the real focus

TheSuitcaseStudio-kidsphotography This is an image of my husband and our youngest nephew.

I love this picture.

Now, this is not an image I  would showcase on my website's gallery or use in any marketing materials to showcase my best work. And most photographers would never let something like this ever see the light of day at all. Why? Because this is NOT a "technically correct" image by any stretch of the imagination. As you can see, most of the important pieces of the image are completely out of focus... which is the opposite of how an image SHOULD technically appear.

But... I still LOVE this picture.


Because it tells the story of that moment. It might not speak to anyone else, but it speaks directly to me. Even though none of these cues are visible in that image, looking at that picture not only reminds me of where I was, who I was with and what was happening... but I am able to remember how I felt.

Unnecessary details: We were at the kids' school carnival that day, playing the roles of awesome aunt & uncle. We split up and took the older kids on the rides of their choice. I rode 3 spinning carnival rides in a row, and paid a hefty price for that choice later. (And knew that I'd do it all over again to see the smile that it brought to my niece's face.) When this picture was snapped, we were all standing around, chatting. My husband was carrying my nephew.

The important stuff: My husband and nephew were giggling at each other and making the cutest lovey-dovey faces. The faces that you make when you're with someone you really love. Pure, open and joyful.

I knew I wanted to remember it. So I lifted my camera and captured the moment. Simple as that. Was the image captured perfectly? Not at all. But if I had taken the time to mess with my camera settings, the moment would have passed me by.

So, I implore you all... don't forget the real focus of what your images should be... it's not always to have the perfect smiling portraits to hang on the wall or send out in holiday cards. It's to remember those wondrous moments of your everyday life. Because, as I always say... it's real life. It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.

So please pick up your cameras (and dust them off, if need be). Capture your moments, and don't beat yourself up if your pictures are coming out a little dark, a little cut-off or even a little fuzzy. You don't need to hang them all on the walls... you just need to remember them.


Need a little help to capture some fabulous images? I've still got a spot or two open at my mini-sessions THIS SUNDAY, November 20th. Click here for details.