It's a new year! 2014 seemed to have a lot going on and I can't help but wonder what 2015 will place along my path. I'm pretty excited to see what it's going to be all about, what the theme of the year will be. Last year seemed to be where I found a different stride. As some of our children begin school and we move past the "there's always a baby in the house" stage, life's schedules seem to rearrange themselves into a different rhythm. This change also brought about new perspective in a bunch of ways.
I think one of the ways I'm most stoked about is the way my photography has evolved, and hopefully continues to develop, a look, or a feel, that is authentically what I am. That might seem pretty contrived. I'll try to explain what that means to me and also to you as my clients.
Cliché or not, having children seemed to bring about this time warp where I became ultra-aware of the passage of time. That everything is in a constant state of change. That no moment will ever be repeated, ever. That all we have, and it's an amazing, huge, beautiful amount, is the right now, here where you are and the memory we will have of this very moment. And with children, as they mature and develop in highly apparent ways, I am constantly trying to keep all these moments, to remember and reflect on at later moments. The way sunlight dashed across my daughter's face as she crinkled her face to laugh, my son running across the yard on a warm spring day with shorts and rubber boots, watching my elder daughter's fingers move across the piano keyboard as she studies her lesson book.
And so what exactly does that mean for photography? Well, to me, it means props are cool but they really don't need to take up space in the images I want to capture with my camera. There is already so much going on with the people I have the privilege of photographing. Past experiences, personality, the weather, where we are, age dynamics. I feel already as though it's nigh impossible to capture it all without having to muddy those moments, looks, gestures with a perfectly placed something-or-other.
For example, we brought our oldest daughter home to our first teeny tiny house. We had bought our current home when I was three weeks pregnant. It needed a ton of work. We're talking windows, doors, siding, insulation, shingles, weeping tile, drywall, paint, flooring, bath fixtures, rodent extermination, landscaping, removing/burning rat infested outbuildings, and the list goes on. It was a capital mess when we bought it! I thought we could do it in four months. I was naive and very wrong. Between you and me, I think pregnancy had a lot to do with my oh-so-optimistic viewpoint and my self-imposed, impending deadline that rivalled the 2012 Mayan calendar countdown!
But now, I'm so grateful we brought our first baby into our first, tiny house instead of the renovated larger home. It was a house my husband and I had already warmed up with memories. She slept in a front, wee bedroom with full south sun filtered by big arching elm trees. The light was beautiful in that house. And I wish we had more photos of it, where she napped, the black and white kitchen too small for a table where she watched us cook together, the large backyard where she and I would go out and sit for some fresh air.
And that means, when I'm taking photos of you and/or your family, I want to make sure you have the photos that you will have wished were taken. That I can capture a few of your life moments showing who you were, individually and together, at that particular moment in time. That you can clearly see the connection between each other and how you have all grown and changed since then. The memory may be sweet, it may be bittersweet but I do want that beauty in its unadulterated form to be there for you to celebrate. And that is why I might bring a blanket but you won't see an old suitcase or an antique desk in my photos. They tend to get in the way of you and the you-ness of you, which I think is pretty much exactly what needs to be captured.
I'd love to hear your thoughts! What do you take away from photographs? What do they mean to you? To you, is photography meant to capture a moment or to enhance a feeling or place?