Photographing What Matters

Take a moment and close your eyes. Now imagine the photographs that mean the most to you. Chances are these photos bring you back to a special moment or feeling, or include people you hold dear to your heart. It’s true that photographing people can be difficult - even if we know them like the back of our hand. Here are some of my top tips for capturing amazing photographs. Take a peek into my process and start shooting your life today.

Be present

If you want to take a good photo, you must remain present. You must not allow yourself to be distracted and must stay aware of your subject. Observance is key. Whether you are photographing your children or a hike in the woods, you have to anticipate what’s coming next. There are moments before the eyes wide open, honest and raw smile that lead up to that instance - and those are just as worthy as photographing.

Capture Emotion

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Throughout history, the photographs that are most often remembered are those that capture raw emotion. Many people question just how some photographers get to that moment, but I believe that the easiest way to explain the journey is to tell others to shoot with their heart.

Embrace movement

There are moments leading up to these significant emotions that you, with time, anticipate by instinct. Do not stop when you think you’ve got the shot - because sometimes, the split second after the high of an emotion can lead to the most raw and natural images of them all. Shoot in bursts and remember that you are shooting human subjects, full of love and a range of emotions that cannot be predicted. Play around with shooting details and shots taken in surprise. Allow your subjects to continue living in the moment while you work.

Embrace movement

Life happens fast. Photographs are meant to tell a story. Use a fast shutter speed and capture the real movement. Change your perspective by being level with your subject and tell the story by their point of view. “I believe in this moment. And this moment is your life.”

Keep it simple

When a client invites me in to their day to day lives to photograph their family they often ask what their outfits should look like. I always tell them to wear whatever makes them feel most comfortable. Yes, beaded gowns, suit jackets, and costumes are all fun - but the beauty in a photograph does not lie in a wardrobe. The beauty in a photograph comes in the shape of a smile or a laugh when a father lifts his child in the air as the mother watches with happy eyes. The beauty in a photograph is most alive when the family is comfortable and eager to simply be in the presence of one another.

When taking photographs, do not feel a need to form an uncomfortable pose, iron the bedding, or go out and buy new pillows for the living room. Simply stay true to yourself and your family. After all, you are trying to capture the essence of your life.

It is love. It is always love.

Remain in the moment

It is important that when we are taking photos, we still allow life to happen as it normally would. I don’t know about you, but I want to document the real stuff. The relationships, the connections, and the emotions we all share. Over the years, I have learned that the best art is often right in front of our eyes. It is the kids holding hands while playing a game. It is the dogs playing in the mud. It is the cold mountain water falling against your skin. It is the loving glance from across the room. It is love. It is always love.

There is a fine line between documenting and obsessing over the shot which will lead you to missing out on a moment. Don’t get so caught up in getting the perfect shot that you miss the magic that is life. Remain in the moment… every moment.

Photograph your life with these tips in mind to capture real moments for future generations to cherish. What are some of your favorite photo tips? If you’re interested in having portraits taken with you in front of the lens as well, contact me today.