So… it’s been almost four years since I left my “real” job and jumped into this photography thing – and naturally, after several hundred sessions and tens of thousands of shutter clicks …. there’s a time where you stop for a second and start to question if your style needs a fresh new take or if you need to change the way you approach sessions. You look at other photographers with umpteen thousand followers and you’re like “crap… her styled shoots are amazing. do i need to learn how to do that?” or “man, that editing is insane. should I be editing more dramatically?”
Early in this photography journey I compared myself A LOT to other photographers. It’s a natural thing to do when you’re traveling that path of trying to figure out “who you are” as a photographer. I’ve come a long way since then in the sense that I have learned to trust what’s in my heart and be confident in the way that I choose to approach my work. Because back in the day when I was doing something photographically that I KNEW wasn’t “me” – at the end of it, the pictures reflected it. And I hated that feeling.
But over the last couple of months that “unsettling comparison” crap started creeping in. And I started to waver. No idea where it came from but it hit me hard. And that little devil voice was like, “Hey Brea. Seriously. You’ve been doing this for a while. Do we need to do an overhaul?”
And then – this session happened… and it brought my thoughts right back in focus.
This family has been with me for four years and I’m pretty sure we’re officially in double digits in the amount of sessions we’ve done together. Luckily – Mom has always shared my vision about what makes a photograph beautiful. The “imperfectly perfect” shot that we always talk about that is more about “emotion” and “authenticity” than it is about “technicality.”
But… you want to talk about a challenge to keep things fresh? We’ve done the lake thing. We’ve done the park thing (a couple times). We’ve done the downtown thing. We even did the OTHER STATE thing. But the one place we hadn’t gone? The one place where their “emotion” and “authenticity” as a family really comes out? Their home. And it was imperfectly perfect with these three hilariously adorable and incredibly-unique-from-each-other little men and their incredible Mom and Dad.
TO YOU, S Family – thank you. Thank you for always showing me that what is beautiful is what is authentic. And reminding me that if you’re willing to be the “raw” you on that side of the camera – than you should get nothing but the “raw” me behind that camera. You have always, and will continue to inspire me… and remind me of why I choose to photograph with my heart first, and my camera second. Thank you for that.
And to YOU, Mama of this army of boys… gorgeous on the outside (we need to string together your “senior pictures” one of these days) – but on that inside is an even more beautiful display of your passion for your boys, your heart for your friends, your commitment to your family and your willingness to embrace the authenticity of “life.” Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the journey with me from the VERY FIRST “official” photo shoot after I left my old job – to supporting me every year since – to telling anyone that’s breathing around you about me… and for always believing in and supporting my work. I’ll never forget any of it.
Until next time… (and the time after that…and after that…)