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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Cummings

Shouldn't Portrait Photography be fun sometimes?

"Sometimes" being a portrait photographer is more about having fun with your camera and less about all the technical mumbo jumbo. As photographers we sometimes forget that our cameras are there to capture the moment, wether the moment is perfect or not. Instagram has convinced many photographers, and other users, that unless our images are stunning enough to stop the viewer from scrolling past then the image isn’t worth taking. Well, I don’t subscribe to that way of thinking. Sure, I love taking beautiful attention grabbing photos but what I love more is just the pleasure of capturing what I see as interesting and meaningful to my clients through the viewfinder. I love capturing a child’s smile as mom and dad attack them with tickles or kisses. I love capturing a bride in her wedding dress as she’s getting ready to marry the man of her dreams. I also love capturing a couple together as they make promises to love each other forever. Do these images have to be Instagram perfect or have the stylings of a wedding magazine? No, in fact they just need to be lit beautifully and properly exposed. The subjects need to be in focus, have correct skin tones and preferably nice facial expressions. Photography for me is more about capturing a moment in time and allowing that captured moment to be shared with many generations to come. The photos that we take when we’re young will hopefully someday remind us of those times past when we are old. I said all of that to say this; I recently took my camera out and captured some beautiful images of my gal pal Priscilla, AKA, my muse. On a beautiful Saturday afternoon we jumped in my car and took a ride out to Little Corona Del Mar in Newport Beach, CA. I asked Priscilla to bring a white button-down shirt, a white bikini and I brought also along a white halter dress that I’d purchased at a thrift store for her to wear. Obviously we were going with a white theme, right? Our plan was to shoot on the beach through golden hour which is technically the last hour of the day before sunset. We didn’t have any real plans for how the shoot was going to go, I just wanted to take golden hour pictures and Priscilla was just happy to pose as she loves modeling. Considering the fact that there were no real plans, just an idea, I think that we got some great images. Was I worried that every eyelash was super sharp in focus, No! Was I worried that the sunlight was creating a sun flare in my lens, No! Was I worried that these images may get passed over on Instagram, No! Was I having fun, Yes! Was Priscilla having fun, Yes! Did the images turn out great, I think so and Priscilla did as well! Will Priscilla be able to enjoy these images into the future? Did the images make her feel empowered as a woman? Will she hopefully someday show them to her kids and show off her youth and happiness? I sure hope so. Photography for me is about capturing high quality images with meaning that my clients will love and cherish for many years to come.

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