Thursday, May 9, 2013

Memories In The Making

Using photography to tell the most important story
Text & Photography By Tracey Clark Published in Shooting
Memories In The Making
As I continue to document the life of my family, I often think about what it's all for. Photography is a creative outlet and I use it to communicate with a single image what is meaningful to me, but I also know that there's something probably even more important: I am leaving behind documentation that when pieced together is nearly the entire story of my children's lives. In that light, I know that every moment I capture is a gift, for me, for them and for generations to follow.

Perhaps it's stating the obvious, but motherhood has completely transformed me, not only as woman, but as a photographer.

Before I had kids, my photographic work was work, done for other people and for a paycheck. The camera stayed in the bag as I lived my everyday life. When the kids came, the camera came out and I started to capture the kinds of moments I was capturing for my clients, only now for myself. I began to tell my own story.

Moments In Motion
Capturing a fleeting moment in time means being at the whim of that moment. Anything might happen, and you have to be ready. When it comes to pictures of my children, laughter takes precedence over all else. In the case of this shot taken late one winter evening at the beach, spinning around with my daughter as I shot meant a lot of movement on her part, as well as mine. In the low light setting of the evening, the shutter had to drag a bit, which actually worked out to my advantage. This is a memory captured just as it happened, and exactly as I always want to remember it.

With my first daughter, I shot portrait after portrait. Facial expressions, props, headshots and full-lengths, I was using all the same techniques I had mastered for my clients, which made sense—it's what I did. It wasn't until my second daughter was born that my photography truly became mine.

Fully Engaged
When I'm documenting my children at play, I try to be "in it" with them, which often means being in the crossfire of all kinds of photography hazards: sand, water, paint, dirt, or in this case, bubbles. Positioning myself right at my daughter's eye level, or as in this one, slightly lower offers a compelling perspective and for me, it's worth the risk of a splash or two. Opting to convert shots like this to black-and-white removes any of the distractions that the colors create and leaves a classic, timeless shot of my daughter engaged in play.

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