Candid Portraits–Loving the Perfect Imperfections

For those of you that follow my blog and work regularly, you know that my specialty is candid portrait photography. There’s just something about this style that I love that, at least for me, is so very hard to explain…  When I have to put words to the feeling I get when working with clients, it’s seeing (and capturing!) those quick moments where the emotion shines through and the story of the person or the family is the most brightly reflected into the images.

And, I think that’s what I love… That…The moment…Where all else fades away, and when the client can go back and look at the printed image hanging in their home one year, two years, even three years or more later, and remember the moment the image was made and the feeling behind that story.

That’s what grabs me about this sneak peek from a recent family portrait session:

Mother and son embracing in a candid portrait in Roswell Georgia

That “moment” as the hug happened… It was striking then, but now as I look at the image here, it’s almost as if we can feel the love between them radiating out as we view the portrait.

And that’s the hard part about candid portrait photography–you get one shot to capture that feeling before it moves on:-)  That’s why candid work isn’t right for every person, or for that matter, every photographer! Someone who prefers very traditional images with a more stiffly posed feel, or a photographer who seeks the controlled environment of a traditional studio, may not be able to embrace the beautiful uncertainty and the perfect imperfections that mark candid photography.

As I mentioned earlier, you have one shot to “capture the moment”.  That’s what this image below represents to me as we stepped back, fixed some “variables”, and hoped to recreate the moment…Mom and son in an outdoor portrait in Decatur GA    So, how’d we do? ?  🙂  I love this image–it’s still a lovely portrait.  Cute, fun, sweet.  But, now, knowing the “original” moment, what do you think??  Does this image capture the same feeling?  Which image would you choose to bring to life in print?  (Or, would you choose both and use them differently? (eg–one for my desk at work, one for my wall gallery in my home))

I’m super interested to hear your thoughts!!  This helps guide me with additional perspective to keep in mind as I work on session images for my clients.   I look forward to hearing from you–feel free to leave a comment below!

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