As I move along on this journey of creating a photography business I am in tandem on a journey of finding out what gives me passion about photography. Why do I feel the need to photograph? Why does it matter that I pick up my camera? In the beginning, it was all about trying to take “good” pictures, whatever that means…and trying to make a few bucks with a new hobby. In shooting this way it didn’t take long for the idea of creating a photography business to lose its luster. So, I walked away for a while, I grew as an individual, and in the process, I learned a little more about what makes me who I am and how that affects all parts of my life.
I’ve always known that I think and feel very deeply. I constantly analyze situations for deeper meaning. I am sentimental, I notice and remember a lot of small moments that most might think nothing more of than what they are on surface value.
For these reasons I love art that makes me think and feel a little deeper. Even as I write this I am listening to one of my favorite bands of all time, Death Cab for Cutie. Their lead singer and lyricist, Ben Gibbard, is (in my opinion) one of the best songwriters of all time. He has this amazing ability to use familiar imagery in describing the complex feelings behind seemingly simple moments. One of my favorite examples of this is when he uses the image of “brothers on a hotel bed” to describe the feeling of awkwardness and disconnect between a couple falling out of love. In the song “Cath…” he sings about a woman at her wedding who isn’t in love with her soon to be husband but is still going through with it, here is a short excerpt from that song…
“Cath, she stands with a well-intentioned man
But she can’t relax with his hand on the small of her back
And as the flashbulbs burst
She holds a smile like someone would hold a crying child“
How profound is it to describe her smile in this way. If you’ve ever held and tried to console a crying child you are most likely able to connect with the deeper level of meaning in this verse and possibly connect that to a feeling or memory like this in your own life. I think this is Ben Gibbard’s aim in songwriting, and he is a master at it.
I’m realizing that my aim as a photographer is to convey a story or connection in an image that brings the viewer to feel rather than just see. I don’t want my clients to look back on their photos and just see the surface value of what everyone looked like at that point in time but be transported to the authentic feelings and memories of that time.
When I see the image above I am taken back to this moment. Sara was chatting with her husband when her middle son walked past her, she knowingly or unknowingly grazed the top of his head with her fingertips. The moment lasted maybe a second, but in capturing it I think I was able to encapsulate the feeling of a mother constantly aware of her babies, wherever they are, and seeking connection with them in even the simplest, smallest way possible.
So if you look around in my work and wonder why there aren’t any pictures of families all smiling and looking at the camera as “perfectly” as possible, its because that isn’t my passion. I want to tell you a story, I want to capture a genuine connection, I am in love with the small, profound moments that pass by so quickly. In doing so I am staying true to who I am, and I want to be known as the photographer whose images make you feel rather than just see.
I don’t believe that every image I take will accomplish this, some will just be fun or cute or a generally pretty picture, and that is just fine with me. In the end, to have even a handful of images from each session that go beyond what your eyes can see, that resonate with you in the depth of your being is always my goal. This is my passion, this is me, and I am always honored to share that with you.