My Life: a year in Photographs
I spent quite a bit of time this week with an amazing bunch of my photographer friends up in Leeds. It was great to meet these people that I spend all year talking to online, have some food and drink with them and talk about photography. This is quiet time in wedding land so it was great to get a bit of perspective on the year just passed and make some plans for the year ahead with input from a bunch of people I have so much respect for. Sharing knowledge and just being friends with your so-called competitors is so important in the solitary life of a wedding photographer and I feel lucky to be part of this group!
One topic that came up was the notion of having a ‘personal project’ – photography that isn’t weddings but that helps hone your photographic skill and instinct, hopefully having a positive effect on your wedding work. Lots of the guys there shoot street photography. That’s not something that necessarily interests me, but they love it and I could definitely see the effect it had on their wedding photography work. At first I was thinking I don’t have a personal project, I don’t have *time* for a personal project but then I realised my personal project exists much closer to home. At home, in fact.
I don’t care for landscapes, or pictures of bugs or birds. People photography is my passion and one of the things I hear most often when people find out I have two little humans is “oh, you must have SO many photos of them” when in fact that’s far from the truth. I don’t take anywhere near enough photos of my own life, or the people in it. It’s a hard thing to explain but when I spend time with my family, I like to be in the moments and sometimes I feel like when I’m taking photos I’m removing myself from the moments in order to capture them. I guess that’s one thing I love about wedding photography – that the moments I’m capturing are someone else’s – not mine – and that they’re not moments I could be a part of in any other way, but in photographing them I get to be a little part of them… I’m thinking out loud here, but hopefully that makes some sense!
So I realised I do have my own neverending personal project – my own life – and when I do bring out the camera (which is usually my “non work camera”, a Sony RX1R) I refuse to take simple snapshots and I try and hone the skills and style I’ve developed in my wedding photography – working with light and composition and being patient and really trying to make the photos say something. I usually don’t ask them to pose, or smile, or look at the camera or anything (mainly because I know they wouldn’t). I want the photos to be real so that when I look at them, and in the future when they do, they see and feel the reality of our life.
Anyway, I thought I’d show you some of my favourite photos from the last twelve months. 50 photos, a little glimpse into my 100mph world…