This past summer I had the pleasure of doing a casual photo shoot in New York City with professional photographers Rick O. and Darrin Hackney. Me and my son, Thomas, joined Rick, Darrin and budding actor Nick Pollifrone in and around NYC on a beautiful, but hot, Saturday in June. Nick was our subject as we tooled around Grand Central Station, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and various subway stations and city streets. We spent a lot of time in Central Park. No lie, we must have counted a dozen or so wedding sessions going on there which I found out later is normal. Here is a shot I took of Nick;
At one point Nick went to change his clothes while Thomas, Rick, Darrin and I waited in the shade near Bethesda Fountain. We waited quite a while and while we waited we watched wedding brides and grooms with their photographers walk by. At one point this couple stopped right in front of us. The light coming from above was perfect casting nice shadows down the steps and onto the couple right in front of us as they readied themselves for a series of pictures by their hired photographer. As he snapped away so did the four of us! Why not….maybe we’d capture a moment. I can hear my gang’s shutters clicking away to my right as I lifted my camera to my face with my finger on the trigger. I just watched the couple through my viewfinder and waited for the right moment to fire. The groom casually started to lean on the pillar in front of me and to my left. The bride moved in close to her man and as she settled herself for a series of photographs she glanced right at me and smiled. I couldn’t believe it. It’s a good thing I was ready. My finger pressed the button and I ended up with the image you see above. As it turned out I captured a very tender moment.
As I navigate my way through the process of learning photography I find myself shooting lots of photos. Plus, this is advice that I hear and read about all of the time; Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. This leaves me with hundreds of images to scan through to see the results of my efforts. What I’ve come to realize is that there is one thing that the better photographs all have in common. I didn’t see this at first but it dawned on me this past weekend after I shot a local School of Rock performance and ended up with the image below. This image, too, captures a moment as the singer finishes the song and is completely wrapped up in the ending of a perfect performance. I now understand that this is what all photographers strive to do. I’m a beginner with photography so I wasn’t aware of this goal. But now I do. And now I really look through that viewfinder and observe what’s happening around the scene all the while ready to fire that trigger to capture a story telling moment.