true capture

by Amy

i asked (on my facebook page) yesterday what my blog readers would like to see more of.  the majority ruled towards personal stories and photography tricks.  so i thought i would share a little bit of both today.

i personally loved this image the minute it snapped.  it’s blurry, it’s colorful, it’s crooked, it’s emotional…it’s my real life.  you may hate it…and that is ok.  but regardless of how much you like or loathe it, the process behind it is one of my favorite ways to capture an image.

first off, i must tell you…i am not the best.  i know that and i am fully ok with that.  in fact, i am certain i do not even rank on the list of amazing photographers.  full disclosure?  i am even hesitant to call myself a professional sometimes because of the weight that single word carries.  doesn’t matter.  i am not doing this for recognition (although i have to constantly remind myself that) but instead for things like documenting life, sharing amazing people stories and for hopefully giving my unbelievable clients images they will treasure forever.  all that is said so you know, i do not fancy myself.  ask my best friend, my husband and my parents…i struggle with massive insecurities.  a lot of them have to do with my photography.

please don’t mistake my genuine attempt at honest sharing as a request to throw a pity party in my honor.  i really am not.  these are some of my favorite ways to snag bits of this beautiful blessing called life.  you don’t have to love or even like it.  (thank you so very much…if you do though!)

so…we are clear that i do not think i am amazing right?  ok.  good.

i do know a few things.  and those few things are things that work for me.  and maybe you.  or maybe not.  but where i am at today, is all due to trial and error and personal preference and practice with lots more errors.  i like where i am and people seem to like my images occasionally so…yes, i would love to share what little tips and tricks i have with you.

[brief history]i started shooting in 1999 with a hasselblad, medium format film camera.  the kind you sling around your neck, hold at your waist and look through the viewfinder on the top.  the kind that sounds like a magical machine when you release the shutter.  the kind people don’t expect coming.

my 5 year old does not find true happiness in swimming.  he gets anxious and then cries.  i drives me batty and breaks my heart at the same time.  i had to squat, next to the pool as i hisspered to him, trying to reassure him that his teacher would never let him get hurt.  that i would never [ch-ch] put him in the water if i thought he could get hurt.  did you hear that?  ch-ch is camera-ese for “just took a picture”.  while squatted down with my came on the top of my thighs but under the tight hold in my arms, i took my sons picture without looking through the view finder.  had i put it up to my eye, he would have looked away.  maybe even splashed me.  but he didn’t see it coming.

and then there is my three year old.  he rarely engages or acknowledges my 7 month old.  rarely, as in never.  driving down the road, glancing back in the rear-view, i see this little treasure.  turning around to take a photo of them would have meant certain death, but raising my camera quickly (when the vehicle had stopped) and pointing it in the general direction…got me this.  ethan let go, seconds later.  it was as if lockness himself had crossed my path.  and i caught him.

i don’t tell you this to cause a 19 car pile up or make you drop your camera in a body of water.  i was VERY safe in both of these shots.  i tell you this to help you stretch your creativity in the ways you approach capturing a moment.  to help you step outside of what you are used to so you may discover a fun new way to stop time.  maybe this is no trick or tip…but it is something fun i do to make images i love of people in the middle of real life.

i know this was in yesterdays post but it is a self timer portrait.  on the floor.  with the 50mm lens propped up by it’s own camera strap.  total trial and error with a handful of out-of-focus mishaps…but one gem.  this is me and my boy.  in real life.  well…30 seconds into a segment of real life but still.  thats his room and my torn jeans and his winter shoes and my pile of his clean clothes waiting to be put away.  it is our little story.  and i love it, even if no one else does.

later, when i show my kids these shots they laugh and say “yoooooooou sneaky maaaaamaaaa!”.  and i know they are in love.  in love with a short story about our lives, regardless of how i caught it.  they keep coming back to these type of images and begging me to retell the story.  our story.

you should try it.  the no-look and the self-timer.  seriously.  try em.

you should also tell me what you would like to see on this blog!  leave me a comment, ask me questions…i post this stuff for you.  for inspiration, for giggles, for a heavy sigh as you realize there is someone out there just like you.  or maybe what i share teaches exactly what you DON’T want to do.  regardless…this is for you and i would love to hear what you would love to see!

and…thank you.  thank you for reading and for coming back to just look at my images and for all the love you do leave me.  it feels good.  real good.  so thank you.