The Advantages of Slowing Down and Shutting Up as a Photographer

March 6, 2019

This shoot came early in the new year when I was feeling depleted. Mentally, emotionally and lets get real, financially. I had just come off my biggest busy season yet, and man did I come down hard. When my friend Ana Gambuto asked me to come and capture her and her little babe Collette, I was of course excited, but also a little nervous, given my exhaustion and complete burnout from the holiday season.

But as I packed my bag, I made a decision. I brought everything. Film cameras, my newly purchased Sony Alpha and my standard camera and all the lenses I owned. Knowing Ana, I knew she would appreciate it if experimented a little, so I figured why the hell not?

That brisk Friday morning I discovered the true magic of slowing down. We had no agenda. We had no game plan. I was there to play, to sit, to talk and last of all to document little Coco at eight months. And the result? Well, it was pure gold. I found myself giving very little direction if any, but rather chatting about life, about her little girl and what we were going to order for lunch. I shut up about how to interact with her kid, and the things I would usually say to a client. Suddenly I found myself more open to trying different things. There may not have been as many photos as usual, but I had even more special moments to edit and share. I loved getting to observe, being part of their family for a moment and getting to capture some intimate, sweet moments.

The result ended up being a magical mix of baby rolls and beautiful light.

All in all, the session ended up being beautiful and so unique. I found that using both a film camera and digital gave me some different points of view and aspects of photography. The result ended up being a magical mix of baby rolls and beautiful light. I left the session full of warmth and feeling truly happy about the work I had just created.