I first picked up a camera after my second child was born. It was then that I realised that every photograph I had of my beautiful first-born was taken on a mobile phone. I was so overcome with regret over the forever-lost. People used to stop me on the street to exclaim over how gorgeous this little girl was and all I had were grainy, badly-cropped snapshots.
By the time my little boy came along, those mobile phone cameras sure had improved, but I wanted to have photos of my family that showed how beautiful my little children really were. So I didn’t just buy a good camera, I studied. I read everything I could about exposure and lighting and composition. And I absolutely loved it. I loved the images I was learning to take, and I loved the learning itself. To learn and practice and see how the images improved. Now I experience the joy of sitting with these children as they exclaim over how little they once were. Over the remembered joy of a time and a place and a person.
Soon, I was taking photos of everyone I knew. I dabbled in landscapes, in product and commercial photography, but it’s people that I love. I love to show the beauty in every individual and in every relationship. Birthdays, baptisms, weddings. To not just capture the image but to share in that moment. I will remember every person I photograph, every wedding I photograph. After each session I have looked so closely at a person, seen from so many angles, seen their true emotions and reactions in fleeting expressions – I feel I know each and every one of them.
As a photographer, I am relaxed. Not demanding or bossy. I understand that my fleeting presence in your life, whether it be for your wedding, your birthday or a family lifestyle session, is about you, not me. It is important to me not to ruin your day, insult your guests or make you do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. When it is time to be unobtrusive, I am unobtrusive. I am friendly. I like people. People like me.
I am proud to call myself a wedding photographer; a lifestyle family photographer and an event photographer. I am proud to be good at what I do. It is important to me to take beautiful images, to capture precious moments. Whether photographing your wedding, your party or your family at play, I do my best. I want to make sure that every image that I deliver represents you, your relationships and your emotions.
Larissa Whiteside. Photographer.