When I am taking photos and have total control over the situation, I am a lighting snob.
(Family Easter Photo taken on a TriPod by a potential future sister-in-law.)
I will move people inches and maybe even centimeters just to get the lighting and camera angle exactly the way I want it for the ‘perfect’ photo. Yeah yeah big deal…I have control issues…so what? I have learned to acknowledge my photography control issues, embrace them, and most importantly…let them go when I need to.
I love Easter. 99.9% because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and what that means for me as a broken person trying to make sense of this life and finding the grace and love I seek in Him. But the 0.1% that I love is celebrating with family and watching my son hunt Easter eggs…or driving his Lightning McQueen Power Wheels around the house.
Who doesn’t love to watch cute kids in weird looking pastel clothing run around the yard with a basket searching for bright colored eggs?
My son is the only grandkid in the family so when it came time to hunt easter eggs at “Luly and Doc’s” house he was a lone ranger. It was 1pm which meant the sun was almost directly overhead and really harsh a.k.a. worst possible light. He was running around like a egg-crazed-maniac filling his basket and zigzagging all over the place. I was subtly trying to corral him into a place with the best lighting scenario when all of a sudden I realized….
Lighting doesn’t matter right now…just take a freaking photo already.
Don’t get me wrong I will always try my best to have the best light possible in the photo, but sometimes the reality is that perfect lighting doesn’t always make for a great photo, and you can capture a great image even with mediocre or even bad lighting….especially if waiting for a great lighting situation means you aren’t taking any photos at all.
So I embraced my faults as a control freak…the guy trying to corral his kid into the perfect light…and just started taking photos wherever he went. The lighting wasn’t perfect and if I were shooting for pottery barn kids they probably wouldn’t hire me again…but I will forever cherish these photos because they captured my son being a kid on Easter and when I look at these photos all I see is him…not how well I nailed the lighting.
Am I still a lighting perfectionists?
I will never choose to wait on perfect light to create an image because life is made up of beautiful imperfect moments that capture the essence of life and retain that quality with or without perfect lighting.