Anyone who knows me knows that I take A LOT of pictures. In fact I've blogged before about how much I enjoy photography.
I have been blessed with two beautiful children as subjects (yes, I'm biased) and even with a lazy dog who makes my photography look better than perhaps it actually is! Over the last year, I have had the good fortune to take quite a few senior pictures, family portraits, engagement photos and even a few brides. One of the most interesting things that I have learned as an amateur shutterbug is that clients hardly ever choose the photos that I consider my best work. Over time, I have learned to take this in stride.
Initially, I would be somewhat offended. I would think to myself how can you not see that this photo is CLEARLY the best! It is razor sharp and the color is vibrant. The composition is exceptional. There is a catch light in the eye that almost makes it glimmer. There are shadows and highlights in all the right places. It is technically superb! Yet time and again, clients will choose not the technically accurate photo, but one that is (at least in my mind) flawed in some way.
I thought about that … Why do people choose these pictures to adorn their walls? Why do they want to frame these images? What is captured in these photos that makes them want to hang on to that memory.
I do a lot of high school senior shoots. One expression that I always try to capture is the subject laughing … really chuckling … a side-splitting cackle … head flung back, mouth wide open, can't catch my breath sort of laughter! You know why? Because every single time these are the images that people can't live without. There is something about seeing someone you love so happy that they are uncontrollably laughing that just warms your heart.
Over time, I have come to redefine my "favorites." So, although the images below may not be technically perfect, I consider them some of my best work … If you don't believe me, just ask their family. (: These are the ones that are framed in their homes … You know why? People want to see their children happy! They want to capture and remember the good times! There are a lot of bad things going on in this world and if you dwell on it too long, it can really bring you down.
As a mom, one of my favorite sounds at our house is when Blakely and Nick get really tickled. I mean when something really hits them funny and they burst out into uncontrollable laughter. That sound has the power to transform a bad day into an extraordinary day.
Sometimes I just sit and wonder … If our hearts are brimming with joy when our children delight with laughter, how much more is our heavenly Father filled with love for us when we delight in Him? When life is not perfect, yet we choose to praise Him … When we fling our head back and laugh in the midst of adversity. When we raise our hands and hearts in a spirit of thanksgiving even on the days when we can make very little sense of it all.
Oh how I know it warms his heart!
Take a moment to study these images … listen closely, you can almost hear the laughter …
"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." Ps 37:4
"Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, 'The Lord has done great things for them.'” Ps 126:2
"A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance" Ecc 3:4
"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting." Job 8:21
"… blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh." Luke 6:21