I am following a pretty amazing photography project at the moment. A wonderful group of professional photographers have so graciously donated their personal time during the busiest season for our business, to help me keep the fire burning with a hobby I am so passionate about.
We were recently asked to write about our “why”. “Why do you do what you do?” Michelle from “I Am Beauty Revived” asked. “Take a look at what you do, and ask yourself if your desires are driving to your dream, or taking you away from your dream”, said Megan from Tiny Studio Tools. I was immediately moved to tears.
You see, I have this driven passion, this burning desire to be successful financially, but I struggle with being proud of just my successes. I am constantly critiquing myself and questioning every step I make. “Is this right?” “Does this look ok?” “Do you think they will be happy?” I have become so consumed with perfection, that I am losing myself in the work.
Do you remember your first, passionate and real kiss? The one that ignited the fireworks in your bloodstream, and sent electricity to your heart, so much that it made your “foot pop” up? I remember that kiss. That kiss was from my now husband. Sure, I had kissed boyfriends before, but this kiss, this first kiss, changed my life and everything I thought I knew.
I feel that way at the beginning of each session. When I hit that first “click” on the shutter of my camera. I feel the explosion of fire roar through my body when I look at the screen and see the breathtaking image I just captured. Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed with emotion, I tear up. I see stories in these images. Stories that sometimes I think are written in a language only I understand, but never the less, a story.
A lot of times clients want a still image of their child, smiling so happily for the camera. That only happens, 50% of the time. 50% of the time the kids are happy, 50% of the time they have no interest in photos. However, I am always able to find a story in the photos once I sit down to edit them. I look at these images and reflect on the child’s “firsts”. First laugh, first time tasting food, first steps, etc. I look at the moment, and see where they are now, and the personalities they have developed. How they have irrational preferences and do not care how cute the set up was for the portrait session. They only wanted to chase a dirty dog ball they found in the weeds behind the set up.
Those are my “whys”. Those are the moments I enjoy capturing. The organic, raw, and real moments of what your family was like on this day. Your husband, refusing to wear anything but his college’s team jersey for the family photos…or your daughter, refusing to change out of her Elsa dress and smile. Those, those are the moments where you remember what happened that entire day. The whole reason behind my passion for photography. Freezing time. Quieting the soul and capturing it on film. You can’t put a price on that.