A Peek Inside My Mind While Behind The Lens

Updated: Apr 26, 2019

Photography is tough, takes a lot of practice, and can be very frustrating when what you envision does not match the outcome. Trust me, learning and continuously learning can be difficult but it's so rewarding once things start to "click" with you. I thought I'd take some time today to chat about some things that may be going through my mind during a session or photographing for personal reasons.


'Quality not Quantity'


I used to come home with 500+ images for just a couple hours (no joke), most were okay but do we really need 500+ images of nearly the same thing? Nope. Now I am much more picky about choosing my moment. If you're unsure of how to go about this, ask yourself "what do I want to remember?" That is honestly something constantly going through my mind, especially with babies and the elderly because things change so drastically in very little time.


I may be wanting to show how the light drapes over my subject, or how tiny little fingers are gripping a toy, or how the wind is blowing through hair, or a subtle hand squeeze, or laughter exchanged between siblings (showing joy), amongst countless other things that show connection or tells the story in some way or form.


When I took one photography course, an assignment was to walk behind my girls and just observe them without the camera in order to "see" what I would like to capture. This really helped to train my brain to observe the story that was unfolding rather than the big picture in front of me. I saw their hair blowing behind them as they raced, I saw the look of joy as one of them won, I saw the story broken down into capturable moments.


I may spend some time waiting in anticipation based on observing what's happening and predicting a certain outcome. Am I expecting my subject to do something in particular? No. But I am trying to observe the potential for a click worthy moment. So if I just have the camera facing someone and I'm not doing anything...this is what's happening and sometimes it works while other times it doesn't. It's all a learning experience. Once that potential has come and gone, I'll move on to the next.


I wanted to capture her eyes, mommy's silouette is refleted.

We had been walking around the city and she decided this was easier than carrying sock monkey.

I was lying in wait for when she's score some points. She was VERY excited.


I like to capture little hands...the more you follow my work, the more obvious that will become.

It's her first time in a nursing home after an illness started to effect her memory.

Those curls, though!

Isn't it nice when siblings get along?

I like to make faces at little kids, he copied me and this is currently one of my favorite images.

I love to show the good times...but also the hard times. Little Miss here had a bit of a hard time coming into this world. I like to believe this shows the love between a mother and child. We go through so much for them sometimes.

Now the important question- What do you want to remember?

© 2017 by Tonya Backes

Facebook                     Instagram                    Pinterest