September 22, 2011
Part of the amazing privilege I have as a photographer – is to pay attention.
To SEE things.
I have had to train myself to take in the details and to not only see the entire scene – but to look within the frame at all of the others details… all of the other possibilities. The picture inside a picture. I love this challenge. I believe it keeps me challenged as a photographer and it keeps life fresh and exciting.
I also have the honor and privilege of SEEing my subject. Really seeing them.
Of course I see their eyes, their faces their hair, and their outfits. But I also get to see SO much more. I catch glimpses of their hearts, their personalities. Their gifts and their spririt. And yes, their fears or insecurities. I’ve seen boldness and courage. I’ve seen tenderness and love. I’ve seen confidence and quirkiness. I’ve seen poise and grace. I’ve seen shyness and timidness. I’ve seen quiet strength.
When photographing families, in all honesty, I can tell if there is a strained relationship between a father and a son, or a mother and a daughter. I am not a prophet – I don’t “know” things. But I am trained to SEE and FEEL as I photograph people and families. And I can see when two people are totally comfortable around each other – or if there is some awkwardness or discomfort. It’s very revealing to photographer someone. It’s vulnerable. It’s hopefully honest and not too cheesy.. but yes, I see cheesy and superficial too.
It’s not like magic – sometimes people are just not that comfortable in front of a camera – and it shows. I certainly fall into that category. But in general, we photographers do get to see some things. I believe we MUST see things.
One of the reasons I LOVE photographing high school seniors is because I LOVE SEEING young people during one of the most important seasons in their lives. I love celebrating them during a time in life when the future is so unwritten and they are so full of hope and excitement. They are finding who they are – and who they hope to become. So I love being a part of this time in their lives. And I see something different in every Senior that I photograph. Every one of them is unique and has their own traits, qualities and strengths that I catch glimpses of. That I get to capture and celebrate.
I love this process. I LOVE what I see…
So I’ve decided to begin to share what I see with you, with my seniors.
It’s just a tiny little attempt on my part to encourage, to affirm and to continue to really SEE my subjects and to try as best I can to capture their heart and spirit as well as the outward appearance.
So this is for Kaleigh Campbell – this is what is I see…