Lori and Luka
Today’s blog will be something a little different. Earlier this week I photographed my co-worker Lori and her son Luka, catching the tail-end of the autumn colors here in Lethbridge. Since Lori is a writer, she asked if she could write a guest blog, and I couldn’t resist! (I’m also glad I don’t have to write it because my finger is bandaged from a cut and it is very difficult to type properly!)
It’s not Black and White
It’s been almost a year since Zebra-Girl joined our workspace and over that time I’ve seen a lot of her photography.
Although I’m no expert, I think there’s a lot of portrait photographers out there striving to capture the “perfect moment,” relying on formulaic poses to convey scripted meanings for whatever the occasion. Tanya’s images are markedly different.
Part of it may be that she works primarily with natural light. But there’s another element that I’ve often wondered about: How is it that her images seem to evoke such truths? Are all her clients super special or does she work some kind of magic behind the scenes, and if so, how?
This past week my son and I had the opportunity to be in front of her camera, which also provided me with a chance to observe her behind it. Although I don’t want to give away all of her secrets, I’ve taken the liberty of mentioning a couple of her techniques in my photo comments :)
As you’d expect, I looked forward to seeing the results, full of anticipation, anxious to see whether Tanya had been able to capture our feelings and communicate our essences in her images.
I hoped that she would see the deep love I have for my son; that she’d understand the joy we experience together; and that, through her photography, she’d take a few moments to celebrate his childhood, his personhood with me.
The unveil was this morning. The result? Beautiful images of a childhood; my heart filled with gratitude for Tanya and her artistry.
Capturing “truth” is as much about hearing as it is seeing. “Try sitting here, any way you want,” Tanya says. Side-by-side Luka anchors one foot on me, as he always does. “This is us; who we are,” I start to explain . . . and she’s already taken the picture.
Talking nonsense. Tanya works quietly “behind the scenes,” observing real interactions; we welcome her presence, camera or not.
Tanya has been dubbed the “Human Tripod” by our coworker, Michael Warf. That’s how she gets these kind of shots, by doing a modified version of the limbo.
What about props? “You don’t need anything, really,” Tanya says. But, since we’re going for a stroll in the woods, we decide to bring a few things. She works our things into great shots like this!
What a lot of people might not know about Tanya-the-photographer is that she could use a third eye! Rather than closing one eye while looking through the viewfinder, she keeps both eyes open in case she misses something. Quirky? Yes, but never anonymous.
Here are a few of my favorites from the day as well :)