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The Empire Citizen

What's the !#@%ng point??

What’s the point of taking photos?  Usually it’s to record the memory of a special time, right?  Think of your most favourite photo from your life – either one that you took, or one that you’re in.

No, really:  actually think for 2 seconds and pick a specific one.  What does it look like?  Who's in it?  Where is it set?  What is included in the frame? 

Ok.  Now, why do you love it?  I'm going to guess it's not because it’s an award-winning image, with perfect composition, lighting, sharpness and colour balance.  Uh-uh, honey.  You love it because it reminds you of a specific time or place in your life, and most likely the memory involves people you love. 
And that is important. 

So, next question:
What’s the purpose of taking photos, if they don’t capture something real like that?  In my opinion, there isn’t one.  Even the most abstract images have some deep purpose to the person who made them. 

Final Q:
How do you make real photos with real memories, if the whole situation is fabricated, such as is the case with an engagement session??????  This is the question of the century!! (-ish)

This is HOW:
You make a real experience happen, and take photos of it.
I recently spoke about this on my social media, in a 15 minute video. If you're interested, see it here, on Facebook or in the GIVEAWAY highlights on my Instagram.  I described how I learned this technique from Jesh De Rox, and went to conferences and workshops to really understand and hone it.  Over the years I added my own flavour, with things I learned in my mindfulness and compassion studies. 

The Session. 

I begin with a mini-meditation, because honestly people get SUPER stressed out, and usually have an argument on their way to the photo session. 
I mean, this is  so normal  I wrote a whole post about it! ˆˆ

We find a quiet spot and I lead the couple through a relaxation ritual.  I explain how things are going to go, and what to do if they start to feel nervous. 

And then we begin.

In very simple terms, for the majority of the session, I ask the participants to play story-telling games with one another, and invite them to answer specific questions.  The questions are things only they would know, that have nothing to do with me.  I just photograph the response. 

This technique checks several boxes off the list for a stellar photo session: 
  • Smiles, laughter and kissing / making out is 100% natural and not “directed”
  • The participants have specific tasks to focus on, and instantly forget they’re in front of a camera
  • The games elicit responses that are personal and meaningful to the people in the photos – sometimes people say things they’ve never told one another!  And that makes a NEW memory. 

So, the photos are of new, real, meaningful moments in your life! 
And that’s how it goes.

When you look at your favourite photo from your life…  what comes to mind? 

Do you remember holding your face in a stiff awkward pose, worrying about how you look, as well as who is around and how they’re judging you?  Do you have a memory of someone you hardly know, telling you, “Ok, you guys, now kiss – go for a kiss!”
No, you most definitely do NOT. 

Think of the photo again. 

You remember that old house where you used to live.  The old wallpaper.  The swing-set in the backyard over the puddle.  The rusty Bar-B-Q.  Throwing couch cushions on the floor and jumping on them to your favourite song.

You remember the sound of that person’s beautiful laugh.  Maybe the stain of tears around their eyes.  The way it felt to be held by someone.  A feeling of only love.  

A time when everyone was together.  Things were simple. 
Those years when things were new. 

You remember a feeling of adventure and discovery.  Or a moment when suddenly you realized you were in love.  Maybe you remember when you realized suddenly that you were loved.  Maybe you remember when you were saying an important goodbye.  In your heart, or in real life.

Maybe it was a feeling of pure unadulterated excitement and joy!  Or just a feeling of perfect content.  You remember who you were at that moment.  Remember who you are.

Whatever it was, it was real.  
And you cherish that photo because it gives you the substance of life:  
the only thing worth accumulating.  

That’s what photographs do.  That’s what they’re for.  Even the ones we set up can be like this.  This is what I do. 

What You Need to Know Now:

This is a date-night session, an anniversary session, an engagement session and anyone can learn more here and book below...
Let's make some magic, like Maya & Ben, in the photos below. 
Tell me what you think!
PS  I am grateful for you.  Seriously, I usually have a witty little quip here, but this time, I just want all my Citizens to know how much I appreciate you  –  your supportive emails, and funny stories, and the way you share your life with me.  Thank you.  I am honoured. 
Copyright © 2019 Sweetheart Empire, All rights reserved.

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