Spontaneous picture-taking

This morning Edie (my 4 1/2 year-old) got dressed up for school and then was playing around in June's room (June is my toddler, almost 20 months old). Edie started putting her hands through the dresser drawer pulls and hanging there, so of course I had to grab my camera. She's amazing that way--she starts doing some kooky thing that I wouldn't have come up with on my own but that somehow fits perfectly into whatever series I'm working on. Often I think certain images of mine look staged, when actually it was a matter of capturing the kids in their own acts of play or make-believe. I don't know if it's the being aware part that makes the spontaneous images fit (i.e. I notice and document the moment) or if it's a strange kind of synchronicity, in the sense that a photographable moment occurs when I need it to. 


Wes said…
Interesting post that helps me clear my head about some of my own shooting. I imagine you told her to wait like that, while you grabbed the camera? I battle quite a bit with capturing what truly exists in the world with trying to get good image quality, which, as a night photographer, requires a tripod and the occasional 10 second exposure. This of course requires a pose, but I'd like to think of it as closer to street photography because these places and scenes and lights actually exist or at least something near to them. It can be tough to be stuck in between posed/set up photography and street photography.
Thanks for your comment. I did have to run downstairs to get my camera, so I asked her to wait. In that sense I suppose it's not 100% "spontaneous," but I still think the essential spirit of spontaneity is still there due to the pose not being staged initially by me but discovered by my daughter. I think your work is the same--as you say it requires a pose, but is also not staged in the way a Crewdson photo is, for example. I looked at your website and I actually think that the being "stuck in between" nature of it is what makes your work powerful.

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