I usually start my sessions by telling whoever I'm working with that, while my end goal is for them to love the photos they come away with, the current goal is for them to enjoy the process. I want them to feel at ease, comfortable, and to genuinely have a good time. (Especially true for families with young kids. I view it as a memory making time.) If that happens, then you can't help but come away with amazing images. When the emotion is real, the "posing" not really posed, that is when the photos truly evoke a response from the viewer.
So while doing a session, as much as I want the original vision to play out, I am constantly on the look-out for the "moments" that are happening around me. That quick kiss between mother and child. The cute and intimate smile between mom and dad as they watch their kids play. That real laugh that bursts out of the senior girl as we talk or joke. Learning to be focused on the interactions that play out around me as much, or sometimes even more so, than on the original vision for the shoot has helped me so much. I have so many favorite moments that I've captured that I would never have been able to dream up had I tried. Today I thought I'd to share a few:
I learned so much about this concept during my brother and sister in law's engagement photos back in 2012. They basically "went on a date" with just minimal instruction from me, and we used light and their love to create some really amazing photos.
Above: The Maska family. This moment happened when they were all sitting in the grass together tickling their boys.
The Hartman Family. Trust me, this moment was not posed or planned, and happened in the midst of hysterical laughter and what probably looked like chaos. :)
The Murray Family. One of my favorite photos of all time. Shirley's two boys were playing, and I was taking pictures of them. Then I glanced to my right and saw Shirley standing there, just watching her boys. This image is the essence of motherhood to me.
My Drew bug on his 4th birthday. Watching airplanes take off just as the wind blew and tossled his hair.
Autumn's Senior photos. Taking pictures of her in the water when her puppy Journey broke free from his leash and ran down to the water jumping all over her. And this happened in the midst of it.
And if you have already seen my sister's engagement photos, you know they're full of all-kinda amazing moments.
These are just a random few... But there are real-life photos like this in every session I do. This is my passion and privilege, capturing the beauty in a fraction of a second for my clients. Freezing it forever to always be a reminder of the amazing love in your life and the beautiful relationships you hold most dear.
[This post is part of a thirty one day series on being present in the moment.]