There’s something about photographing someone that makes me feel bonded to them. Once the shoot is done, the photos are sent out, and the transaction between my clients and me is complete, one might think that would be the end of the relationship.
And maybe I never talk with that client, in person again. Maybe, physically, that is the end of the relationship, but it’s not the end of the connection I feel with them. Being able to see someone through the lens is intimate. I see things that maybe the world doesn’t get to see.
And it might not even be in the captured moments. Most of the time, I feel that I see someone more truly and honestly when I am talking with them about the pose or moving them into it or that extra second right before or right after I click the shutter. It’s not even something I see all the time, but merely something that is felt. The way someone holds their breath or stiffens their shoulders or the release of air from their lungs when they realize this is not something to fear. It’s the awkward giggle breaking through from a serious smolder.
That’s why, no matter how long ago I photographed a person, no matter how fleeting the shoot was or how many times we’ve spoken after, the news that they are no longer with us makes an impact and is painful. And I hope that the photographs I made of that person area a true capture of the memories of their loved ones, that maybe my photographs serve as a reminder of their light.