Somewhere along the way, I remember hearing another photographer say that he spends the first 5 minutes of any shoot pretending to push the shutter.
By this, he meant that it takes some time to get past the awkward grins and discomfort that the camera can bring when pointed to some faces. I love capturing images of families at ease, whether it’s in their home or at a slightly more adventurous location such as this mountainside session with the Schultz family.
Every session is, of course, a bit different, but at some point (be it 5 minutes or 30) the presence of a camera begins to slip everyone’s mind. Perhaps it’s not that the camera is forgotten entirely, rather that the novelty of my presence has worn off and a veil begins to drop.
My wife, a counselor, talks about creating an environment for clients that allows them to feel deeply accepted and safe to be themselves.
If I do my part, this is really the same environment that I’m trying to provide in photography… and perhaps the sort of environment we hope to build around us in all of life. This moment is worth the wait because once that guardedness falls sessions really take off.
While I may continue to encourage the family into groups of two, three, or all together, their interactions turn toward playfulness. Smiles are real, laughter is unforced. These unscripted glances and interactions give me the opportunity to create from a natural beauty and easy gracefulness that often goes unnoticed.
This session was a fun adventure in the mountain near Winston Salem, NC … and the cliffside shots were safer than they look!
Words and photos by Kevin Glaser.
Phase One 645AF and 80mm
Bronica SQ-Ai and 80mm
Kodak Portra 400