My first year of photography I spent taking photos of anybody that would step in front of my lens. I was doing everything I could to teach myself how to capture life. It was hard, but so worth it.  When I started blogging my photography changed and that which graced the front of my camera was different. Through the years my photography has taken different form, I have learned different things, and I have been challenged in different ways. And through all these years what I have come to miss the most is photographing people and the life that comes along with it. 

When I planned my trip back to Joplin I chatted with my cousin, Eden, and asked her if I could do a photo shoot with her and her girls. She is the sweetest and I had always loved how sweet her family was. I wanted to capture their life through the lens. I asked her which style of photo shoot she would like and she said lifestyle. Swoon, I couldn't wait. Lifestyle shoots carry so much life and I couldn't wait to capture theirs. 

Capturing everyday sweet moments in my photo shoots wasn't always easy for me. I remember going to shoots with nuts in my stomach, wish and hoping things would go well. Often times what got in the way was the technical aspect of the camera, but once I moved passed that my style started to take form.


1.) FOCUS ON THE MOMENT, NOT THE PICTURE : Be in the moment with those that your capturing. Do your best not to get caught up in the technical part. Yes, those things are important, but sometimes they can pull us out of the moment. The picture doesn't have to be perfect. It's about capturing the moment.

2.) TELL A STORY : A good story teller will evoke emotion from the audience. I think the same story telling takes place in an image. We want to tell stories in our imagery in a way that stirs emotion in our audience. Capture the story of everyday life in a way that allows your viewer to feel they were there.

3.) GET DOWN ON THERE LEVEL : When photographing children, see the world from their point of view. Get down on there level and capture their moments eye to eye. See what they are seeing.

4.) REMEMBER THE DETAILS : The details of everyday tell different stories. When we focus our view on the details it trains our eyes to see things from a different perspective. Remember, not all detail photos have to be taken close up or with a macro lens. Details just tell a specific story within the photo. Detail photos can still be taken with wide lenses or from a distance. Details are a tool the artist can use to show the viewer a new way to think/view/perceivethe subject matter. "A good photograph is knowing where to stand" - Ansel Adams

5.) RELAX : Nothing has stopped me faster then being stressed out. If you are relaxed then your subject will be relaxed as well. If you are having fun, then your subjects will be having fun too. Stay relaxed, have fun, and let the story unfold. You simply have to be in the moment with them. 

"If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument." - Eve Arnold

That Eve Arnold quote is one of my favorites. It's our job to make the pictures, not the camera's. And beautiful photography comes through when we allow ourselves to be truly given to the people and moments we're capturing. xo. Samantha