Thursday, June 13, 2013

Letting Go

As a photographer letting go is not an easy thing to do. 

Last week my daughter got married. As a photographer I felt compelled to carry my gear with me and to direct the formal photographs and capture all the activity as though I were hired for the job. But my conscious rational side knew that it was not my job and was just not possible. 

Being a photographer at an event can be very isolating.  When I am in that mode, the concern for losing a photographic opportunity is always present. Eyes are always scanning, brain always analyzing the light and composition and attempting to predict the critical moments. At a really important event this is amplified and I sometimes feel like I've taken in the experience through the view finder.

So for my daughter's wedding I chose to let go of being the photographer. I did have my gear with me and I did take some candid shots. But I did this as a participant. As the evening progressed I relaxed and really enjoyed interacting with friends and family and being part of the moment. The light changed and the landscape shifted and a moment of inspiration fell on me as I was presented with the image that seemed to express the emotion of the entire day. I only needed a few minutes to set up and make one series of exposures.

I don't think the artists in us ever stop seeing or feeling. But like a veil, the expectation of making a beautiful photograph, obscures and diminishes our sight even if only a little.  Removing the distractions and the expectations and immersing ourselves in the moment lets us be open to a more subtle and possibly richer interpretation.

Ari and Chap