I have an interesting relationship with my inner artist. At times, she surfaces, takes the reigns, and captures the world in front of her in a fluid and symbiotic relationship with my camera. At others, she comes out to say hello but settles into a more placid role, allowing other factors to come into play. This is the push and pull of my life as a photographer; the balance between the unleashed creativity of my personal photography and the more results-driven client work that makes up a large part of my week.
When I first picked up my camera in the early nascent days of my life as a photographer, it was, in full cliché, to capture my newborn son. I wanted to learn, to be better, so that I might create memories that were beautiful to look at. During this journey I realized that this was something I loved enough to change careers for. Before long, I had transitioned from being a mother in love with capturing her newborn to a professional family photographer. How lucky I was! I could now stay home with my son and build a business at the same time. I could share the joy of other people’s children as I helped create their memories too.
As time went on I found my feet as a photographer and grew into my own style. With a burgeoning creativity I was learning new techniques, technologies, and allowing myself to evolve as an artist. My own children have always been the outlet for my artistry. When I photograph them there is no client with per-conceived expectations of the images they want to have. There is no pressure to produce something print-worthy. And there are no limitations to the manner in which I choose to express myself with my lens. This is when my inner artist dances in the sun and raises her hands to the moon. It is when I create my most honest work.
My clients are the ones who believe in me. They come to me because they embrace my style. My style is who I am, but for my clients I am also a deliverer-of- goods. There is no option to fail today. No room for experimentation of something entirely new. My client work must be reliable, professional and commercially focused. I can never lose sight of my client’s wishes. So my whimsical artist calms herself and tiptoes on a delicate tightrope to create some balance between capturing the rawness of childhood and the needs of the parents. I always carve out some time in each shoot to allow her to lead the way, and if the stars align those will be the images the family fall in love with, but the fail-safe photos are always taken care off or those with different visions.
Recently, I am finding that this inner artist of mine is increasingly present in my work. My creativity is spilling over subconsciously into everything I do and I believe that more people are coming to me because they like the way it looks. I have faith that this is a self-perpetuating cycle and that one day I will be able to let this friend of mine out for good and that there will be no point at which one aspect of my photography ends and the other begins.
The journey to that point is becoming more fulfilling each day.