For awhile now I’ve struggled with how to capture the real, beautiful side of people…you know, who they really are. I would say, “pretend you are laughing at each other,” then snap the picture. But then I’d look at the image and know in my heart it wasn’t a genuine moment. I was constantly unsatisfied with my work.
I mentioned in this post that I had discovered a new approach called Beloved that helps bring out genuine moments and emotion during sessions. In a nutshell, the Beloved Collective is… “an emerging portrait based photographic genre that celebrates and emphasizes the importance of relationship. Blending the visual aesthetic of portrait photography with the authenticity of photojournalism, the Beloved Technique gives photographers a simple way to create meaning-rich, fulfilling and valuable experiences and imagery for those they photograph and themselves.”
I just finished a class to learn more about the theory behind it and all I can say is “wow!” This is the missing link I’ve been searching for! As part of the final to pass the class we had to shoot a session using the beloved techniques and ideas that we had learned. It was a beautiful experience. One that I will never forget. I was blown away at what a meaningful and heartfelt session it was both for me, and for the family. We danced, laughed, cried, and shared special moments together. My favorite being when the husband surprised his wife with a letter he had written for her. I asked him ahead of time to write the letter, and not share it wither her until the session. It was very touching. I also invited them to do some silly games, share thoughts, and manifest their love in different ways. Not your traditional, pose and say cheese experience. I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about this approach. It’s so ME!!
This week I received a letter from my friend Ashley who I did the session with. She said, “I can’t wait to frame the beautiful photos you took. I scroll through them every day and remember how I felt when you took them. Thank you for that beautiful, personal experience.”
What an honor it was to be in their presence and to witness the love between them. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for allowing me see the authentic sides of them. I can’t wait to integrate all that I learned into my photography from now on!