Precious moments and memories occur every second of our lives at the blink of an eye - or at the click of a shutter, as we're able to visualize the emotion conveyed through an image. In this essence, a photo really does mean a thousand words.
Sometime between Summer and Fall each year, an opportunity arises to create such moments that can last a lifetime, and generations - otherwise known as Senior Portrait season. The challenge to capturing such everlasting and precious moments is that we often times, as a photographer, only have one chance to get everything right.
A Senior Portrait can last generations - as the subject's children pass the photo down to their children. Because of this resonating importance, there can be an immense amount of personal pressure put on the photographer to perfect an image. Often times I'll plan ahead of time to determine the location of the shoot, appropriate clothes for the setting, right down to poses that I feel look best for the subject. Sometimes I'll lay in bed the night before a shoot, and visualize these things in anticipation.
I'm more passionate about photography than I've ever been - but that's not to say I've perfected the art in any way. I think that most other photographers would generally agree to the fact that nobody is perfect. As surfers are constantly looking for that "perfect wave" to one-up their best experience, photographers are similarly looking to improve upon their latest and greatest image. We constantly ask, how can I improve the lighting? What could I have done better with the pose? Or, what could have I done better to post processing?
Most of the time we'll never be able to perfect an image to our standards, as photographers - as we often look back at old images and criticize what could have been done better. With this in mind in relation to Senior Portraits, we must focus on how the subject views their portrait - would they be happy with the way they posed, and how they look? Does the setting fit their personality? These things are what matter the most as each and every person is different.
I've still got a long way to go, but I feel that 2012 was a great year to learn from and get experience. I learned how to add lighting to my repertoire, in addition to discovering new poses. Unfortunately one of the most important and overlooked things that I need to improve upon are getting the subject to pose in their most natural looking state - which is something that is definitely high up on my list.
Regardless, I had a great year, had a lot of fun, and am thankful for being given the opportunity to create some everlasting moments. As I take each and every photo as a learning experience, I'm looking forward to what 2013 has to offer!