You love the moment, but you hate the clarity, lighting, background, etc. Ever happened to you? Just a bit frustrating, right? What about when this happens while you are taking personal shots? I’ll be honest, my first thought is that I provide these precious images to my clients, and I really want them for our family too…how did I mess up capturing the sweet moment that just happened when my two boys were actually playing together? Laughing together? Hugging each other?
On top of that frustration, I then find myself hesitant to share these images with the social media world, family, and friends because I want to have a reputation of solid, focused, well-lit images. It makes me wonder if people will see these personal images that aren’t quite up-to-speed and doubt my ability to provide that as a professional photographer.
Unfortunately, these thoughts have brought WAY more breakdowns to my husband that I want to admit. It’s one thing when they happen while we are trying to take images to highlight specific milestones in more of a professional manner, but they also have gotten me upset when sweet things happen in everyday life. Of course, there is editing, but some things are either out of my realm in the editing world or don’t really have a great solution to being a solid image, even with editing.
Over the past months and really with our second child, I have found a happier peace about these situations. Yes, it is still frustrating, but I now realize how fast life really is and how precious these little moments really are to our family. Now, I get that it’s more important for us to have these not-so-perfect images that capture perfect moments that I don’t want us to forget. A prime example happened a few weeks ago for our family. Just a quick background note that my 3-year-old son has not been overly excited about my 1-year-old son walking because he can get to the toys way too fast for my older son’s liking. You can imagine what this is like throughout their day of interactions. With that mindset, think of how ecstatic I might have been when the two of them discovered the bubble machine, were running through the bubbles, giggling like crazy and chasing each other…ummm, it was AMAZING! Thankfully, I was able to grab my camera quickly, but the sun was quickly setting and these two were RUNNING all over the yard, so some of these images didn’t turn out even close to how I would have liked, but seriously, look at the pure JOY on these boys’ faces! It was, by far, one of my favorite moments I have yet to encounter between the two of them. My settings were not near perfect, my editing abilities did not get these images close to what I typically aim for, but these moments were unbelievably perfect. I could not possibly keep this joy to myself, so I hesitated and then posted to the Facebook world and our family. The response was overwhelming–no one else cared about all of the aspects that I was overthinking and criticizing. They were focused on what really matter…the moment, and I almost missed what really mattered.As professional photographers, we are so critical of our work, and that is a blessing and a curse. It is great business practice to set and achieve high standards, but it is unnecessarily stressful to not be thrilled that we caught the perfect moment on “film,” with or without the perfect settings. In all honesty, I think personality is a HUGE part of finding the right photographer. What better way to show your personality than sharing these personal, amazing moments with the social media world, your clients, etc. Give a disclaimer if you feel the need, but celebrate that you have these truly priceless memories to keep and share forever. And, be really excited when you catch these moments AND have the perfect settings, editing, etc.
So, I challenge you…
Post at least one fun, memory-filled, personal image per week, even if there are elements that aren’t picture-perfect. That way, the world (including your clients and potential clients) can learn more about your personality, relate to the crazy life we all lead, and view your amazing professional images that you, most likely, currently post. Do you only post picture-perfect images, even when you are sharing personal photos?
- Raleigh Personal Challenge Photographers: Give Yourself a Break - August 21, 2014