Dave and I were recently out at an engagement shoot and we picked a spot that he and I have been to many times before for a wander around that we thought would be a perfect location to bring one of our couples to. Yeah, us and about a gazillion other photographers with their couples. Ha ha.
Ok, so it wasn’t a gazillion, it was maybe three or four. As they passed us on the path to the spot that I knew would be the spot, I found myself gazing longingly at their cameras that were “better” than mine and their entire backpacks full of gear that I knew I just had to have…I watched them out of the corner of my eye and thought oh, they totally know how to pose their couples better than I do…and oh, they’re doing that, should I be doing that too?…and so, I started to feel a little down. A little bit like maybe I didn’t “belong” in the club.
Dave and I stopped off after the shoot for a quick bite to eat and talked. I told him how I had felt when we saw those other photographers.
“Yeah, but do you think our shoot went well?” He asked. Yeah. Really well.
“Are you happy with your shots?” Yeah, I am actually.
“Do you think our couple had fun?” I think they did.
He reminded me what we’re about: capturing people in the moment, having a good time, being comfortable, and being themselves. That we couldn’t do what we do as effectively with a million bits of gear to figure out and lug around and set up. That we accomplish our goals by creating a relationship with the people we’re photographing and by letting their relationships with each other shine through. And that at the end of the day it’s not about the cameras we use but the experience we create. To be honest, at the end of most sessions I feel like we’re just a group of friends out having fun. And most of all he reminded me that one of our greatest “pieces of equipment” are ourselves, which is something that no one else can buy or duplicate.
So we don’t have a lot of gear. But as one of my photographer friends recently wrote to me in an email – “just learn to rock what you’ve got”. So our approach to taking photos might be a bit different than what others do. But I like that about us. I like the way we do things. And I think I have to learn to be OK with the fact that my different doesn’t have to mean that it’s wrong. It’s just me. Talking too much, laughing too much, lowering my camera to tell a totally random story, asking questions, balancing on tippy rocks, five-foot-two, not a lot of extra gear, absolutely loving taking photos…that’s just me.
Cadbury’s Mini Eggs. Jewelry from Tiffany&Co. Cupcakes. Mint Polos. Newborn babies. Strawberries. My cat Cleo. White dandelion wishes…
Why yes, sometimes good things do come in small packages.