How it feels to let amazing people go, every single time
Ok, so imagine that you meet a person. This person has an amazing story, and it is your job to get to the bottom of it in a very short time. So within half an hour maybe a full hour, you become close to this person. Hear about their sorrows and their joys and very quickly you know some very intimate things about this stranger.
Well, this is basically my job. I could of course just decide to “just” photograph the person and be done with it. The photos would be decent, no question about that, but in order to get a truly amazing image, you need to connect to your motive. Photography is not just about pressing the shutter and freezing time, it is about capturing an essence, a personality and a moment.
Every time I photograph a person, I connect.
I think a connection is probably the most important. If you do not have the ability to connect with the person you are photographing, it will come across in the final result.
I try to look at each client in a different way and I have often felt sadness (as well as joy) afterwards for letting the person go after the shoot. I have later come to realise that the greatest gift of photography is probably the gift of very close, personal but jet brief encounters
Every person I get in contact with through my job as a photographer shares a little piece of themselves and for a brief moment, I am their friend, their confidante, the listener. I have cried with my clients, laughed, smiled, giggled, felt their anger and their pain. Each of them has given me so much of themselves in a way that has affected my work immensely and each time, I too try to give some of myself, in order to make the situation more equal.
Now imagine having to let go of this person. A person that you have just shared a very close moment with – knowing that they do not need to have a place in your life. I have seen so many potential friends in my clients, but I have also realised how important it is, just to let that moment we have had, be it. Not to pursue it further and to appreciate the intensity of the experience. It is immensely powerful and humbling.
This is why I feel joy and gratefulness because I am allowed for a short period of time, to meet a stranger and get a view into their life. They affect me and hopefully I affect them but I cannot become friends with every single person I photograph. It is not possible. Instead, I am blessed with a love for strangers.
I am a story teller and they allow me to tell their story.