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The Secret Ingredient

“Are you okay?”

The voice of my second photographer seemed a little distant in the moment.

“Yes,” I responded. “Why do you ask?”

“You’re crying….”

People often ask me, “How do you capture those amazing emotional moments?” or “I didn’t even see that happening. How did you know to get a picture of that?” I think people expect to hear some sort of technical answer, as if there was some sort of camera setting or a piece of equipment or some formula that makes it all possible and that you just have to hit the shutter and the magic is all there. While having the right equipment and knowing how to use it certainly helps towards ‘getting the shot’, there’s a key ingredient that you won’t find for sale at any camera store in the world. Do you want to know the secret?

Empathy.

It may seem obvious but understanding and sharing the feelings you are having takes the photos to an entirely different level. Once you hire me, I am in. I open myself up emotionally. I am emotionally invested in your wedding. It matters to me. I want to understand your joy and pain because, otherwise, that moment will lack meaning and it could simply pass by in the blink of an eye. You can’t ‘redo’ emotions. They come and they go.

So…yes, I might cry at your wedding. How does that effect my job? I think it makes me better at what I do.

 

self portrait

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Comments

Yes Casey, the first thing I said about your work is that you capture the moment, and that means everything on such a special day in people’s lives.

A interesting insight. Agree with you – any work of art is richer for the feeling that the artist puts in it. Good luck!

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