Why are you passionate about this topic?
Emotional connection is the most important part of my photographs, every session is based on telling a story. I want the images to take you to that moment & make you remember the feelings and the love. It’s what takes a photograph and makes it something truly special.
When did you first learn this technique?
I knew from the start I wanted more than just a cute portrait, I needed to feel a connection to the subject on a deeper level. I’ve never been one for an overly posed portrait. I really started to develop a storytelling style watching my own kids, as we all know trying to pose a 2 year old is like walking a cat on a leash, it’s impossible. When I let them be themselves I was catching so many genuine smiles and laughter that you just can’t catch when you’re focused on posing.
What were the challenges for you in the beginning?
I have a touch of Micro Manager in me, this is was a problem. I had a lot of trouble capturing the full story, I also wasn’t getting the natural connection I was craving. This took a lot of practice directing my clients into a natural pose that would help them feel comfortable and really relax and be themselves. Learning how to step back & let the scene play out naturally rather than forcing a moment. Once I let go of specific detailed shots I had in mind, everything fell into place and each shot was emotive and special.
What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to achieve this technique?
- build a relationship. getting to know your client before the session via email, call, meeting in person is absolutely essential.
- pose without posing. Gently guide them into a general pose & ask them questions, snap their reactions.
- Let them run. Kids are wild, catch them being wild! My favorite images of my babes are ones of them just being themselves, silly smiles, big tears. Real moments
- slow down. step away & watch them, ask them to just talk to each other, make jokes, have a picnic. sometimes I tell my clients I’m checking my settings and just let them relax and interact, some incredible shots come out of this.
- get them close. especially with engagement & wedding portraits, getting close together usually means sweet kisses + silly giggles.
About the photographer:
Hey, I’m Jessamyn, owner of Wind + Bird. I specialize in storytelling portrait sessions. Currently based in Idaho, but soon making a move to Washington State. My heart is full of life and love for photographing real moments of love + life. I need coffee, pretty light, the ocean & genuine friends.