Photography isn’t just about capturing light; it’s about capturing life.
In a world filled with rapid shots and fleeting moments, it’s easy to misconstrue photography as merely a game of numbers: aperture, ISO, shutter speed. These are the usual terms bandied about in workshops and manuals, the holy trinity of the craft. But there’s a deeper truth, one often overlooked: photography isn’t just about capturing light; it’s about capturing life.
Imagine a room bathed in the soft, amber hues of twilight, where every shadow and highlight is perfectly balanced. Technically, the photograph taken might be impeccable. But is that all there is to it?
In my journey as a photographer, I’ve come to realize that the true heart of a photograph isn’t in its pixels, but in its stories. Every portrait I take isn’t just an image but a tapestry woven of emotions, hopes, dreams, fears, and histories.
The real art begins long before the camera is even in focus
Often, before the click of the shutter comes the unspooling of a narrative. The real art begins long before the camera is even in focus. With every client I work with, a dance unfolds. This dance, sometimes delicate, sometimes fiery, requires me to meet my clients where they are, emotionally and mentally. It’s not just about “say cheese and smile,” it’s about “tell me about the time when…”
For some, the mere act of standing in front of a camera is an exercise in vulnerability. They arrive, wrapped in layers of shyness or weighed down by years of self-doubt. Others step in bursting with vibrant energy, their spirits too vast and wild to be confined within four frames. As a curator of moments and a storyteller of souls, my role requires flexibility, adaptability, and intuition so sharp it can sometimes feel supernatural.
A photographer must know their subject intimately
Artists across the spectrum, whether they wield brushes or chisels, know their medium. They understand its intricacies and eccentricities. Similarly, a photographer must know their subject. Not just their angles and contours, but their essence. What fears keep them awake at night? What dreams set their hearts aflutter? Only by tapping into these core emotions can a photograph truly come alive.
The Pareto Principle in Photography
There’s a principle, the Pareto principle, which suggests that in many pursuits, 20% is rooted in the technical, and 80% in the intangible. In the realm of portrait photography, this rings especially true. While the 20% – the lighting, composition, and technicalities – lays the foundation, it’s the 80% – the raw emotion, trust, and connection – that truly brings a photograph to life.
The camera, in many ways, is a bridge. A bridge between the photographer and the subject, between the tangible and the ethereal, between a moment and eternity. When a client stands in front of my lens, they aren’t just posing for a picture; they’re entrusting me with a fragment of their soul, a chapter of their story.
Photography is an investment in precious
To anyone who’s ever balked at the price of professional photography, consider this: What you’re investing in isn’t just a print. It’s an experience, a journey of self-discovery, and a timeless testament to who you are at this very moment. Like that luxury handbag or the car you’ve been eyeing, it’s not about necessity. It’s about value, about cherishing what’s ephemeral and making it eternal.
Photography, in its truest form, isn’t a profession or hobby. It’s a calling. A calling to see and be seen, to understand and be understood, to capture not just images but souls. In this dance of light and shadow, the heart, after all, takes the lead.