This blog wasn’t planned. It’s actually quite impromptu. I was actually editing a couple different sessions when the urge to write came to me. Maybe its the quarantine or the late night tea I’m drinking.
Several years ago I attended a photography conference that one, gave me some of the best friendships, but most of all learned so many things. Over the course of 3 days in the charming town of Charleston I learned from some of the best photographers in the business. I still remember one talk in particular. I still remember how she ended her lecture, and it’s something I think about often. She asked all 200 people in the room, “What is your why? What is your purpose as a photographer?” That question stopped me in my tracks. At this point I had been a photographer for about 6 years. What have I been doing this whole time? What was my purpose? Why am I doing this? Who am I? Blah blah blah. You get the point. I was confused. I left that conference feeling rejuvenated but in the back of my mind I still wanted to answer that “why” question. Being the personality type that I am, I tried not to think about it hoping it would go away. LOL. It didn’t. Until one day everything clicked. I don’t know what day it was or what session I was at but I remember it was an engagement session. I remember driving home really happy. Here’s a tiny fun fact about me. I love to drive. Alone. It’s the only child in me. But I love driving around with the windows down and listening to my Meaningless Melancholy playlist. I love reflecting on the day, good or bad. Sometimes I get really emotional for no reason…hence the playlist name…but its usually while I’m alone in the car. I was on the way home from a session and I remember thinking about the session and how it went. How effortlessly it was. That happiness came home with me when I started editing. That was my “ah-ha” moment. The best part? It wasn’t a particular thing but a pose I do. Keep with me here. I finally figured out my “why” and it had been with me the entire time!
I do this pose called the “kiss and smile”. If you’re a past couple or have had wedding or engagement pictures with me then you know what I’m talking about. Its a simple pose that I instruct towards the end of the session. I save it for the end because it’s important that the couple is comfortable enough at this point to pull it off. I have the couple go in for a kiss and I stop them just shy of touching lips and I ask them to smile. Then I proceed to yell “and were kissing!!! Now were smiling!!!” and I do that about 5-7 times. It was in that pose that I found my “why”.
I became a photographer for that tiny moment in between the kiss. That tiny smile that comes right before their lips touch. There is such a happiness there and its impossible to ignore. It’s pure. That tiny space in between holds so much love and joy. It has always been my favorite pose to edit and I never stopped to think why that was. I have had brides tell me they wanted to do that pose because they love it so much! It’s because you can visibly see their happiness. And thats why I do what I do. I want to be able to provide someone visible happiness. I want to give them something to look back on in one, five, or twenty-five years and allow them to see just how happy they were in that moment with the crazy photographer with a giant bun on her head yelling at them to kiss and smile. I want them to remember their journey and how they got there. I want to give them a piece of that very moment. My “why” is to spread joy. To document happiness. Those little moments in between are what make me love what I do. The moments that most people will never see. Those are the ones I look for. I have heard many people say “I just love, love.” Dude, become a photographer and get back to me. The heart of my business is love. Its a family coming together, a senior who’s worked hard to graduate, a couple that is finally engaged, or a first dance between a daddy and his daughter. It’s nostalgic. Maybe I’m a real die hard romantic and I’ve been watching too many rom-coms while in quarantine or the fact I can’t hug anyone, who knows. As I look over the images I placed in this blog I literally get giddy. It just makes me so happy! Photography is an ever growing art. It constantly changes and improves and grows. I grow as a photographer after each session, but one thing remains the same, the kiss and smile.