A few years ago, I bought a Fujifilm x100s. I shot for a weekend trip, thought it was adorable, and put it away. It gathered dust in a drawer, until finally, at the end of 2015, I was feeling uninspired. I was thinking about how I wasn’t shooting my life for myself anymore, I was only doing client shoots. I wasn’t snapping the moments between my daughter and I, my friends and I. I wasn’t doing any fun creatives with my girls as models, and or just shooting for fun.
So at the start of January, I made it point to shoot and edit everyday images, as well as start to randomly bring my friends in as models.
I also wanted to challenge myself to only shoot with the Fujifilm for my everyday images, as well as see how it would work during pro-sessions.
In the last year, I finally feel like myself again. I look forward to the moments. I laugh more. I shoot more. My daughter is somewhat sick of me – “No, mommy, no more pictures” – and while I do honour those moments, I love the times where she’s all, “Ok Mommy, take my picture. I’m gonna pose like this!“
And my friends – they’ve learned to trust the moments where I want to stop and take pictures because of beautiful light, a great wall of graffiti, a new concept.
I guess the point of this is to trust your instincts. I took a lot of time off at the end of 2015 to let myself have the chance to “miss” taking pictures. I did what I thought I needed – to put down the camera(s), to enjoy the moment in the now, and to relive it through storytelling and laughter. I would sit through birthday parties without a camera in hand, ignoring the glances sent my way. I would go to events and put away my phone, listening to the music and singing along (badly) without having to Instagram the moment. I refuse to join Snapchat, only downloading it for the filters, then deleting it again before I got sucked in.
And it felt good.
But so does this, now.
Hearing my friend’s happy laughter as I finally say “let’s stop for pictures!” and seeing Aerie using her mini-Polaroid and direct her own little cousins in mini-photo shoots, this feels good. Watching my cousin’s gain confidence and a stronger friendship with me as they stand in front of my lens, trusting me to allow them to look authentic and strong, that feels good.
It’s okay to put the camera down and live in the moment. And it’s okay to pick it right back up again and capture that story.
That’s a storyteller’s life.