So during the sitting I get to see a glimpse of who they are, they let down their guard for that moment and I try to snap and capture their expression, before they know what I have done. This is a very philosophical way of looking at things, but it is my process, my way.
The real beauty for me is after the sitting. I get to look over my work again and process the images. I get to study their faces and relationships. I get to really know peoples faces. No wonder, I get attached to my clients! I look at the way their faces are shaped, the way they look best and sometimes a look that is their worst. I look for their prime features and through the processing I try to pull out their best, and to me it looks; sincere, mostly happy, an inner calm, secure, confident.
This is what we want to be right? SO I look for those qualities in each person. With some people it comes naturally and with others it is a real pain to try to work it out of them. Either way, I enjoy the process and generally crash after a photo-shoot and needing some serious unwinding. I really try to put all my emotional effort into this process.
One great thing I love about photographing for friends and family is being able to photograph year after year the same people. I get to see their progression. It is really an inspiring thing for me to see families grow together and their bonds deepen. Even when weight or wrinkles accumulate, there is a kind of beauty that just permeates their whole being, that seems to emulate goodness.
One of my favorite persons to photograph is my friends handicapped son TAY TAY or Taylor. He is Autistic. and sever for that matter. I have a 30 year old severely handicapped sister whom I adore, so I have always felt an attraction to children with disabilities. Taylor is like my adopted nephew, since his mom has been a dear friend and like a sister for over 22 years.
I feel bad for people who have never had someone with a disability or syndrome that is close to them. Those people will never know how it feels to have a child like this adore a moment with you. For me it is looking into a persons eyes and seeing purity for as long as they live.
I love my parents who have cared for my sister for all these years as well as my friend and many other friends who have children who are handicapped. For only they know the immaculate LOVE that surrounds these special people AND since they get to serve and labor over these particular children for the remainder of their lives, they get to experience a purer kind of love. I can't imagine how that must feel. It must be a remarkable gift for these parents to feel, if they really take on the task of really LOVING their child.
So as a bystander, I get to spend small bursts of moments with them. I get to pull from them expressions that are really them. This takes much effort and patience. It take quietness and simple playing. But for a moment (like anyone else) I get to see and photograph them, really them. As though everything for one moment registers in sync and total perfection. I am not looking to make them something they are not. I am simply trying to capture the best them, like anyone else would want. Then, for the next few days I get to marvel over their perfect innocence displayed all over their faces.