Hey there everyone! Thanks for reading my very first blog post.
I thought maybe I could write about my personal style and thoughts as it applies to my images, and the way I shoot... AND LIVE.
When I first started shooting, 4 years ago, I didn't realize I had a style or that I apparently needed to find my style. I studied other photographers who would post online, photography forums, and articles. It seemed that if I wanted to make a career in photography that I always have to shoot a certain way or specialize in one certain area. That might be "where the money is," but it doesn't match my heart. I WANT to shoot weddings because I LOVE shooting them. I WANT to shoot Family, Children, and Lifestyle photos because I LOVE shooting them, I don't want to give ANY of them up. So I compromised and I take a limited number of weddings each year so that I can spend the necessary time on them and still have time to keep my family, lifestyle, and children. There is no way I can choose.
I DID actually find my style, but it ended up being nothing new to me. Because I value things and people that are genuine, I shot that way. It just happened. The exact definition of genuine is: truly what something is said to be; authentic. sincere. This "style" of living and photographing feels natural because it IS. I love to shoot real people, in real places, with real emotions. Those are the components of my favorite photographs. Do I pose clients during a shoot or formal wedding shots? Yes and no. I may tell you where to be and what to do with your hands etc., but i almost always follow up with the fly on the wall approach. Those are usually the favorites. I make crazy noises and be silly with children. Come on, nobody genuinely smiles and giggles for absolutely no reason. Sometimes it takes a village; it could be client family members dancing behind me, or mom and dad tickling or telling jokes. Whatever it takes, it is so worth it! The fact that it is genuine is what makes a photograph have soul. Which is why I don't understand "airbrushing." If someone is self-conscious about something, blemished skin, not-so-white teeth, etc., by all means make subtle enhancements. But can everyone stop airbrushing so much that children no longer have freckles? I find it absolutely disturbing how the very characteristics that make up a person are being brushed away. In my opinion, while it is art, if a photograph looks so overdone that it could be a painting... why not just buy a painting?
I love people and I love photographing in a way that shows heart and soul. That is why your favorite photos are probably the ones you look at and know exactly how you felt. Or if you forget how you felt, you can look back and see it in the image.
Let's make some memories, have real feelings, capture SOME formal shots where everyone is looking at the camera, but let's not forget about the in between, genuine moments. They're the ones that mean the most.
Lots of Love,
West Virginia Wedding, Family, & Lifestyle photographer