When I first got deeply into photography, I was a 33 year old bachelor who owned 2 pairs of pants (give or take). For the most part, I took photos of insects and snakes in their “natural environment” (i.e., on the ground). Spiders were my favourite because there’s something really satisfying about making an image that made girls be all like, “ewwwwwww!”. What I really wanted to photograph, though, were sharks and explosions. In short, I had a 10 year-old lifestyle.
Except that I had a job. Two jobs, actually. The 1st job paid the bills; the 2nd was my so-called passion. I was a photojournalist who covered really important stories like what such-and-such municipality was going to do with all their excess poop (not in my backyard!), or what that politician thought about a by-law pertaining to who-cares. I was bored but I imagined that one day I’d write something so inventive that it would redefine the novel. It would probably have a lot of sharks in it. See, when I was a kid I really liked books and decided that I was going to be a writer, and throughout my life, I’ve written a lot in pursuit of my goal. It made my heart flutter when I introduced myself as a writer for The Jeju Weekly. Ooohh. I’m a writer. Every time I sat in front of a keyboard, it took everything within me to push aside all distractions and just write. That’s how it’s done (because that’s what I read about writing, somewhere). One day I was kind of tired and I wasn’t able to push aside the distractions though, and it turned out that one of the “distractions” I kept pushing away was the realization that I. totally. hate. writing. It’s sort of funny now, but at the time it freaked me out. It was like a piece of my personality fell off in the shower. But it was also a relief to acknowledge the truth. I liked photography though, so not knowing what to do next, I did that.
Rae and I, a few years later, got into wedding photography. At the time, I blush to admit, I thought it would be sort of lame. I figured it would be a lot of taking pictures of people crying, and flowers, and dresses, and absolutely no explosions or sharks or spiders. I figured right, but I was very surprised to find that I really enjoyed it. I got weirdly earnest about it, actually. I’m moved enough by weddings now that I’m going to write something about what I think a wedding really is.
It was during the photography session showcased in this blog that I realized that I really like lifestyle and family portraiture, too. I remember specifically the moment. We were walking and walking up a dirt path toward the honey crisp apples (if you’ve never eaten a honey crisp apple, go do yourself a solid and change that about yourself). We arrived there finally and ate them with glee right off the trees. Glee! It was a happy moment and I remember giggling pretty good at the trail of single-bitten apples that Isla was leaving behind her. It was adorable, and in the corner of my eye, there was a big gross spider sitting fat in its web. I knew then that photographing people is way more satisfying to me than anything. Landscapes, architecture, insects, even explosions. I get a bit anxious photographing people. I think it stems from a fear of not being liked by people….worrying that if I aim my camera at them, they won’t like it. Even with that mild anxiety though, it’s so worth it. Photography is probably my first job that I am grateful to do and firmly into.
This shoot was the second time we had the opportunity to photograph this family and there are wonderful things I could say about them. Better yet, see.