I’m still learning the ins and outs of being a photographer. Suffice it to say, it’s not something you suddenly become just because you own the equipment. There is so much I don’t know how to do yet, so much I don’t know how to plan for, that I sometimes don’t like to even consider myself as such because I don’t feel I necessarily deserve to be called one, a photographer, that is.
Titles bear so much weight, so much responsibility, and sometimes we, well, I, provide myself with so much pressure that I lose sight of what’s most important to that title I hope to live up to someday. What’s important about BEING a photographer? For me, it’s simple (and some may tease, corny) – freeze moments in time and keep it hostage so we can look back and remember what happened 33 years ago when mom and dad got married, or 15 years ago when my little sister graduated from kindergarten; or four years ago when our flight to Lugano, Switzerland was cancelled and we were forced to go on a 3-hour train ride in a country we’d never been.
Photographers freeze moments every time they press that button on their cameras and the shutters close and open. Some moments we help to create, you know, the locations, the poses, etc, but there are those priceless moments that we can only hope for – the unplanned, stolen moments that aren’t meant for public showcasing. My photographer friends call those “money shots” for all the poignant value they’re worth.
Remember Chris and Iya? I took pictures of them right before their baby twins were born. Well, they’re full-fledged parents now, of two of the most adorable pair of daughters (and I’m not only saying that because I get to be proud godmother to one and gushing aunt to the other). Charlotte Grace and Alexis Nicole were born this past spring and this time, they got to be in pictures with Mama and Papa…well, they were in it, technically, last time, but you know what I mean.
Charlie and Alex are happy babies, and it’s not hard to make them smile or laugh because it’s just in their nature =) Funny enough, however, when it came time for them to share the spotlight with their parents in front of the camera, they sort of got shy, and Chris and Iya did everything to make them smile.
You’d think after a whole afternoon of shooting, one shot of four faces all looking at the camera and smiling would be money, but this shot, right after a quick lens-change break, was one of my favorites. I hadn’t called their attention to let them know I was ready, and I’m so happy I didn’t. It looks like Chris (holding Alex) and Iya (holding Charlie) were trying to bargain with their children, “Come on, smile. You’ll get an hour of the Sprout channel later if you do!” Haha! But really it was just them, enjoying some family time with the girls.
There are a lot of images that photographers can manufacture, during and after a photo’s been taken. But the ones that linger the longest in my mind, are the images I barely had a hand in creating.