Sunday, January 22, 2012

Photography Philosophy

Yesterday, at my second bridal fair in six days, a bride asked me how I would describe my photography in one word.

Springdale Bridal Fair

I'd been talking to brides for five and a half hours straight, my brain was kinda mushy, and instead of answering intelligently, I let out a slur of words containing "natural" and "light" and things like that. Things that are true, but not exactly the heart of the matter. Then she asked me about Photoshop and I basically told her that I edit everything to look the best it can be without making it look fake because, truthfully, I don't like fake stuff. After which, she handed me back my cute flyer (flier?) and card, said "You're not a good match for us," and walked away.

And that's okay!
I don't need to be a good match for everyone out there cause being a good match for everyone would mean that I would be a hot mess with a severe personality disorder which I would like to avoid in this lifetime... even when motherhood and small business ownership like to pull me five hundred different directions.

But! I am so, so glad that that bride walked by my booth and asked me that question. After she left, I had a lull for a minute or two and I thought. If I could describe my photographs in one word how would I describe them? There are so many words! There are so many photographs! No one word could describe each photograph displayed in my portfolio. It's not possible. They vary. Every photo shoot is different, every subject (and client!) is different, and every photo shoot has a different feeling. Yes! I definitely have a style I try to improve every day, but, like I just said, no one word could be applied to each of my photographs individually.

But. But! There is a word that describes my whole body of work. "Loving" is a close runner up but the word that takes the cake? The word I should have said to the inquisitive bride? I should have said this word, the word I have been using all along but forget about sometimes.

I should have said, "Happy."

My photographs are happy. Sometimes my photographs are cheesy. My photographs are all kinds of things and are going to be so many more things but, in general, they're just happy. And maybe that could be confused by other photographs as shallow, vapid, or annoying, but I'm okay with that. Give me a happy photograph of Maxwell any day over a photograph of him staring into the camera with intense eyes and a firm set lip. Give me happiness in a four by six or eight by ten, gosh dangit! I like happy things and, as I've been saying for well over a year, I like taking happy photographs for happy people.

And that, my friends, is my photography philosophy.

PS. I am officially addicted to blazers. Who knew they were so awesome, right?