I stumbled upon this photo through a Facebook Group I belong to. Fearless and Framed doesn’t post a ton of portrait photos. We live and breathe documentary style photography here. However, the caption to this photo captivated me. This may not be considered a documentary photo, but Charlene’s reaction to the words of the photographer are very real, very honest. He documented her emotion perfectly. Dokk Savage shined in his ability to set up a classic portait and evoke emotion to let his client tell the story here. I also love the meaning behind the photo, which you will read below.
This image is a reminder that art is art and beauty is beauty, no matter how it is created. We don’t need to label every photo we create with a genre. So often I see photographers worrying if their images are Lifestyle OR Documentary. If they are Documentary, then maybe they shouldn’t include any portraits in their package (or so they sometimes believe). Or maybe that they shouldn’t talk at all during a session, so that they aren’t interfering with the session naturally unfolding. The stigma of how you “should” run your sessions is overrated.
The truth is, the only label that should be on your photos, is your name. A little bit of soft direction can make a world of difference in your photos to bring out a connection between the subject and you as the photographer. A little bit of silence can also tell a story that you may never have achieved by making yourself heard. Use your own judgement. Create.
What the photographer had to say about the photo:
“My client wanted to dedicate a image to her best who passed away last year. Everything she had on in the image represented her friend in some fashion. The chain around her neck belonged to her best friend. So, I just told her to relax and think about the times her friend made her smile. Charlene (my client), got emotional, but she stayed in character. It was an amazing shot and it was the first shot I edited from her session. ”