April 3, 2019
Earlier this week, when a couple needed to reschedule their anniversary session, I was left with a beautiful spring bouquet created by Butterfly Petals. Because the bouquet was already made, I decided to team up with Janice Ramos for last minute hair and makeup magic and take my hubby out to the Salt River. I figured we could just take a few couple portraits of our own. In the past, I set up the tripod and ran back and forth to the camera for a solid five photos of our family. This time, I decided to hand my camera over to our daughter, Katlyn, and let her practice her growing photography skills. It looked a little like this…
“Okay, put the square on my eye. Hold this button down with your thumb, without moving, click this button with your index finger.”
Run, Ninja Move, Deep Breath, Pose… “Did you get one? Can I move yet?!”
It was hard work, to say the least. She did an absolutely amazing job considering she is not a professional photographer. I was thoroughly impressed. She tripped backward over a huge rock on the beach and immediately put my camera in the air with both hands and let her booty take the hit. That is called taking one for the team, my friends. She used the rule of thirds, told me when the settings needed to be adjusted, and had flattering angles. With all that being said, running back and forth to assist and “model” was certainly a workout. Yelling over the Salt River was absolutely challenging. Racing the setting sun was difficult… but that wasn’t the most troublesome thing about this particular session.
Good gracious, I feel bad for our early clients who booked us when we were still learning. You can read the blog on the top five mistakes we won’t ever make again, and being silent photographers is one of them! Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect Katlyn to give us posing guidance, shout out ideas, and try to take photos with a heavy camera she knew very little about! I am extremely proud of her for what she accomplished. That doesn’t mean that working with a silent photographer is easy.
When Katlyn was taking our photos, it didn’t seem to matter how much experience with posing I have… I had no idea what to do with my hands! We felt awkward, out of place, and unsure. I NEVER want our couples to feel that way with us.
Feeling so out of place completely changed my entire experience and how I view our photographs. I just wished that I could have a mirror on the other end of the camera so that I could see what the heck I was doing with my body, and how it fit together with Michael’s! That’s when I realized, as the photographer, I am the mirror.
The only way our couples can know what to do is if we tell them! We always tell our couples that we will guide them into poses that allow them to interact with each other in the most beautiful and flattering ways. If they need the support, we will tell them exactly what they need to do from the direction of their gaze to the placement of their hands. It is one of the many ways we care for them during their session. However, this experience in front of my own camera has given me a perspective I didn’t have before. It helped me realize just how important this aspect of our service is.
We are constantly learning in life, and having this experience with Katlyn behind my camera helped me grow in so many ways. I am honored that she is willing to help me with projects like this and grow creatively on her own. Here is to many more learning experiences and focusing on the process in life. We all start somewhere, and every day… every experience should help us recognize ways in which we can improve. Thanks to Katlyn and her willingness to try new things, I am able to be a better photographer for you!
hair and makeup: Ja’Nice Ramos
bouquet: Butterfly Petals
photography: Katlyn Wood with Support from MaeWood Photography