Love. It is a driving force… especially with a passionate photographer, such as myself.
Ahhh, being ‘in love’, the beautiful, sensual, fulfilling bliss which fills your heart with a weightlessness within your body and soul. The cliché ‘walking on cloud nine‘ makes sense, well sort of… what does the nine stand for?
This week I photographed such a couple. They are both military. Yesterday he left for Korea and new wife is on-base here, in Hawaii. I am sure they’ve looked at these photographs over and over in the one day they have been apart.
They are ‘in love’. Their bliss of weightlessness gave me ideas I had never suggested to other couples. “Sit on his shoulders… Can you stand, James? Ashley? can you stretch your arms out to the heavens?” They did beautifully and he didn’t stumble once. I knew I would be pushing my limits, and theirs, if I asked her to stand up. They trusted each other in body and soul.
Many times couples bring their own clothing and I always take some conservative shots to share with mom and dad, younger brother and sister. Then, if the couple wants to spice up the shots just a bit, I take out my props.
Men look handsome and dramatic in an unbuttoned, white shirt and women look very sexy in a long, white silky gown. Now, put they in the water and you’ll get photographs they will love. A hand on the tush, a kiss on the neck, a nibble on the ear, a tickle on the side, dripping water from a shell down her chest, pressed against a stone wall, making-out beneath a big, straw hat, silhouettes against the sky or laying in the sand, walking into the water or just playing and laughing. Being within their intimacy is a delicate business for any photographer, especially when a couple is a bit bashful. They have to trust you completely.
Yes, they ‘re ready to play, but to get great shots, it is important the photographer (me) understands the balance between their freedom and quietly suggesting the position of a hand, the placement of a kiss, the gentle touch against her cheek, the humor to emphasize the sweetness of her smile, the tilt to outline his jaw, the twinkle in theirs eyes. The photographer (me) always needs to know where the sun is shining to capture the image within her mind; the placement of bodies, the use of natural or artificial light, the background, the best lens, the camera settings, her position in regard to her clients, ahh, so much going on in my mind, yet always remembering the most important element of a great photo shoot, the trust between James, Ashley and myself. It is allowing them space with gentle suggestions, encouraging the loving touches, feeling the love they have for each and blessed they have allowed the photographer (me) into their circle of bliss.
My heart is as weightless as theirs after the shoot. My passion for life, for love and for photography has me dancing on ‘cloud nine‘. Does anyone know what the ‘nine’ implies?