"Happiness is not so much in having as sharing. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." -Norman Macewen
I pulled into the parking lot in between the Castle Museum and Hoyt Library in downtown Saginaw, several minutes before our meeting. I like to be early to a shoot-to walk around and take mental notes of where the light is, to determine the best places to sit or stand, to check my camera settings. To thank God and ask His blessing.
The Billingsley family arrived. Brad and Teresa busily fixed everyone's clothing and hair (like all parents do!) as their three children climbed out of the vehicle. With hands extended, we exchanged smiles and made introductions. I led them to the courtyard on the museum's property, where we made small talk and got comfortable with one another. The kids were amiable from the start-and when we moved to the library steps, I was able to capture some fun interactions between them.
Natural expressions are what I strive for-but the complexity lies in the relationship between us. I'm naturally shy and reserved (I know some people might be surprised by that!)...but that doesn't serve me (or others) well when my job is to be the "expert". I've learned that my responsibility is so much more than having a firm grasp on the technical side of photography, but it's also necessary to effectively communicate to people what I want them to do and be able to guide them easily through the process while maintaining an environment of trust and hopefully creating some fun a long the way! Because of my natural inclinations, I have to step out of myself and push into that role. And so it's been a process of learning and growth over the last couple of years-how to coax the most inherent emotions-when what's natural for most people on the other side of a camera is to feel guarded or conspicuous. I'm so proud of this family! They were awesome. I was only with them for a short time-about forty-five minutes- but I was left with a sense of gratefulness and joy. Oh-and excitement to present them with these photos and many more.