With Mother's Day right around the corner, I started reminiscing about when I first became a mother. I remember being worried that I wouldn't know what to do. I still can recall the first night with my baby and thinking I shouldn't go to sleep--I thought I should be doing something (How silly is that?) I ended up watching my kid sleep and missing out on those precious hours that could have helped a few nights later! Oh well, first time mom mistakes! What I do know is that taking pictures, even though that is probably the last thing you want to do in the first few days, is so incredibly special. Babies change so quickly in the first weeks/days/hours. Having those images, you can recall just how you felt in that moment.
Below is a newborn session I never shared more than a few images despite how beautiful these pictures show mom and dad with their week old babe. I always have a heart for moms, but it gets worse at this time of the year. Share in it with me here through this session!
"And so the adventure begins"
One of the most rewarding parts about being a photographer is being able to document the important moments of my life. While you rarely see me take a selfie, a self portrait - on the other hand - is a different story. And I think it's probably time I embrace the selfie game anyway. But back to where I was going...when I first started taking pictures in college, I often had to use myself as the subject for assignments. As anyone knows, being in front of the camera is a lot different than being behind the camera. I think doing both is important. Ever see a model become a photographer or a model/photographer? There must be a good reason for that, right?
Being in front of the camera will make you a better photographer and picking up a camera will make you a better model. It allows you to step into the other persons shoes. For instance, after being behind the camera I am much better at communicating and directing my models. I learned that models need feedback. A successful shoot has plenty of communication. Saying the model does everything perfect, repeatably, will become insincere and loose its authenticity. Which is not going to make them perform their best. But, not enough communication leaves room for questions - What is the photographer looking for? What should I be doing? What do they want? Not to mention self doubt might creep in! Ah!! Same for the other side, those individuals that shoot in addition to modeling, know things that help make the shoot go smoother. They know how important light is and how it works. They play their bodies to the light. They might even know what a photographer is going to say before they say it! It is just like another form of practicing, practicing from a different angle, a different perspective.
Now, after school, I found myself not as frequently in front of the camera. There were no friends calling me to shoot last minute assignments and my fashion work definitely did not call for a 5 and 1/2 of an inch small fry. But I wanted to get back in front of the camera to remind myself how the models feel, to sharpen my communication. So, I started shooting a lot of self portraits again, and mostly with my daughter to document our relationship and her ever-changing growth. Today, I wanted to share an image I took of the two of us that was chosen as a finalist in the 8th Julia Margaret Cameron Awards. As a finalist, my image will be exhibited in the Berlin Biennial 2016! I feel so grateful and excited to be honored alongside such talented artists from around the world. Check out the galleries of the awardees and finalists here. Now, if only I can get over there to see it all. I got time though, maybe it will happen...