The need to document.

As long as I can remember, I have loved taking pictures.  I can remember going on family trips to Texas and Arkansas for family reunions where I’d beg to be in charge of using the disposable camera. I would look for candid moments between my aunts and uncles. I would notice the light, and if they needed to stand in a different position to keep from having distracting shadows on their faces. I would try to find great spots to take group shots, with the perfect lighting and beautiful outside scenery to make the photo extra special. I would cut out clippings from National Geographic or random magazines my Dad would bring home from the nursing home after discarding them every few months. I just loved everything about photography. How you can capture a completely raw and sincere moment between people if you don’t make them pose. How silly kids will act for you when the realize they are being watched and the joy you can capture in a split second while they run around doing crazy stunts and poses for you. I loved waking up early and hearing the stillness of the morning. God always seemed to speak to me through nature and seeing dust particles fly in the stream of light from the morning sun seemed to capture my little brain even at a young age. I remember the anticipation of those throw away cameras. Going to camp or on an adventure with a friend and waiting for your film to come back developed and full of memories. There has always been such an excitement for me when photography is involved and I’ve always had a love for documenting life.

I have had the honor of working alongside a great friend Aimée Howell at weddings, and have picked up many tips along the way. The thing I love about her photography is that, aside from the traditional family group shot which everyone needs at a wedding, she always finds unique approach to capturing each couple at the weddings she photographs. She gets a feel for who the people are, and what they value in life. She ends up really telling a story of their love and has a plethora of beautiful images to show from their special day by the end of the night. She always goes above and beyond, usually ending in her clients feeling like they want to be one of Aimée’s best buds, because she’s so down to earth with them. She is so easy to talk to and has such a unique eye when it comes to documenting the true essence of her clients.  I feel like just getting to go along on weddings with her has helped shape me into a better person and photographer. There were weddings where I was able to be a second photographer at the receptions, and just paying attention to the light and what lens  she would need next made me learn a great deal. I’m forever grateful for my friendship with her and the time I was able to spend being her sidekick. http://aimeehowell.com/

I feel like my taste in photography really hasn’t changed too much from when I was younger. Typically I don’t like posed pictures, but I do think sometimes they are necessary.  The pictures I am usually drawn to are candid and raw. The people in the picture are completely unaware that there is a photographer snapping pics of them, but just simply living life. I also really enjoy pictures of nature, and what my surroundings look like. For instance, I usually pick up flowers or leaves and press them to do art with them, or simply because I find them beautiful. On that same note, taking a picture to document it brings me a lot of happiness. Getting to go back and see how the light hit that leaf and made it translucent makes me soooo happy. To others that might seem like a waste of time or a boring thing to photograph, but I suppose God just made me the kind of person that takes pleasure from the simple things in life.

One pet peeve I have these days with photography is people using instagram and adding eight billion filters to make  their already amateur snapshot  look “professional”. Most of the time it takes away from the quality of the image, and it really bothers me. Since getting a smart phone (Windows to be exact) I have been guilty of using my phone to take a snap shot, and usually I don’t use any kind of filter because I know the quality of the picture is already pretty low. I don’t mean to sound condescending towards those that use instagram on the reg, but I just have to be honest about  the idea of instagram filters making the picture look better.

Here are a few examples of some pictures I have taken recently.

Christin Lowery Sharp on her wedding day. Drying her hair in the window because she was running late. I’ve always enjoyed pictures with long flowing hair blowing in the wind. This one makes me especially happy because it shows how things don’t always go as planned on the wedding day, but if you just roll with it instead of letting it stress you out it can make for some unique memories.

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This image of the moonlight over the barn where Colby and Christin Sharp had their reception is so deep and rich.

Later I found out the moon did exactly what they had hoped it would do that night, and I was glad I got a picture of it for them.

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This sweet girl was just standing there drinking a Dr. Pepper, but the light is what makes me love this image. Just a hot Louisiana evening, and sweet little kid enjoying a cold DP.

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This picture is of my husband, Wesley, holding our great-nephew for the first time. His yawn was so precious and delicate.

He was so tiny and beautiful and holding him for the first time will be a cherished memory for me, always.

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This sweet girl is so photogenic it’s ridiculous. She’s my sister-in-law’s sister’s daughter,haha. It will be really incredible to watch her grow up.

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And lastly, to prove I don’t think posed pictures are the devil…here is a family photo of my brother Matt’s family. Those kids are all such dolls, and I’m proud to be their Aunt.

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