I have been shooting almost daily since 2010 and exclusively on film since 2012. ONE most important thing I learned about myself during these years of shooting everyday is my imperfections. Shooting my daily life presents the biggest challenge by far. It pushes me in a way that I never would have imagined.
I think many professional portrait photographers can agree that most clients sessions are very much scripted. You know which poses to use to evoke the warm and fuzzy look, the right words to make the whole family laugh naturally, the optimal time and location to book the session, and the same film stock you know like the back of your hand. Lo and behold, everyone on social media loves an image with parents and children cuddling and snuggle sweetly with a splash of golden sun flare at a Jose Villa-esque location. Okay, I am not saying every client session is perfect; BUT, what I am saying is that you always go into the session with a plan and a goal.
Contrarily, when I let go of my business, the control of know exactly what to shoot went along with it. Inevitably, I must learn to embrace my own perfect imperfections. By acknowledging and accepting my imperfections, I begin to notice beauty and appreciate my inadequacies. This imperfection is who I am, and I must embrace it!
My Imperfect Compositions
Fleeting moments do not wait for carefully composed shots. Often I must think fast on my finger (to activate the shutter), on my hand (to manually focus lens) and on my feet. In real life, there are more "click now think later" than "stay here and do this so I can compose" moments. So, instead of letting the need for perfect composition stops me in my tracks, I embrace the moment as it happens. Often, the moment is much more desirable than a well composed photograph in my book.
My Imperfect Light
Life doesn't happen in beautifully filtered light 100% of the time. I often find myself shooting under mid-day harsh Texas sun or dark rainy indoor light. Instead of limiting myself to shoot only during golden hours, I learn to embrace harsh shadows. I learn to position myself in a way that the harsh shadow can fall in a more pleasing way. The limited light indoors on rainy days push me to learn and take advantages in learning artificial lighting.
My Imperfect House
Homeschooling four boys ages 13-6, I can hardly keep my head above the water most days, let along keep a nice tidy house to photograph. If you arrive at my door step unannounced, you will be greeted by piles of laundry waiting to be washed, explosion of toys littering the floor and perhaps a sink full of this morning's unwashed breakfast plates and bowls. If I allow my untidy house run my photography project and goals, I will fail every single one. Instead, I must accept that running a "perfect" household 24/7 is an daunting task, I shouldn't let it be a deterrant to my photography growth.
My Imperfect Popularity
Let's face it, I will never be one of the "popular girls" in the photography world. I don't have pretty girls with beautiful long hair as my subject. Golden hour means hurry-up dinner, bath-scramble and get-the-kids-to-bed-so-I-can-relax time. As a hobbyist of one income family, I simply don't have the funds to pour into the oh-so-popular perfectly set-up style sessions. And yes, my social media popularity suffers because I simply just don't have the time or care enough to launch an aggressive campaign to say "hey!! look at me, look at ME!!!"
What I do know is that my fans who follow me on Instagram truly appreciate and understand my imperfections! And I LOVE you for it!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!
The Imperfect me
I make mistakes. I laugh a little too loud, and I have been told that I am a "little weird". I am often running behind schedule and often forget what is on my "to-do" list. But you know what, I am okay with being me. I am full of flaws and that's okay. The most important thing is for my boys to learn that they should never be afraid to step out of their comfort zones and try something new and exciting. The sky is not the limit if you are not afraid of being imperfect!