If you’re anything like me, this is maybe your “slow” season. In America anyway, it is winter and dreary and brown and not alive. I usually dread this time of year. I find myself desperate to get out and take photos of beautiful green leaves and flowers, not dirty snow, mud and dead grass. Looking back at my photo catalogs from the past few years, the photos from January to March are few and far between. I don’t seem to blossom each year until spring when things begin to grow again.
This year, I’m doing things differently. Instead of lamenting the windy days, yearning for spring, I’m making right now a spring of my own. I’m focusing on growing as a documentary photographer and I’m learning a new craft: video! I’m taking short classes and feeling the creativity come alive inside of me like I never had before. It is refreshing and apparently the seasons are taking a cue from me because we already have tulips budding in our little plot of dirt in our shared back yard. In February!
So in the spirit of growth, I’m pushing just a little further than I normally do. I came down the stairs recently to find my oldest sitting in her daddy’s big recliner by the window, reading a book, which is her default setting. But the light was beautiful and she was so still and peaceful. It was one of those moments that I want to lock away in my brain and step back into when she’s a crabby teenager and I can’t do anything right for her. So like I always do in these moments, I got my camera out and snapped a few photos.
These are my standard go to angles. A basic photo that shows what she is doing, a close up detail shot, and back lit from the side. I fall back on these angles all the time and love the results, but in the interest of growth, I kept going. Luckily my daughter is used to me crawling around her with a camera by now and she knows that I mostly just want photos of her being her so she usually ignores me. Which makes her the perfect subject to practice on!
I did a few variations of the angles I usually get, but still needed to push it more.
So I went back to that spot on the stairs where I first noticed her, embraced the mess and snapped another. I love how you can see how little she still is and am glad I did it.
Then I got next to the window and shot her side that was totally bathed in light. I never do this, like ever. I think because it usually shows too much of the mess behind her, I’m not sure, but I did it. And I liked it!
And I got behind the recliner to get an image from above. I didn’t like that particular angle since it was mostly all book so I just climbed up on the couch next to the recliner and wobbled on the couch arm and thought I was maybe going to fall on my face. But I got these ones, which are possibly my favorite from the set.
Sometimes we get stuck in a rut, or sometimes we think that growing and practicing has to be something earth shattering, but it really doesn’t. Just try something a little different from how you usually do it and see how you like it! I’m going to keep using this downtime to work on pushing my boundaries and growing, will you join me?