Capturing Emotion: It’s More than an Image, It’s a Lasting Memory

 Father and Daughter Wedding Dance

Almost everyone has a camera these days. Granted, not every camera is created equal, and not every lens is as sharp as the next. A professional photographer should have good equipment and even more-so, know how to use their equipment. And while there are some so-called “photographers” out there with equipment that doesn’t cut it (and ashamedly, when I started out, I was one of those photographers), there are other individuals who have poured hundreds to thousands of dollars on camera equipment. But then I see the images they produce, I think “yikes!” Because there is a lot more to being a photographer than having the technical skills. In fact, some of the photographers have the technical skills, but still their images are lacking.

I’ll admit that when I see a poorly composed photo with the photographer not even following the basic “Rule of Two Thirds” and no apparent reason for breaking the rule, I cringe. Perhaps it’s because I remember losing marks on a grade nine art project for placing the red colour in my art work in the centre of my photo and learning about composition at an early age that I wonder how any “photographer” could miss out on this very basic skill. Yet beyond poor composition and even more hideous photoshopping (and yes, I did this too), is the lack of any emotion. Most of us have heard the saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” yet with some images, it would be difficult to find more than one word: BORING!

Long before I was a wedding, family and lifestyle photographer, I trotted around the globe as a hobbyist photographer with a 35mm camera and packs of slide-film in hand. Travelling to places in the Middle East and Africa with only a limited supply of film required me to nail my shots technically speaking (slide-film doesn’t offer the forgiveness that shooting in RAW with a digital camera does) and it also required me to be somewhat selective in what I photographed. But I wanted to tell a story about my journey and capture long lasting memories, so I worked hard to capture everything that I was experiencing in that moment: The sights, sounds, smells and feelings of that brief second in time.

As I photograph weddings and other special moments in life, I want  to capture more than a technically strong image: I want to capture emotion.

As I look at the photograph of a daughter and her father dancing on her wedding day, I remember that moment and how it took everything to hold back the tears that I had in the beauty of that moment.

What makes an image a stand-apart photo? It’s the ability to tell a story with one simple click.


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