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I am a family, portrait, wedding and lifestyle photographer. The process of making people comfortable with the camera is just as much of a passion for me as is capturing the moment. It is important to me to make the photo session experience a memorable one as well. I know it's a generic statement but I am passionate about life and the urgency to document the moments as they unfold. Take time to invest in the days of your lives. Call me--I can help! I've created a "book of days" gallery on my website: www.mbgpics.com where I do that for my own life. Hopefully it showcases who I am as a person as well as as a photographer.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Creating a memory or living in the moment?





Our recent vacation (2100 miles of beautiful scenery and a wealth of memories) got me to thinkin' about my role as a "photographer" a bit. I guess it's time to admit that I am getting a bit obsessive about capturing moments. Sometimes I see the shot in my mind and try way too hard to recreate it for the photo. What I am missing out on is, essentially, living in the moment. Lugging two cameras and 4 lenses (plus a speedlight and my new $350 Bogen tripod...not carbon fiber either) I realized that I am definitely living on the line somewhere in between the real world of the moment and the creative world of the capturer. It's a risky strategy no doubt.

I just can't seem to let a moment go without an attempt to document it. At times I feel like I am trying too hard and it's showing in the photos. The result is too many 'posed' and uncreative shots. I've also seen an increase in pictures where the lens choice was wrong, the depth of field or the lighting were off and the emotion stripped from the moment all because I am trying too hard to stage something and am not taking the time to think about the composition.

In whipping out the camera and trying to set up this picture of our lovely picnic looking up at the beautiful hoodos in Queen's Garden at Bryce Canyon National Park, I missed the moment of pure beauty and togetherness we were experiencing. I stole from the silence by asking everyone to stop eating and pose for me. Heck-I even scared away this lovely and majestic blue jay from the neighboring tree with my pose requests and grunting as I tried to move my bulky body down to a squat to set up the self timer. I missed the moment.

Or did I?

Because now I have this lovely photo to remember that day, that hike and the yummy turkey and swiss sandwiches we had packed by the Bryce Canyon Lodge in preparation for our hike. Now I am reliving that moment over and over when I look at the photo. And I am sure, with time I will forget everything else that caused stress to set it all up.

Right?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The best 'pictures' exist in our minds...

This is a direct quote from my husband, said the other night just before bed. Long after he'd fallen fast asleep, I lay tossing and turning thinking about that simple quote. And after what seemed like an hour of deep thought I think he's right.

Some examples/rants of my thought process during that lone hour.

Why is it that I can hear my husband's razor combined with the smell of his shaving cream waffling through the bathroom door and be taken directly back to my childhood home 20-some years ago while our family was getting ready for a wedding. The sound of my dad's electric razor and the smell of his shaving cream are exact. Only in my memory I can also smell my dad's cologne, see him standing in his suit pants and white tee shirt and see the white puffs of smoke coming from the Salem cigarette dangling from his lips as he shaved. I experienced these two things as if they were happening simultaneously yet over 20 years separated them. No pictures exist to prove either of these moments yet they are inextricably linked-at least in my mind. (aside from the cigarette smell as neither my husband nor I smoke).

Last spring our beloved dentist's son was tragically killed in a skateboarding accident on his LAST day of high school. Even more tragic is that he was killed on a free period just a few feet from the school. He was a child of such promise, such potential, well-loved and an extremely talented musician. I've been a patient of this dentist for 8 years now and have never been to his home nor seen him outside of the office. I did know from talking to him over the years that he lived close to us. Upon seeing the story on the news and gazing at that handsome boys face (an unmistakable likeness to his father/our dentist), I jumped in the car and drove over to his home. The dentist answered the door. I remember the color of his eyes so well. They were so blue, so lost and the sadness in them simply cannot be described in words. That man gave ME the biggest hug (and the longest one I've ever received in my life). It lasted for such a long time and with such intensity that I thought I was going to knock him over. (I was a bit taller and certainly heavier than he). It's been almost a year and I have never forgotten that moment. I can go on and on about the details of that rainy spring day in May 2007, being able to recall the moment so precisely, the smell of the house where death had overtaken, the intensity of the embrace etc. No picture exists. But this one, like the memory of my dad, stays with me. And probably always will.

This week marks my 7th wedding anniversary. I don't need to whip out my thick wedding album to remember. I can close my eyes and I am standing in the church arm in arm with my dad. I am not nervous at all-but confident and calm as I look up the isle to see my future husband standing at the altar with his hands behind his back. I can feel my dress, my tiara (yes-I actually wore one!) and the sun shinning down on us through the beautiful stained glass window above the altar. Happy Anniversary my dear.

Such intense emotions and memories are so vivid, so powerful and can exist not on Kodak Endura paper but only...in our minds. So lovely and so perfect that no amount of time could ever weather them.