I was asked this question the other night when Tim and I were speaking at a conference about our work. Someone from the group asked, what makes you want to photograph the people that you do? I often ask myself this question and I think it is good to be mindful of that question every day I photograph. My hope is that I honor the people in my photos, that I tell their story and that I give them a voice.Whenever I get disheartened, I remember one of my favorite stories:
“One day a man was walking his dog along the beach after a storm. The tide had washed thousands of starfish onto the beach. They were still alive, but only just. A woman was making her way along the shore, throwing starfish into the sea, one by one.
“Hey,” the man called out. “there are thousands of starfish on the beach. You’re not going to make a blind bit of difference!”
The woman stooped, picked up a starfish and threw it back into the sea. Then she smiled at the man and said, “Made a difference to that one!”
I love that story! It reminds us to think about individuals, and not about the big picture. The big picture is extremely important but I find that looking at the big picture often holds me back from thinking I can make a difference and actually contribute to the world around me, one person at a time.
When it comes to photographing weddings, I hope that by us being there, we are making the day better and the memories sweeter. The moments that happen on a wedding day are so beautiful yet so fleeting and I hope that we can do our part by allowing our couples to relive those moments every time they see their photos. As artists, this is our way of bringing joy to people’s lives.