“We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting.” Kahlil Gibran
Last weekend I went to Healdsburg to photograph a client. Because this was the first time I was photographing a person for a job I had more than the usual nervousness. As the insecurity and senseless internal dialogue was brewing I knew I had to do something to get out of that energy if I was going to create successful photographs. For me, a successful photograph includes many elements, but the foremost is the satisfaction of the client. Readers of this blog will know that I am familiar with the location and have photographed horses at Barbier Farms many times. I am always a little anxious about seeing things new in a setting that is somewhat limited and thoroughly known. So I slowed my breathing and switched the internal dialogue from the static channel to the compassionate, grateful channel. I met the client with a smile, listened to her desires for the photographs, suggested a few settings and started to work.
I know that everything I am saying is simple, perhaps even simplistic. But it is too easy to forget and get caught up in thinking about what comes next or what if this or what if that….rather than just being still and taking in all the information that is being sent. My client and friend, Candida, was giving me her thoughts about the movements that she wanted photographed….the light was changing rapidly….the dogs were playing…activity in the barn was picking up as it was feeding time…..other clients were coming to the barn for lessons….and through all of this, remembering to smile kept me centered and calm. Soon there was a flow to the shoot akin to the gentle pace of deep water moving. It was undisturbed and developed a quiet energy as we progressed. By this time the light was getting a little higher and stronger than I wanted and I let some doubt creep in….just as I silenced that thought and asked Candida to move to another area, I caught the reflected light off the horse’s mane onto my friend’s face. We were able to play with that for quite a few minutes and I enjoyed a bit of photographer’s luck.
The shoot was a tremendous gift for me as it brought more fullness to my resolve to create calm and expanded awareness in the midst of a great deal of activity. Further, I think that my ability to project that created ease for my client, and certainly for the horses as they are so aware of all that is happening on the physical, emotional, and etheric levels. I am looking forward to the next challenge of this kind and seeing what gift is in store, what serendipity arises. It’s all around us. We just have to remember to find and to feel our smile.