community life in a 24-hour period.

I've never considered myself to be a photographer and instead have always referred to myself as a picture taker. To me, photographs are less of an art form and more of a documentary of my life.

My very first 'camera' was a Fisher-Price 110 Pocket Camera that allowed me to pretend to take pictures. With each click, the fake flash spun around and a new stock image appeared in the viewfinder.

My parents eventually got me a real camera. It was a giant leap technologically from my static 'A Day At The Zoo' pictures.

I was fascinated by the rolls of 110 film because they looked nothing like my dad's 33 mm cartridges.

I loved when my dad would take me to get my pictures developed. It amazed me that my pictures even turned out smaller than my dad's pictures - I was certain that the dimensions of a picture were directly proportionate to the size of the film.

In the course of the 24-hours, I learned a few things about myself. I discovered I am definitely not a photographer. If you were to apply a label to me, photojournalist would be much more accurate.

I never manipulate my pictures. When I see something I deem worthy of documentation or visually interesting, I will snap a shot. I rarely delete pictures and I never edit or crop.

I learned I prefer to take pictures of inanimate objects. I don't mind taking pictures of family and friends but taking pictures of strangers feels overly intrusive.

I struggled a lot with this challenge on Saturday because I was trying to force myself to capture possibly award worthy images.

I decided to take another approach on Sunday. Instead of trying to find places to take pictures, I just did what I'd normally do and snapped shots - like I normally do - along the way.

I submitted my dozen entries last night. The best photographs will be showcased this Friday in Bixby Knolls at First Fridays and $100 cash prizes will be awarded to the winners.


  1. WOw, you should have sent them this blog post along with the pics!
    I will call you "the lil' green raw photojournalist" great job!

  2. lovely pics ... I have a few signs from China that would make you laugh.

    I like how they tell me a little about common stuff

  3. Thanks, Rad Runner Girl and Andrew.

    I'm not an 'artsy' type of girl so I wanted my pictures to just show what I see in my day-to-day life.

  4. I have always loved taking pictures. 110 camera, having film developed - OMG, that brings back memories.
    Will you be running with a camera in Greece?

  5. That's quite awesome!! GOOD LUCK!!! :DDD

  6. You take BEAUTIFUL pictures, RGG!! My daughter is a wanna-be photographer and she'd have loved to do a contest like this one. I hope you get something...I think this is wickedly cool that you did this!!!

  7. That's a really great idea for a contest. Forces you to really pay attention to the details around you, which we too often overlook rushing from point A to point B. Based on the pics from the blog posting it looks like you did very well.

  8. GOOD LUCK!! I absolutely *love* the pic of the blue plastic pool!!
    I had the Fisher-Price camera, too. :-)

  9. Good luck! It looks like you have the "eye" it takes for some visually interesting pics...very cool!

  10. Good luck...love the idea of the contest. I love photography, but only looking at it. I'm terrible at just taking pictures. I need to do more with my camera!

  11. Nice photos! I had this problem with photographing strangers when I started taking photos in races as well. Felt strange to photograph runners I didn’t know. I got used to it quite quickly and now happily snap away.

  12. good luck, I like how you stuck with your personal shooting style.


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