When I started my business I wrote down a list of things I would never photograph. Among those things were weddings and boudoir. Yes! I said I would never shoot weddings! And 3 months later I did my first! In that initial list I determined I wanted to be a family photographer, and spend the rest of my days photographing cute babies, adorable dogs and lovely families. The thing is, photographing small kids is hard. It requires such a high-level of energy and because I am an introspective human-being, I was getting literally drained after those sessions. The passion for working with families fade out very quick. And at the same time I grew more confident and I discovered this passion for weddings. I fell in love with being a wedding photographer, to such an extent I quite literally dream about the shoot, the days leading to the wedding. I dream about how the photos or videos will turn out – for instance, I woke up today with this beautiful scene in my mind for a wedding I will film in two weeks from now.
One of the things I feel I love about weddings is the event will unfold beautifully without my input. I don’t need to control, I don’t need to tell people what to do. I just need to keep my eyes open and document people being themselves – the best version of themselves, in love, happy. I do pose my couples during the portrait moment, and will also use Beloved techniques to get them to relax. I also do communicate a lot during the group shots to make sure everybody looks great. But after I spend my energy interacting with people, I get to turn back into my photojournalistic self and work pretty much invisible during the rest of the day. I love weddings!
At the same time, I feel I don’t want to be just a wedding photographer, I don’t want to limit myself. I want to be more than that. I want to be a Documentary Photographer, to specialize in documenting life, people, families, time, history. I approach my photography with the curiosity of an archaeologist who approaches an excavation site. And so I was thinking how I could expand my photography beyond weddings, into other events in a family’s history. The answer is by making every photo shoot happen around an action, instead of around me. I truly dislike to be in a session and have my clients looking at my camera in every single photo. It just doesn’t resonate with me. It screams “photo session” when actually I want it to be a candid, documentary register of the kids in that specific age, of that woman in that moment in her life, of that couple’s love in that stage of their relationship. I perused the internet for ideas and inspiration. I came up with a plan. From now on, my portrait sessions have a theme.
I decided to start with newborns, because they are a theme all by themselves. Pretty much like weddings, newborn babies have their own independent agenda and will do as they please. The idea of dressing babies as watermelons or placing newborns on bookshelves seriously makes me cringe, so I knew I wanted to take a very different approach to newborn photography. I wanted to show what a trip it is to be a first-time parent to a newborn, to capture the woman who turns into a mother, the father who looks in admiration to that little creature, the parents who can barely believe they made a baby, and now their lives changed forever. And of course, the baby, with it’s tiny feet, tiny hands, big crying mouth who desperately needs love, care and lots of milk. Those first days and those initial reactions are so ephemeral and I don’t want them to get lost in time. I want to preserve them, to make sure in the future those people I photographed can look back and feel it all over again.