A LETTER TO OUR CLIENTS
There is something happening in the photography world that has been weighing on my heart lately. I fear that social media is too heavily shaping our view of what makes a great photograph. We see beautiful images on Facebook of a family standing in a gorgeous scene and we think we want the same thing for ourselves - down to the exact pose. We scour Pinterest looking at photos for hours trying to figure out what our wardrobes should look like for our own sessions. As brides, we compile screenshots from wedding blogs and Pinterest boards of images from other couple’s weddings to guide us, because this is how it seems we are to plan for a wedding these days. I’m just as guilty. I’ve caught myself scrolling through blogs and social media sites, too, looking for inspiration as an artist. Why do we feel our photos need to look just like all of the others?
WHAT MAKES A GREAT PHOTOGRAPH?
When I stop to really think about it, to me a great photo is one that tugs at our heartstrings. It takes us back to a time and place that is special. It reminds us of how we felt in the moment. It’s true to who we are. It’s timeless and still loved after many years.
A photographer friend and mentor, Bobbi Sheridan, shared with me a saying that has stuck with me. “Use your 30-year goggles,” she said. In other words, make a photograph the way a family, individual or couple will want to see it 30 years from now. Focus on what is most important.
To me this means real emotion, not staged moments. Real personality shining through, not a perfectly posed portrait. If we’re not someone who would normally frolic through grassy fields at sunrise or a hang out along the railroad tracks with our vintage suitcase, why should we let Pinterest tell us we need these photos? What will people see when they look at these photos 30 years from now?
THESE ARE DAYS
I remember listening to a song in college called “These are Days” by the 10,000 Maniacs. It was popular on the radio about the same time my friends and I were getting ready to graduate from Marquette University. The lyrics resonated with us especially at that moment: “These are days to remember. Never before and never since, I promise, will the whole world be warm as this.” I don’t know if the song spurred us on, or if we were just putting off studying for exams, but on our last evening together we took off in the middle of the night with a camera to capture photographs of us together around campus one last time. We wanted to hold onto that night forever.
This song pops into my head from time to time and acts as a reminder for me that these days - the ones right in front of us - are important. Our children will grow up, our relationships will grow and change. These are days to document right now - and in an authentic way - so that we can look back and remember how we were, how we felt, and how we loved.
A PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCE TAILORED TO EACH CLIENT
This year more than ever our studio is going to focus on building special relationships with our clients so that we can get to the heart of what makes each of you unique. We are going to make the entire photography experience feel incredible with your session and the photographs all 100% about you. What an honor it will be to document your most important days and give you beautiful, honest images to adore today and 30 years from now.