Last weekend, I attended the Insta-Inspire Photography Retreat in downtown Salt Lake City. While there, I learned a lot about myself as a photographer.
First and foremost, I learned that my style is not the same as other photographers’. At first, I was a little disappointed, and even a bit overwhelmed. But I reassured myself that every photographer has something to offer.
I appreciate the moody and romantic style of many of my friends and fellow momtogs. But I have always been and always will be attracted to the light, airy, and colorful. To the details. To the small moments.
And most importantly, to families.
Utah Family Photography
I’ve probably known it for awhile, but I love dynamics. I love dynamics in relationships, in offices, in organizations, in clubs, and in families.
Watching personalities play off each other, and getting a first-hand view to the love and intricacies of a group of people brought together by fate — It’s almost magical.
So when I attended a family photo shoot-along with film photographer Stephanie Bryan and macro photographer/family model Emily Hamson of Lavender Lime, I learned more than I would’ve imagined. Especially about myself.
See, I’d signed up for a film shoot because I was drawn to the “downtown SLC family shoot” prompt in the description. I don’t have interest in film (because omg I cannot handle uncertainty or limited exposures lol), but I have lots of interest in families and urban settings.
So I went with my gut, and I’m sure glad I did.
We had a blast with this family of redheads. (Fun fact: I dyed my brown hair red for years in the hopes I’d one day birth a ginger child. My son had reddish hair for about 15 minutes, and I was so excited. Then I was devastated when it turned blonde. Guess you can’t outsmart genetics.)
They had all the personality you’d expect in a boy bunch with a set of twins, and they were open to all of our silly suggestions.
One of the boys was adorably shy and hesitant to take part in the silliness. But we got him to crack a smile and an insistent correction at the mention of Pokemon.
But my favorite part of the shoot? As everyone was snapping shots of the boys playing on the sidewalk, I snuck away to grab a few tender shots of momma and reluctant son. And boy did that reluctance fade when he was with his mother. It was so evident how much he adored her, even if he wanted nothing to do with the other girls at the shoot. He only had eyes for her — and she was clearly the most important girl in his life.
My heart was aflutter.
Even writing this warms my heart, recalling the glimpse I caught of that beautiful relationship. It was a moment some of the other girls might not have noticed. But as a one-on-one photographer, you’re privy to each and every one of these moments — if you know where to look for them.
I’m so grateful each time I get to witness the unconditional bond between parents, children, siblings, and spouses. Each is unique, and each is beautiful.
So although I discovered that my photography might not be everyone’s bowl of ice cream, I learned a valuable lesson: I love family photography.
So I’m here to stay, Beehive State. Look me up!