Capture the Love, Not the Perfect

I went for a walk the other day (prior to all the social distancing and isolation) and I was trying to think over the goals of my photography business. In the past few months of starting out, I’ve found it incredibly challenging to go far without a clear set of established goals and a method for execution. I mean yes, there is the obvious goal of taking rad photos for awesome people, but I mean bigger than that. Cause if I just leave it at that I feel like I lose a bit of my heart behind it.

So I tried to start brainstorming my vision and then this statement just popped into my brain:

“To create art through a photo that captures the love, not the perfect.”

And daaaanggggg. I said it over out loud and gave myself a little self high-five because this was the first time I found words that got close to capturing my heart for why I got into this.

So let me break it down for you a bit.

a) creating art: this is my goal. As your photographer, I believe it is my role to create art for you out of what already exists — that being your relationship, family dynamic, lifestyle, etc. I want to be there to paint all those pretty pieces of you guys together through the lens of my camera and develop them to make them FREAKING GEMS for you to hold onto forever!

b) capturing love: I feel that this is maybe pretty straight forward, but lemme take it deeper. I want to be there to capture the raw/vulnerable part of the love that you share! Yes kisses and hugs are cool and we all love them, but I want to capture those little hand squeezes, and winks, and smiles that show just how content you are with your person. I want to capture the behind the scenes love that shows your story in a picture.

c) not the perfect: it has and never will be my main goal to get perfectly posed images where your hand is in the right spot and your chin is at the right angle, you know like those throwback grad poses you felt so stiff for. And it’s not cause I think people look less beautiful like that and there isn’t art to that, it’s that when I photograph two-humans in love or a sweet little family, I want to capture a real picture for them, not something that felt fake and staged. Obviously a sweet group portrait can be a treasure to hold onto, but what I hear the most from people is how much they love the behind the scenes shots of their kids with the biggest pouty face or a couple making the goofiest faces at each other. These kinda photos show what that relationship, that person, that love is really like.

That’s what I’m here to capture.

I had the privilege to photograph the O’Donnell family recently and it was already something I was looking forward to as they’ve been good friends of mine for a while. Their session was a fun challenge for me too. Finding that happy medium between a classic family photo portrait and capturing the giggles and smiles of everyone in between.

It ended up being an awesome afternoon meandering through the Lethbridge river bottom together and soaking up the sun even with the winter air still lingering around. As I went through to edit the photos, I couldn’t help but gush about how much love this family holds – from great-grandparents all the way to the great-grandkids. It’s been so sweet to witness this family grow and to capture where they are now before they keep on growing.

I followed them all around as we explored, found a play ground, and some plain old fields to shoot in, and that’s where the gold comes from. Those moments where you try to help the kids stop crying by putting a dog on the photographer’s head? I’m here for it. Or where you snag a pic of Grandpa and Grandma holding hands just a little tighter as they smile at each other and keep walking. It doesn’t get much sweeter than that.

My hope is you can continue to see the love in these photos and all my photos, and realize how much sweeter it is than the perfect ones.

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