Good photographs require authenticity.
Authenticity requires comfort and ease.
Comfort and ease require TIME. It takes time to get used to a photographer being in your house, to forget (as much as possible) that you are being observed and captured through a little black box. As a photographer, I am efficient and energetic…but NEVER rushed.
I would rather shoot a long session and make beautiful, truthful photographs, even if that means I can only shoot one session that entire day.
Last week, I spent over 4 hours in the beautiful East End home of the P. family: I arrived at 7 a.m., and was greeted by sweet and funny Mr. P (awesome taste in music), beautiful Mrs. P (a talented floral artist; she styled a fresh garland for our shoot in less time than it took me to adjust my f-stop), Little Baby M (gorgeous enough to be a Gerber baby), two rescued dogs, and two aloof cats.
Considering that it was early morning (still pajama-time), we decided to start with the candid, relaxed, lifestyle images, and to save the “posed” shots for later.
The first few frames of any session are often a little “stiff” as the subjects adjust to the photographer’s presence, but this family was quick to “drop-in” to the relaxed and genuine space in which all the best family photographs are made. With jazz playing on vinyl in the background (again, they had such cool taste in music) and a few silly jokes from me, the P’s were having a ball on the couch, and I was in heaven behind my lens.
Despite the cold weather, we even ventured outside for a few shots; the overcast sky made for a soft, flattering light, and the snow blanketing the ground acted like a giant reflector. If not for the cold noses and fingers, we could have stayed out there all day.
We already had captured lots of great pictures, but mom and I wanted to create some more “styled” looks for Baby M.
When photographing families with Little Ones, the babies set the schedule and flow of the session. Mom and I bonded during Baby M’s mealtime, capturing some beautiful heirloom nursing photos that I know she will treasure for years to come.
I’ve learned from experience that a fed-baby and a rested-baby is a HAPPY baby; our patience paid off, and I was about to create my favorite images from our entire morning shoot…
If I’ve learned one thing over and over again, in photography and in life, it’s that good things come to those who wait.
Good art can’t be rushed; investing time in my sessions allows me to create better work, to enjoy the experience more, and most importantly, to deliver a fun, stress-free experience to my clients.
Amidst the chaos and busyness of modern life, I savor the timeless space which I enter when I get behind the lens. Investing time creating great photographs pays off in all the years that will spent enjoying those photographs, returning to them again and again to revisit the fleeting memories of a Little One’s childhood…
…or a sullen cat guarding the kitchen…