Classic Annabelle {Black & White Photography} - Mid Missouri Full Service Portrait Studio
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Classic Annabelle {Black & White Photography}

 

 

 

 

If I could have a superpower, I’ve always maintained that I’d want the ability to manipulate time. I’d be able to freeze it like it was the ultimate mannequin challenge, reverse it, speed it up, slow it down. When you stop and think about it, I’m already halfway there. I’d say you are too. I’d even wager that you’ve got a box full of time stuffed away somewhere in your house right now, ready at a moment’s notice to pull out and travel to. Because that’s what photography truly is: Time travel. Oh yeah, sure, it’s a clunky sort of time travel that only allows the viewer to peek into the barest snippet of the past and I’ve never known it to be able to predict the future, but it does the job and it’s so simple that anybody with a camera can do it.

The trick, my dears, is in doing it well.

For years and years, I struggled to master my time traveling techniques. I knew that if I could only get it right, I’d be able to encapsulate a mood into those snippets of time, like those moments where everything already seems to be standing still, the lights are dim and there’s a sort of thusness to the atmosphere. I wanted it. I craved it. I’d have done anything to get it. What I failed to realize was that the magic that powered it, the secret potion, the spell, was beneath my nose, like an old zen mantra, all along. Photographers had been telling the secret, whether I wanted to believe it or not. Signs were there, pointing the way.

Here it is, are you ready? It’s all about light. That’s it. That’s more than half of what makes a photograph memorable.

This summer, when the days were sticky hot and only the evening offered relief from the scorching sun, my girls and I were bored, so we played with light. Annabelle and her big sister Isabelle are always ready to raid my studio stash of maternity gowns and try them all on. Anna is so used to being my muse and so comfortable in front of the camera that I don’t have to direct her anymore. She makes this look so easy, and it really was, because she poses herself, moves, models. It’s so unfair, I know, it should probably be criminal.

As usual, my personal images are taken, maybe one or two are edited, but the rest are saved and put on the back burner until I get a chance to look at them and work on them a bit. Since I’ve been neglecting the blog over here terribly I decided that it was time to remedy that and happened across these in my Lightroom files, so I edited a few and I’m presenting them here now, to you. There is something about a classically lit portrait that looks intense when rendered in modest black and white tones. The skin glows and everything seems to pop out into the third dimension. I love that each one is its own work of art, already a classic, without even trying. These serve as an important reminder, and that is that sometimes art truly is that simple.

There’s so much to these. They’re an instant classic. There’s an interplay of light and shadow with nothing to distract from her features. There’s nothing to confuse or overwhelm the way the light falls across the planes of her face, ridges the edge of her upper lip, polishes the tip of her nose, highlights wisps of hair, then casts soft shadows beneath her jawbone and in the subtle hollows of her cheek. I, for one, love a photo of simply subject and the light.

It’s ironic, isn’t it, that after all the planning and zany props, themes, and ideas we get, that the simple images are the ones we love the most? The basic, bare bones photos are what withstand the test of time so in ten years, twenty years, thirty or even fifty, she will look back at these images and know that whether she felt it or not at the time, she truly was beautiful.

 

 

 

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