In her initial email to me, she wrote, “We would like your artistic attention for the sixty minute session”, which is the most expensive offering. This is how I usually know they want from me something that no one else can give them.
When I sent her one of my favorite final photographs, she responded, “Omg, Melanie! You did it! You captured the magic in our hearts.”
I’m certain this quote hung framed on the wall in my first-born’s nursery: “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” -Roald Dahl
Read that again. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. If you do one thing for me, do that. Believe in magic. Forget about the BS, work through the hard times and look for magic around every corner. At a minimum, don’t deny it when it hits you like a hurricane.
From the moment she shook my hand, I saw that “thing”, that “x factor”. This mama was one in a million. She was kind, she was mindful, she was patient, she was excited and she was absolutely stunning in every way. Not long after we said hello, one son flashed a wink while the other was quick to show off his holster and cap gun. He was shortly followed by the husband informing us all that he would, without a doubt, be wearing (what had to have been his favorite, or maybe not because he was that chill and could have very much possibly grabbed it last minute on the way out the door) cap throughout the shoot. I immediately knew that for the next hour, I wasn’t just working… I was paying tribute to this beautiful, deeply authentic family. It is with great honor that I was provided the opportunity to unequivocally capture the epitome of great love that stood before my eyes.
For the seasoned vet, the great challenge in documentary lifestyle photography isn’t capturing what’s before your eyes, although blessed are those who even see it. It’s about creating a level of comfort (immediately!) that affords your clients the opportunity to show you who they are (the good bad and the ugly), without judgement, as if they are long lost friends who you haven’t seen in over a decade and over-the-moon to catch up with so you can find out who they really are now. When you feel that, you leave everything else at the door.
Show. Me. Your. Soulshine.
By the way, I forgot to mention it, but thank you both for your service.
Melanie Applegate Photography – Offering Austin’s Best Lifestyle Photography Experience
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