Monday, April 6, 2009

Photography and Optimism

Through recent years, photography's technical developments have made leaps and bounds in ways that shocked and surprised photographers of old. Perhaps the digital age has amplified the technical elements of photography, or perhaps it simply is an art form that is more technical in nature than say, painting.

However, as a photographer and an optimist, I find that the true nature of any medium is found in the artist's ability to get past the medium itself. That is, the technical details of camera work should not show themselves as evident in a photographer's work. If a musician has really mastered a song, you don't hear him struggling to hit the notes. Similarly, for a photograph to really sing, the emotion of it needs to play larger than any technical detail.

As an optimist, I am always looking for happy emotions. I work with my camera the way a musician masters an instrument, because when I am shooting, I want to be able to completely step into the moment, and not be distracted by fussing with technical details.

During this economy, a lot of people have asked me, "How's the optimism going?" And I say, "It's going great!" Because I am always looking for happy moments, they are easy to find. A pause in a person's thoughts often give way to a contemplative smile. Asking someone to speak about their dog or their beloved always creates a grin or even a giggle. While much of the mainstream media is obsessed with making and showing images of fear and despair, I keep myself focused on the beauty in our daily lives.

I photograph weddings because I believe that the love that draws two people close enough together to want to entwine their lives is more powerful than the stories we read in the media about crises and fear. I believe that capturing evidence of people's lives working beautifully, and showing the world these images, is how to perpetuate a better feeling of the world we live in. How much beauty surrounds you? If I showed up at your house today, what would you want to show me? What would you want to be savored about your life?

Many of my clients don't actually have to answer these questions out loud. Since I am looking for the beauty in them, and in their lives, it is easy for me to intuit the answers to these questions. My entire craft is dedicated to the bolstering of people's feelings about how wonderful their life really is. I want people to look at my work and think, "She sees it, too. She knows the beautiful secret of how wonderful my life is."

Please feel free to view my wedding work at

You may also download a copy of my wedding photography brochure, including artist's statement and press clipping, by clicking here: Sloboda Weddings Brochure.

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