Wisdom Before Regret. Part 1. 28th Nov 2013.
Recently I met with a group of portrait photographers on the Coast and after a couple of hours I left our little gathering feeling revived.
To set the scene, this is a group of relatively new friends who share the passion of photographing people. I find this hard to write - even now when it is all fresh in my mind but one conversation I had stuck with me and feels a bit like electricity running through me jolting me *awake*.
It was about photographing the 'little' people in our lives which was something I had all but ceased doing.... It may have been because I had a little 4 month old and had been learning to manage a busy life with two children and a business, but I knew deep down these were not the reasons stopping me. It was that every time I took photos of my precious 2.5 year old I wasn't getting the 'clean look' I wanted. I was getting frustrated and worn down by it - and it was making me unhappy. So I stopped. I would still pull the camera out (obviously for work shoots) but when it came to using it 'within' our own household I just felt 'tired' by the thought of it. 'What is the problem?' I used to ask myself. But I couldn't really work it out. I just wasn't getting the 'look' I wanted. I wasn't getting those 'clean' images that I *thought* were the be all end all of portrait work.
You see, it wasn't that the images weren't perfectly in focus and portraying happy and beautiful moments - those things were all there complete with my daughters perfect little face and big brown doe eyes... it was the background. The background was causing me to crease my brow and feel discontent. You see, I am a commercially trained photographer and I shoot weddings - my brain has been imprinted with a need to have 'clean and non-distracting' backgrounds and I felt that little I did at home was cutting it. I was failing the see the beauty in what was actually there all because our house happens to be made of brick and wood with the odd dark wooden skirting board or distracting background thrown in for, what I saw as 'distaste'.
The conversation I had with this photographer hit a nerve in me because she made me see that in the future it is NOT the posed photos against the perfectly white background that I will love most and carry close to my heart - it is the 'real' moments I photograph inside our beautiful (but relatively messy) home that I will find most endearing. This 'messy' background will tell me stories of what it is my daughter is enjoying playing with and how she loves to spend her time at this particular age. These are things I will WANT to remember, I just hadn't yet realised it. When this all became clear in my mind I felt relief. So much relief. Photographing my precious little cherubs at home is NOT the same as photographing someones wedding day. I CAN relax and let things be. And know that in all this I am going to document the beautiful yet humble existence that we live. And THAT is beautiful enough. So... I want to put out a big Thank you to Andrea Buschner. Through one single meeting you have helped me 'see' - before too much time has passed and regret has any chance of forming - I know what to do... Take photos of my beautiful babies as they are, living REAL moments - watch them grow like wildfire before my eyes. And cherish Every. Single. Moment.
Here are a couple of real moments to start me off... please scroll down to see most recent images.
Finn (17 weeks)
Willow (2 years 3 months)
Wisdom Before Regret - Part 2. Dec 2013
Willow 2 years 7 months, Finn 4.5 months
Multi-tasking at an early age! Talking on the phone whilst eating an apple and dancing... all in her stride. :)
Finn-bear is checking out the Scot & Dot book - upside down of course. ;-)
Loving the hot days of Summer.
As they get older I am consciously making an effort to remember the details in their faces and on their little bodies. Willows long and beautiful lashes, and the little arrow shape of her nose. The many ringlets and how some are longer and fall differently to others. I think in a way I am trying to make myself remember these things - I am trying to will myself not to forget.
Wisdom Before Regret - Part 3 (January 31st 2014)