|December 13, 2023
|Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized
This year for my birthday (back in early Jan) I bought myself a camera and I started telling stories in a new way – through photos instead of words. Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite pictures of 2023. Some have easter eggs (more on this soon…), some are just the luckiest moments to have my finger on the shutter. Still others I love because it wasn’t an easy picture to get, it was a picture I got to take because the person staring through the lens of the camera trusted me enough to give me something real.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
I’m probably not the person you want taking your fancy family portraits. Or documenting the event that you want remembered as a beautiful story book fairy tale.
Because in my opinion best part of taking pictures isn’t the perfect “why not just let a robot take your photo” moments. The best part of going through my pictures after an event is finding the easter eggs.
An easter egg isn’t a blooper, rather I think of it as the story behind whatever the obvious, easy narrative is. It’s an oopsie that makes me laugh. Nearly all of my “easter egg” pictures have a frame before or after that is far more “picture perfect” and not nearly as interesting.
It’s sort of like my writing – I find myself fascinated by the cracks, that moment where life defies expectations and our attempts to corral it into something manageable. The most interesting pictures could belong to a collection I would name “distraction.”
Taking pictures is a lot like writing for me. Early on I found my writing voice and it wasn’t writing topics for someone else’s editorial schedule or putting a pretty ribbon on some piece of nonsense. It’s why the pieces of writing I’m most proud of are here on the blog, and not the things I’ve published in magazines. I know what I want to say, how I want to say it, and getting that right matters more to me than earning money from the project or making a paying client happy. Thank goodness I don’t rely on a paycheck from my writing.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the pictures I care about are the ones that say something other than “life is pretty and perfect.” I am fascinated by the moment before that leaves you on the edge of your seat. What happens next? or the moment after – how on earth did we get here?
The problem is that your subjects might feel a bit violated. “that’s not what I paid for! That’s not what I planned!” I think it’s why I like to photograph people I know well and like. That way it’s always edited out of love and care and a mutual joy of life.
Ok Ok OK enough. In addition to the 5 pictures above, here’s the other 20 pictures from 2023 that I’m obsessed with (with and without easter eggs).
21. Headshots: Ok I know there are four pictures below, but this counts as one.
I knew the first headshots were “good enough” (first ones below in the series) but I knew they could be better. (compare to the second set) I’m darn proud of myself for getting my subjects from point A to point B within a very short time limit. Everyone deserves to have a headshot that reflects how they see themselves on their best day.
Hope you enjoyed my favorites of 2023. To see all the photos I’ve uploaded this year, check out my Flickr page. Did I miss one of your favorites?