This time of year is packed with photo shoots for me. It’s busy, I’m up late editing, gone most Saturdays and always feeling a bit frazzled. Sometimes as I make my way to meet a family I wonder if it’s worth it. And always when the session is over I’m sure that it is. I really love meeting so many great families and getting the chance to witness and capture such intimate and beautiful connections. Unhappy families don’t usually ask you to take family pictures. I think I’m generally meeting families at a point where, although things might be crazy and hectic, things are happy and full.
I always leave a session wishing I could know these families beyond the little bit of time I spend with them. And then, somehow through editing their pictures, I feel like I do sort of get to know them. When they look through the finished images I’m not sure they even see all the beauty that I do while working with them. I spend so much time looking at each face and expression, the lights in their eyes, the organic joy beaming though a child’s face, the way they look at each other. And something about looking for so long at an image transforms it, helps me to see beyond the light and composition into the real life that it’s capturing. And it’s inspiring.
I’m sure I’m reading a lot into images as I go through and edit them. I’m sure life in these families isn’t always as beautiful and perfect as it looks. But I’m also sure that some of the things that I get to capture with my camera are little bits of the true essence of their family life. The quintessence (as Sean O’Connor might put it:)). And those are the bits that we don’t always see as we’re moving through family life. They get buried under all the stress and commotion. Sometimes it’s only through pictures that we see it. And that, my friends is why I love photography.
So take a step back when you look at pictures. Stop looking for flaws or little things you’d like to change. Look at all the life and love captured. It’s all there. Snapped into a picture. And one day, those little pictures will bring back floods of memories and we might just wish we could see all the joy right then in the moment.
Ok. Enough. Why can’t I just put up a little sneak peak post without waxing philosophical? I really do love this job.