my day (unfortunately) has been starting off at the computer. the kids rattle the door until i peel my eyelids back, search for my glasses and stumble to the bathroom. i drag myself to the office, turn on the computer, check email and scan facebook. 3 years ago when i began my self taught journey into digital i "liked" a LOT of photographers on facebook. a lot of them have since faded into the background, but occasionally i'll wake up to a west coast photog blogging about something that i can read in the morning. this was one of those mornings. her post was titled something like "what kind of photographer i am" she writes about the difference between portraits and lifestyle and posts a few examples of each. how she says she processes photos taken in the home (mostly b/w because who can manage skin tones inside?!) and which she likes more and all that. ya know sometimes you read something and it just sort of tucks itself into a fold of your brain and annoys you all day? this was that thing. this blog post had totally gotten me thinking and i couldn't stop. it's a long conversation i've been having with myself. i was getting lost in the throes of motherhood and wifehood and so i had to grab onto something and photography was the friend i'd been missing. it sometimes gets jumbled up with my other life responsibilities such as feeding my kids, paying some bills, etc. in the three years since i've started i've learned a lot about what *i* like to shoot, how i like to shoot and if someone hires me, what are the images i'm hoping to capture for them? so part of my brain is filled with this blog post. the other part is filled with something a local photog posted maybe 2 years ago. she posted a picture of her son at the beach. i really thought it was the most gorgeous photo ever. a candid portrait of her son, hair blowing in the wind, looked like sunset with that warm glow. and below she said she rarely posted pics of her kids but she just loved this one of her son and then finished with : of course i would never give this quality image to a client! too messy and i totally blew the red channel!
red channel? huh?
i guess that makes me a sloppy photographer. maybe careless. i get my settings and then we just play. it might be sunset, the light might be deliciously pink, and i'll still give you that photo. if i'm looking at two photos of your children and one is all of them looking in 6 different directions, wonky teeth hanging out, smiles and giggles dripping off the page, and the other is them sitting, all looking forward, hands folded, mouths tight, i'm going to pick the silly one. i use VSCO because film was my first love. i leave the grain because it feels imperfect and so are we all.
i've long struggled with calling myself a portrait photographer. i'd much rather be called a fly on the wall photographer. the kid whisperer photographer? i'm the photographer you want to hire when you want your life photographed. not your fancy shirts and the perfect beach right down the street and that adorable radio flyer prop you bought (although, damn, is a picture ever hurt by radio flyer love?! no way) take me out for ice cream, let me photograph your chocolate mustache and baby fingers covered in gooey, creamy goodness. let me just be there and i'll show you all the beauty that is living in your everyday.
ok, but this does all tie into some awesome photos. the other day we were at the beach with friends and a neighbor of hers came down with his three boys. they caught my eye immediately. aged 7, 5 and 4, or something along those lines. one toehead with the most amazing blue eyes, a little hazelnut creature with brown eyes that drank up the light and an older brother with a wonky tooth. all jumping off a boogie board, bobbing and dipping below the water, red eyes from exploring below the surface. and i thought to myself, if my husband was down here with my boys, doing something that is so obviously habitual, a ritual of love, i would want that captured. if i was his wife, i wouldn't be hoping for a photo of my boys at this stage in life all dressed and combed and in coordinating outfits. i would be hoping for THIS.
these photos were shot in about 10 minutes. i would consider every one of these client worthy. but i can't say whether or not i blew the red channel. and i definitely don't care.