As of recently, I have been given the opportunity to focus more in depth on my photography and business as a whole. Days quickly turn into weeks so I have decided to take my hand at documenting my journey. Within these posts you will find my thoughts and experiences as they relate to photography, my sessions, and my life.
As the daughter of a sign-writer I had always been around fine, handcrafted art that took time and patience. As I grew older, I decided it was my turn to find something challenging that allowed me to express myself. My first experience started in high school when I elected to take a Photography I class. There I learned basic SLR functions, dabbled in lighting techniques, and of course was introduced to the darkroom with processing film and developing prints. I instantly fell in love and signed up for Photography II. This time we were focused more on composition, artistic expression, and provoking a feeling from onlookers. It took time, patience, and a lot of hard work, but the end result was always worth it.
Now, don't be fooled. Although I learned many things within those walls that I still use to this day, I didn't learn everything that I needed to know and know today by two introductory classes in high school. Throughout the years I have taken many courses, attended seminars both in person and online, collaborated with fellow photographers to bounce around ideas, and had lots of trial and error. To this day I am constantly striving to learn more and better my work for both myself and my clients.
My style has evolved through the years. Every photographer and artist has their own style and vision that they want reflected in their work. When I first began, I was too focused on posing my clients and trying to create the pinterest perfect snapshot. It was quite the reality check once I realized that every shoot is going to be different, regardless of how much you might prepare or even if you have worked with the same client in the past. After being unsatisfied with my own work time and time again, I began shifting gears.
Instead of running my sessions like a magazine shoot trying to get perfectly positioned shots, I started letting the shoots run themselves. I mentally took a step back and let each session unfold before me. Every personality and family dynamic differs, and it is so important that you capture the true essence of each client. Often times I snap photos of clients just organically interacting with each other without any cues. These are the pictures I have been trying so hard to capture but could never figure out how. These real, heartfelt smiles with ease and comfort expressed have become more important to me than the stiffly posed family dreading their photos.
The same can be said for my wedding photography. All too often brides and photographers become consumed by late night Pinterest sessions filling their minds with overly complicated ideas and setting their expectations so high. Many of the things we find online are not only difficult on the fly, but are also almost always done in a controlled setting that was set up on an off day by a photographer looking to boost their portfolio, or completely photoshopped. These photos used to haunt and taunt me, causing anxiety and stress when I couldn't recreate them perfectly. Those days are in the past.
I now take my couples through the grounds of their wedding venue and capture their pure love for one another. Asking thought and emotion provoking questions about one another allows me to snap photos of their happiness without forcing a cheesy smile. I gravitate less towards the "that's cool looking" and more towards the "I can feel the love in this picture." I focus less on the entertainment factor, and more on the heart strings.
There are different names for my style, but I call it Unposed Photography. Here's to the start of something new.