storytelling…

my photos have changed. my perspective has been altered. my view is clear. my images can now tell stories.

This shift in my photography started in me when I received some honest and much needed feedback from a fellow photographer. Her words were spoken with such gentle honesty. She said my images lacked something. I had no style. There was no “me” reflected in my work. The images I took were lovely head shots or editorial type of photos, but not much more than that. What made my images unique? Where was my perspective? My vision? My voice? My photos should be the window to my soul. to my artist’s soul.

The real me is a teller of stories. I am all about the details. The deeper meaning. What is not merely apparent. Wanting to know more. How. When. Why. Who. Yes, the girl that everyone called “little miss twenty questions” is still full of questions. And I still want to know all about the details. The stories.

But I was cutting all of that out of my images. I would crop in really close so that I could eliminate all the distractions in the background. I would edit things out of my photos so they would be “perfect”. A toy on the couch in a family photo? Nope. A pacifier in a baby’s mouth? No way. Those things were just not supposed to be in a perfect portrait. Humm… portrait. The smiling perfect photos. Nice to have, but not exactly the kind of images that were speaking to my heart. Don’t get me wrong. Portraits are nice to have, but they left me wanting more. And I didn’t even realize it. I knew something was missing. And over the past few months, I have found it. Slowly uncovering it in little moments of learning. And it all started with a post about framing on the Shutter Sister’s blog. It gave me permission to just step back. I used to crop in so close that my images could not tell their stories. I used to try forcing myself to pull back for a wider shot only so that I could crop it in my editing process later. But this was just not working for me. It never quite felt right. I was trying to do something that worked for other people. And not me. So I stopped worrying so much about all the rules of photography and just went with my heart and my vision. I started cropping my images in camera – just exactly how I see things as they unfold right in front of me. Through my lens. I want to include things in my frame that will tell the story of the image.

the little bare feet. the diaper peeking out of his shorts that whispers baby to me. the colorful car toy in the background. The one he loves to make light up by tossing the cars in the track.

playing football on the Miami Dolphin’s field. running to catch the ball with open arms and closed eyes. in the background? Daddy and Nonna feeing Tate. More family behind them… my sister, nephew, aunt, cousin and her son too.

sleeping in his car seat – the same car seat his big brother used to sleep in. Paci on a clip I made. blankey in hand. the car window and headrest visible just beyond the car seat tells me about the minivan we are in. at the preschool parking lot. finishing a nap.

a first birthday. dinner at our new house. the blue iced cupcake that he didn’t want to touch. Until daddy helped him out. And gave him a few bites. Yum. Big brother in the background. All he wanted to do was hit the balloon over and over again. Because that is what you do when you are three.

Every one of these images would have lived on my computer – if I had even pressed the shutter to take it. They would not have passed my test of being good enough. I would have cropped, cloned and removed all of the details that really tell the story. These photographs that tell the story of my life would not even exist. The bits + pieces of time that I want to breath in long after my boys have grown up. I would have missed them all.

Except they do exist now. Full of life. Full of details. Full of broken photography rules. Full of imperfection. Full of me. And full of stories…

show hide 1 comment

Katie - Oh, how I love this post! I’m so happy you threw out the rules and started going with your heart. These photos here tell your whole life story, and lets your mother’s love for your babies shine through. Lovely post.

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