Back in the early Autumn I had the pleasure of a family photoshoot ‘skill swap’ with a fellow photographer friend of mine Donna from Isabelle Fearne Photography.
Creating more opportunities for me to be in front of the lens instead of behind it is so important to me. I can take awesome photos of my own children when I need to, however, those precious heart stopping, stomach flipping moments that show our families connection and the little details of how they cuddle us and how we play together – I cant do this for myself.
I was excited simply just to see Donna, as we only meet up in person every few months. It was hard to sit back and be photographed as I constantly felt the urge to chat, collaborate and suggest ideas. My husband Paul gave me a nudge half way through and told me to calm it and let her get on with shooting her way. I wanted to relax fully, but I couldn’t help my need to use it as a learning experience too. Donna is a lot calmer than me and it was so interesting to watch how she approached capturing our family. We both share the same urge that runs through every inch of our veins, to document real emotion and family connections through photography. Because of this, I knew I was going to love the photos before we’d even begun.
Having a photography ‘soul mate’ is wonderful, (I actually have two, shout out also to Poppy from Poppy Carter Portraits!) we chat daily, just like in an office environment. Self employment can be a lonely place but I don’t feel alone with these two kindred spirits. We all have different backgrounds, slightly different styles and are at different stages in our careers but compliment each other perfectly. We share our experiences and ideas and I don’t know what I’d do without them sometimes.
To me, nothing compares to the artwork a talented photographer can produce. Even in this digital age, where everyone has access to a camera and we all have thousands of photos stuck on our phones none of this gives me alarm bells. If anything, it puts even more emphasis on what a skill it is to be able to capture a quality, authentic portrait. The person you choose to take your photo, is as much a part of image as the people in it.
You can teach someone to take a technically good photo and you can learn how to use a top of the range camera but you can’t teach people how to feel and connect with people, that’s personal and that’s a talent.
I cant wait to have these photos displayed fully on my walls (I am quickly running out of wall space in our house though!) To quote Donna… “printed photos make you feel things in a way pixels on a screen just cant”
So these are going to be up, where my children can see them everyday. They’ll be woven into the fabric of our memories not only because we had such fun during our session but because the photos are really there, they are printed and not languishing away on a hardrive somewhere. One day when we’re not in this world anymore, our children will be able to hold and touch every physical inch of these, run their fingers over our faces and be transported back into the history of our moments. So much better than handing down hardrives, dont you think?