We are excited to feature Ashley today and LOVE how she says, “I think the term historian is more accurate than photographer.” We asked her to share some of her tips on being a “historian.”
I believe in bare feet, bed head, and dirty nails. I believe in tears and tantrums, love and war. I think it’s weird that we’re all taught to smile when a camera is in our face. Sometimes I think the term historian is more accurate than photographer. I’m inspired by the mundane, the everyday, the seemingly boring details.
Ashley’s tips on capturing families from a historian perspective:
– Get to know the family you are photographing. What kinds of things do they do for fun? What’s their style? People are most comfortable in their own element, so I try to make the shoot unique to the family I’m photographing. No family is the same so I like to ask a lot of questions and get to know the family so together we can come up with a shoot that’s a good fit.
– Try not to intervene. If the kids are zonked out in front of the TV, that’s okay. I’m not worried about capturing the traditional “perfect” shot; rather, I strive to capture what’s real. There are several “perfect” moments embedded in everyday life if you simply wait it out and let things run their natural course.
– Consider the shoot a collaboration. I give a little, my clients give a little. If it’s always me directing and nit-picking, I don’t have any time to breathe or observe and my creativity feels stifled. Sometimes I like to pretend I have to fiddle with my camera or take extra time switching lenses because chances are when I turn “off”, they turn “on”; meaning, they relax and carry on as they usually would. More times than not, these are my favorite moments to capture.
– Give very little instruction. Whoever I’m shooting knows how to be themselves better than I can direct them to be themselves. If I sense that someone is in need of more direction, I simply do my best to make them feel more comfortable by chatting with them.
– Let the kids run wild (to some extent anyway). I’m sure there are exceptions. Happy kids make for happy shoots and no one – kids included – like to be told what to do 100% of the time. So let them go. They’re great directors in their own right and oftentimes have better ideas than me.