I love photography, so I’m always looking for beautiful light. (Because you don’t photograph something; you photograph light bouncing off of that something.)
As a commercial photographer, I realize that most people want the light bouncing off of them or someone or something that is important to them. So I primarily photograph families and children, weddings, events, and architecture. This suits me fine, because happy people and beautiful homes and historic buildings are always fun to be around.
But I also just enjoy shooting subjects that have no commercial value — unless someone likes the photo so much that they order a print.
When I shoot weddings and events, I try to be as invisible as possible. I don’t like asking people to pose, but of course that sometimes is requested — and necessary. But as much as I can, I attempt to blend into the background.
Portraits are another matter. I have a wonderful studio, where lighting can be controlled, and my subject can view the results and provide feedback. And of course we can go outside — the beautiful outside of Edenton — and photograph there.
With children, I let them play. It’s my job to get the photo, not their job to get wooden.
I like natural light. Whenever possible, that’s what I use. But a person sees things differently than a camera. Our eyes fill in the blanks — if there is a dark sweater in a shadow, we know it’s a sweater, and we know what it looks like. But the camera only sees a solid black mass. Unless that’s what you want, you must give your camera a bit of help.
Enter the flash. Yes, flash photography has a bad reputation, mainly because it’s usually poorly implemented and uses the dinky flash unit that comes on a camera. But with an external unit and the proper settings and accessories, it can do wonders — not overpowering the subject but simply enhancing it: adding a twinkle to someone’e eye ... and make their sweater look like a ... sweater.