I’ve sat down to write this post several times. It seems that every time I do, all three of my children suddenly need me. They take turns walking into my office to give me a hug, ask for a snack, request a referee, beg to play video games and decide that now is the best time to tell me all about their Pokemon strategies… I am their mother. They are my babies. We are inherently connected. Sometimes, that connection drives me crazy!
Sometimes, but not always. Most of the time, I relish our connectedness and want proof that it exists for those times I feel ready to pull my hair out!
Here are 5 key points I’ve learned for capturing connection that I’ve incorporated not only into photographing clients, but also into my own life as well.
Connection is Candid.
It can’t be contrived. It can’t be created. It requires relationship. True connection just happens and you have to be ready for it. Keep your camera at the ready, poised to click the shutter at any given moment. Sure, you can set up a scene and offer prompts in order to elicit a certain response but it will never be as genuine as an unscripted moment.
Connection Happens in the In-Between.
The most meaningful images I’ve ever taken happened when my subject didn’t know I was taking a picture. They let their guard down, relax, and act natural. Whether it’s a client or my own children, I try to have the mindset of a photojournalist rather than a portrait photographer. I’m there to document, not to pose.
Connection Doesn’t Require Eye Contact.
I think that eye contact is one of those things that we’re trained to seek out, both in conversation and photography. Would it surprise you to learn that it’s not necessary? You can absolutely capture a sweet, meaningful moment between a mother and child, not only without eye contact, but without faces all together. This is actually how I most often document my connection with my own children. Capturing connection is about emotion more than anything else. And emotion can be conveyed in a myriad of ways.
Connection is More Beautiful than Composition.
I will sacrifice composition for connection any day of the week. A perfectly composed image (if there is such a thing) of mother and child looking at the camera and smiling is not nearly as powerful as an image with a crooked horizon of them laughing and having fun together. Case in point:
Connect with the Selfie.
Some people hate the idea of the selfie. I look at it as a way to be present with my kids. At the end of the day, when it comes to your own life, get in the picture any way you can! Don’t be overly concerned with quality. Pull out your iPhone or pop a wide angle lens on your camera and turn it around on yourself. Focus on the connection with your babies. Those will be the most meaningful photographs of all.
Join us in using the hashtag #momsinthepicture on Facebook and Instagram!
- Mom's in the Picture: Setting Up the Shot by Jessica Foreman
- Mom's in the Picture: Tools to Make Getting in the Photo EASY! by Gayle Vehar
- Mom's in the Picture: Photographing the Fun by Tammy Porter
- Mom's in the Picture: Photographing Motherhood by Zach Egolf
- Mom's in the Picture: Capturing Connection by Lea Hartman
- Mom's in the Picture: Keeping It Real! by Kelley Smallman
- Mom's in the Picture: Getting in the Picture with Your Grandchildren by Tina Auten