As a photographer, do you ever feel that internal conflict? Trying to decide if you should pull out your camera and record the moment or just sit and enjoy and be part of it? I’ve personally tended more towards being in the moment but recently had some big shifts in my thinking. Today I’m sharing how losing my dad has changed my perspective on taking the picture.
About Kate Hejde
Kate Hejde is the host and creator of How You Pictured It Podcast and Dear Kate Brand Strategy. She helps photographers create a profitable business that fits into their lives. With over 10 years of experience running her own photography business, while raising three kids, Kate believes that business is not one size fits all and that you define your own success. Kate teaches through her podcast as well as through courses, group coaching, and 1:1 mentoring.
This past weekend, my extended family and family friends joined together to celebrate the life of my dad. He passed away suddenly in December and we postponed getting together until this spring. So we could be outdoors and a little bit safer from COVID. Which surprise it’s snowed on Friday and double surprise. We had family members with COVID, so it just goes to show that you really can’t plan things. The thing that I was in charge of for our celebration was a slideshow. Now. I don’t know about you, but this is something that’s always kind of weighed on me as a photographer. The feeling of, do I want to be in the moment and enjoy it or do I want to take a picture of it so I can remember it forever. And that’s something that I’ve always really battled, trying to decide which side of that coin I fall on. And I have typically fallen on the side of just enjoying the moment and not taking pictures.
I’ve gotten to the point where I always leave my camera at home for family events, because I don’t want to be expected to be taking photos. To me when I’m shooting and really trying to capture beautiful images, I feel like I’m pulled out of the moment and stuck in a different kind of mindset
Then, if I’m just there enjoying it. To me when I’m shooting and really trying to capture beautiful images, I feel like I’m pulled out of the moment and stuck in a different kind of mindset then, if I’m just there enjoying it. I see things differently when i have a camera in my face plus, there are so many photos that I had taken in the past that just end up on a hard drive, unedited in raw format and never shared the pressure of having to get those final images up. Always stressed me out After going through all of our family photos, though over the past few weeks and pulling together these memories. My thoughts have shifted a little bit. Honestly, as soon as my dad passed away, we were looking at photos. Of course, we have memories of him and those can’t be. Really captured in photos, but photos are the thing that we can still hold on to. And the thing that we can share. Because something that I realized is that. My memories of my dad are different than memories that my brother has, or my mom has, or his friends have. Our relationship with each other was different than the relationship he had with anybody else. And while we all shared the same person. We all got our own little special part of him. The photos that we have though, help us to see each of those little different parts. And just share the stories that we each have of him. My favorite story from the weekend was about a night when my parents were with their friends and their car broke down. They were on their way to the movies and the guys ended up staying with the car and the ladies hitchhiked to the movies and saw Annie hall. My dad and his friend ended up staying at a diner all night, waiting for a part to come for the car. The legend goes that my dad drank 36 cups of coffee that night. And it’s totally believable because he really did love coffee. And so do I. So while I don’t have a photograph of him from that exact night. I do have photographs of him from that time. And I get the stories from his friends. While I’ve always really been a live in the moment, kind of person and I take a few snapshots here and there of my kids, I’ve realized that I hardly ever turned the camera on the adults in the room. We take pictures of kids, knowing that they’re going to change and be different the next time we see them. And that every moment they’re growing and changing. Watching kids grow shows us how fast time moves. It’s not until you lose someone though that you really understand the importance of a photograph. This weekend at the Memorial, I made sure to capture some photos of everyone that was there. They were just quick cell phone snapshots. I allowed myself to let go of the pressure of creating that perfect picture. And I realized that the perfect picture is just one that exists. When I saw my family checking out Facebook later that day and seeing the photos that I had taken, they were also happy to have them. So from now on, I’m going to take the picture and I’m going to make sure that everyone is included. And then I’m going to put the camera away and enjoy the moment. Because they go so fast. Thanks for joining me on this episode of the how you pictured it podcast i’ll talk to you again next week Have a good one.