Last year I went to a conference called #AdventureAlways, part of the #BelovedCollective in Los Angeles (#CALIFORNIA!!!). To make a long story short, Beloved is a style of photography that combines photojournalism with raw emotion between two or more people. It shares the belief that too many portraits are posed, and the loving moments you see between two people should actually happen. It’s a way to draw emotion from your subject and then photograph what happens.
The conference i attended was a gathering of creative minds that have the desire to move people through their work. It was an incredibly inspiring few days, listening to people who have managed to bring the emotion out in their work. It made me realize to not put so much emphasis on the technical side of things and just get out and shoot! Shoot what moves you, shoot what you see. Don’t shoot just because it’s pretty, shoot because you feel something.
There were two photographers specifically that stuck with me. Fer Juaristi is a BEAUTIFUL wedding photographer. His work is absolutely gorgeous and inspiring, and he told us in no uncertain terms that “cameras and all that sh!t matters, but not that much.” He stressed the importance of being true to yourself because your work is an extension of YOU. Your work is based on what YOU see and how YOU feel and it should represent those emotions. He taught us to channel what we feel into our work – I love this concept – because although a gorgeous sky and a beautiful bride make a pretty picture, the ones that you remember are the ones that evoke a particular emotion. Fer is incredibly funny, straightforward and likes to write dirty words on powerpoints.
The second is Gabe McClintock, who told us that everyone sucks at some point. Your work is going to suck for awhile, but thats not why you do it. He showed us his photos from his beginnings as a photographer, trying to capture ‘pretty pictures.’ Now he focuses on what he loves, and as a result not only do we see photos of his family, but we find some of the most gorgeous wedding and boudoir images I’ve seen. His work is liight, dark and mysterious all at the same time; he’s shooting around the edges of emotion (this phrase came to mind – I don’t know how else to describe it). His work is basically the way I’ve always dreamed of shooting. Period.
what image? oh yeah.
And my favorite thing about Gabe? That he often combines beautiful words with his photos. My two favorite things are poems and lyrics, and photography. Delicious.