Portraits, who you are or who you want to be?

The blog has been a bit wedding and engagement heavy of late so I think it’s time to look at other parts of the business. I never set out to do only wedding photography. I know photographers are regularly told they have to do one thing but that doesn’t fit with my philosophy.

I want to be a family photographer. I want to develop longterm relationships with you, meaning that I start to get to know you from your engagement shoots and weddings. Then later when you start families or celebrate anniversaries I want to be there to record those events, helping you look back on those cherished, precious and fleeting moments in life that make our spirits soar. Pictures, that when you’re feeling down or having a bad day, you can look at and smile.

Having not been lucky enough to have gone down those paths yet I fall back on my travels and pictures like this one…

I had this as one of my business cards for a while because it always makes me smile…obviously not from a health and safety perspective, but it does look like awesome fun.

I was in Siem Reap in Cambodia on holiday and they had just had the worst flooding in years, businesses were underwater and the town was having rolling blackouts…but I’ve never met a group of people who embodied ‘if live gives you lemons, make lemonade’ quite like the Khmer…if you know the history they’ve had quite a few lemons. This little boy just embodied joy…when else could you be towed round the streets of your town behind a motorbike on a tray. I can feel all the parents out there shudder, but imagine being able to feel that happiness and freedom of having no idea of consequences.

This picture serves as a life lesson for me, lots of the best things in life come with the possibility of negative consequences but I always tell myself just think of the rewards. And what is the alternative being trapped by fear and negativity…not that I’m recommending for one minute that we all go out and get dragged behind motorbikes on trays ;)

To bring this back to portraits, what I want to do is translate this philosophy into my images. I want to make people feel free and happy. To try and capture them without the walls that we put up to protect ourselves, living in that moment, not worrying if you look silly. From the openness and joy that a child sees the world to the sensuality of a pregnant woman or the love and quiet strength of a husband and father looking at his family. We all have it in us. I strongly believe it is just a case of allowing it to be seen.

There is so much beauty and strength to be seen in everyone and the more I get to know people the more able I am to create pictures that represent both who they are as well as who they want to be, so it is not a choice between the two but a labour of love to achieve both.

Paul Caponigro said, “It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are. ”

By getting to know you through the years I hope to make this a reality…oooh that got a we bit evangelical again. To mellow out the mood here’s another fab wee boy…

…made you smile. ;)

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About Claire Watson Photography

I'm a photographer, teacher, wanabe triathlete, ex-international rugby playing explorer.
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