What’s Love Got To Do With It?Posted by Katrina Kennedy on Apr 24, 2014 in Blog, Personal | 20 comments
Photography is very personal for me. My photography shines brightest when I point my lens toward subjects I have a connection with. Yes, that means my personal portfolio is filled with images of my son, my husband, my garden, and food. They are things I love. They are things that feed my soul.
I get labelled a “professional photographer” by others, and while there is truth and logic behind the title, it’s never felt like me. I’ve photographed others for money. I’ve paid my share of taxes on my non-hobby income. But “professional photographer” not a shingle I hang. Why? It’s not were my passion is. My passion is in photographing MY everyday life. I’m not good at getting things edited in a timely way, nor do I want to spend my good light moments away from my family. That feeds some souls, but not mine.
In the quest to capture my everyday, opportunities do arise that feed my soul. And I grab those.
Photographing a family friend’s passion was one of those opportunities.
Imagine my family driving to his family’s home on a December afternoon. Just in time for perfect light. I’m loving this moment because I didn’t drive away saying, “I’ll be back in a couple of hours.” I’ve said that enough.
We arrive at Chad and Marie’s house and are greeted by an eager seven-year-old who is over the top excited to see Ian. Score one for mom! We are welcomed into their home as friends, because…we are friends. I’ve known Chad for two years. Our kids have shared a classroom, we’ve shared family dinners, we’ve spent hallway time together. This is different.
We head out to Chad’s shop to see where he makes his magic. It is magic. The magic of wood and saws and varnish for practicing his art. I’ve spent time in their home before. I knew of his ukeleles, but I’d never been invited into the inner sanctum. Until today.
I’m armed with my camera and two lenses – my 100mm 2.8 macro for its dazzling portrait ability and the 70-200 f/2.8 because it’s amazing.
We’d already talked about what he wanted, so begins stringing a ukelele and explaining the process. I begin to shoot. I test the light to see what’s going to work before I step into my creativity. His story fascinates me, intrigues me, and leads me to questions. I love the questions. The more we can talk, the more I can understand, the easier it is to capture the art of the craft he dedicates his “spare” time to.
Shea and Marie stand just outside the garage with me. They join us in this magical moment. We aren’t on a photo shoot, we are sharing our space together. We are sharing our passions with each other. The photos are an awesome byproduct.
There is laughter from two kids. This process is completely additive. In this moment I’m borrowing nothing from my family. I have enough distractions in my life that take away from them.
I step back. I want a bigger picture. I want to capture the context. We talk more and we laugh. Chad shares his story. And then I capture my favorite photo of the day. This is the connection I seek. This is the photograph I want. This is what I love. It has become my signature photo, eyes to the camera, real expression. Real, because it’s real.
This is the photograph I want. This is what I love. I can’t force this.
I reach the point when the light begins to shift and I deny the internal call to take “just one more.” I know I’ve done what I set out to do. I’ve captured Chad and his ukeleles. For today I’ve recorded his connection to his craft.
So we step inside. Two families. Connected through more than just my photography. We share dinner and wine and laugh. When there is no more light and little people look sleepy, my family heads home. It’s been a good day. And I know I’ve captured my everyday.