Long overdue–The Hair family is about as fun as it gets. I go jogging (Ok, not consistently and stop laughing) with Jen and she is spunky, hilarious and, more than anything, so nice. Her husband is a basketball coach and if you know anything about me, I like me some bball and basketball coaches (Hi Dad!). For this session, we celebrated summer in the backyard, a new pup and their darling, darling girls (and Luke….. sorry, you’re darling too).
It’s fun to talk about my taste and since there are about 20 people looking at this little blog, half of them being my family (Hi Mom!) I’m going to stop laboring over the words and just use it as the journal it sort of started out being. I do have thoughts (k, that just sounds funny) and I want to do a few little “Deep thoughts by Jack Handy/Tricia Baska” even though not as funny and certainly not as deep ; ) but always with photos….always.
So here goes: I was thinking about the act of posing and how photographers have approached that. There is some balance to “posing” people. I know that people like to look perfect and put together. All hairs in place, looking at the camera yada yada….. And for posterity this is sort of the classic portrait. But I just love the in-between, more candid moments…that point where you look good and are caught off guard so that you don’t look “posed.” This takes practice and foresight. The accidental beauty is most often not accidental.
Years ago when I was starting out, wedding photographers loved to throw out the phrase “journalistic photographer”, I document things as they happen, I don’t step in, I don’t manipulate and posing was a bad word. I always had some issues with this as don’t we all just aim to portray and document life as it happens? Aren’t all photographers journalists in a way? Even shooting portraits? When I meet you to do this I feel like we are starting a conversation. I feel like the posing is the first sentence in the long paragraph that is our conversation. You have to start somewhere and you lined up and looking right at me is kind of the way that begins–you see that I’m sort of silly, not really funny but certainly have no pride and I see how colors work together, where the wind is blowing, how the light works– I read your reaction to my dumb jokes and it begins. Of course for different events this approach is different but still applies for family photos at a wedding, party, seniors etc. After that its like an organic banter of sorts, where do the kids want to go? How far will you make out with your fiancé? The conversation continues…. Of course, I feel like if we spend too long directing and moving and getting all things perfect the moment is fading and can often be missed, but spending a minute getting you posed is worth the communication and the moments that certainly follow.
But above all documenting stages of your life should be fun. FUN. not work, not stiff, not overthought. We live in a beautiful time where cameras and the artist behind them can capture almost anything and everything. Gjon Mili had a famous quote (not so famous that I could find it on google?) about photography being that mix of luck and foresight and I think has always summed it up for me. Being ready for what is about to happen.
In looking for that quote this also resonates: “You just have to live and life will give you pictures.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
There you go Jack Handy, what do you think about that????