Give me love and literal light – there will be photo magic.
People have asked if I ever know which couples will make it, which relationships will stand the test of time, and I like to think I do. Honestly, my only credentials for making such a statement are that the one couple I’ve photographed in 12 years that I know has split was also the number one couple about which I thought, “meh… I dunno about those two.” But this begs the question, what does love look like? It certainly takes on many shapes as it molds to the personalities of those it inhabits, but there are just certain couples where you can see it, that THING, they have it!
When I critique photographers work, the sentiment I share more than any other is, “it doesn’t FEEL like anything.” Taking a picture of a pretty thing – that’s easy. Finding or creating good light, finding great color, using an engaging composition, all of these things are vital. But if the photo doesn’t FEEL like anything, what’s it all for? Sure, light and color and composition help create feeling, but there’s more. Finding the light, the color, the composition, then finding Love, captial L-love, and using the elements and principles of art to let that Love shine, that’s where the magic lives. That’s the photo that makes you take a deep breath, soak it in, maybe even let out an audible “mmmm…” because you can just FEEL what it’s like to be present, then and there.
This magic trifecta came to fruition with Tahleen and Luke’s engagement session. At some point I realized I was being pretty quiet during this shoot. That’s rare for me. I’m always making conversation, jokes, asking questions… But this session was beyond. The light was there, the love was there… all I needed to do was focus. Not focus the camera, though that’s important too… but focus on how to make art out of everything the world was so generously throwing at me.
My greatest goal with a picture is to transport people to a place in time, to give the world living, breathing pictures that they can FEEL with all the senses, not just sight. I think these pictures have that… because I did my job, and Tahleen and Luke just have that THAT thing…
In short, to me, this is what love looks like folks. Soak it in.