The world of professional photography has become a very interesting one. Most of us can remember a time when hiring a professional photographer meant that he/she would take very classic, posed photos of you and your family, your children, your high school senior, or your wedding. That was what was normal, what was expected, and what was good. Somewhere around 2004, this shift started to occur, where people started wanting and demanding more documentary/candid/real photos…and photographers [some of them, at least] jumped in with both feet…ready to embrace this change. To tackle this new frontier. Documentary photography was nothing new. Photographic journalists have been covering events and life-in-general in this manner for decades. But when it came to families and weddings, it was definitely a new way of thinking. Well, we were right there with those two-feet jumpers, ready to take the world of professional photography by storm! To change with the times and take photos to the next level. And it has truly been a great ride. Now, when we document families, or high school seniors, or weddings, we get to focus on telling the REAL story of what is happening. The meat of it. The little itty-bitty moments that most people never see. The good, the bad, and sometimes, the really really ugly. “3-year-old tantrums” might be the definition you’ll find when you open the dictionary and search for “really ugly photography”. But….they are also the good. THE BEST. It is those real moments…not just the ones that are planned, and staged, and designed….that we all look back on, years and years down the road and say, “That. That was my life.” And what an awesome life it was.
BUT….BIG HUGE BUT…. there is also a downside to this. [Playing devil’s advocate is so much fun.]
Whenever something becomes the new “norm”, everybody thinks that is also what they have to do. Right? Magazines, blogs, Pinterest….heck, even this blog right here. You see all these sessions, and weddings, and stories, and you think to yourself, “I want that too. I NEED that. I want to make sure that my photos tell the story of my life, and it will be natural and beautiful and awesome.” And you know what? Most of the time it is. We work hard to educate our clients on how to not over-plan, to over-style, or to over-stress, so that we can just capture them…exactly as they are…right at that time. Tell their real stories. The good, the bad, and the ugly. But, the problem is that a lot of people look at sessions on those blogs, or on Pinterest, and they get caught in the trap of visualizing their session or their wedding as looking exactly the same. But what they fail to realize is that those photos they are looking at…those photos of OTHER people….are THEIR real lives. THEIR real stories. THEIR good, bad and ugly. Even if we go to the exact same location, at the exact same time of year, each and every set of photos [while they will all fall within the same general style confines of what we do] will be unique to each and every different client. And that’s exactly how it should be. Everybody’s personalities are unique to them. The way one couple or family relates to each other is completely different than the way the next couple or family will. And even if we shoot the same people, at the same location, on two different days, each of those sessions will have a style and feel that is completely different and special.
So what is the point of this? The lesson to learn? Just stop. Stop comparing. To other people and other photos. Just be yourself, and keep your focus on YOU and the people you love in your photos. After all, telling your story and capturing the interactions and moments between people is what really matters when all is said and done. All that other stuff…the fancy location, the carefully chosen outfits, the props and flowers and accessories…it’s just fluff. Don’t get us wrong…fluff can be fun, so don’t worry about “fluffing it up” for the camera. Just don’t let it overpower the REAL. And most definitely, stop trying to make your photos and your story like anyone else’s. Your story is your own. And it’s perfect.
Theodore Roosevelt said it best. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Don’t let the joy from your story be stolen.
Sarah and Dan love going record shopping. They also love downtown KC [who doesn’t, right?]. So, that is where we headed for their engagement session a couple of weeks ago. These two just love laughing, and having fun. And most of all…they love each other. Her smile and laugh is truly infectious, and we sincerely hope you can feel that through some of these images. You know…since you weren’t there. Their wedding day is fast approaching, so you will see them here again in no time! Until then…
We had a fun morning out with Rachel and Brad recently, and got some super fun photos to boot! Clearly, the Chiefs are a huge part of their lives. Their families haven’t missed a game in….well….basically forever. So, it was fitting that we spent most of our time at Arrowhead. What a difference it is to be there on a day with nobody else in sight, as opposed to game day! We then headed over to Swope Park for a few more shots before heading home. These two are planning an early fall 2017 wedding, and we can’t wait for their big weekend. Congrats Rachel and Brad!
Being able to see and document people’s unique personalities is one of the best parts of this job, and these kids certainly didn’t disappoint. Seriously, just take a good look at their different expressions. So wonderful! Thanks for spending this time with us, Redmond family. We hope we can do it again someday!
Every now and then you meet people and you just know. You know that it’s real love. You know that every fiber of their being is sincerely genuine and kind and beautiful. You know that if they arrived at their wedding wearing potato sacks, if there was no food, flowers, or music, and if nobody else even showed up, that it would still be the best day ever. In case you didn’t already guess, this is what we figured out about Alysia and Michael from the moment they walked through our studio door in May. It was just one of those things, and we are so incredibly thankful that they selected us to tell their story. Of course we’re also glad that people did, in fact show up to their wedding. And they danced and ate and had a fabulous time. And Alysia and Michael looked stunning in their non-potato-sack garments. It really was the best day ever. A day that was truly focused on what mattered…friends and family, laughter and tears, ceremony and celebration, and the cutest little girl you ever did see. This is what it’s all about, folks. This is what is still going to matter to them in 20, 30, 40 years. Gosh…ain’t love grand?
Ceremony | Christ Church Anglican
Reception | Drexel Hall
Hair Stylist | Amy Kincaid | Laughing Buddha Salon
Flowers | Wild Hill Flowers
Catering | Brancato’s
Cake | Icing on the Cake
Band | KC Flo