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  • Martin Bennett - Photographer

Mindfullness

Updated: Jan 25

I think that we traditionally think of "mindfullness" as a spiritual kind of a thing. Maybe, even a little bit cranky! I think the expression has multiple meanings though. I teach TaeKwonDo twice a week (in non covid times). I have to turn up and be mindfull! I have to think of lots of stuff during the lesson, but mostly I have to be "present", paying attention to all that is going on around me. If my concentration lapses, there is a good chance that I could get thumped!


How does this apply to photography?

I have to remember my kit and what I want to acheive with the session. I run through what I need the night before and get it all ready.

Most importantly though, is my subject, my sitter, the person in front of me, whom I am trying to photograph. How do they feel? I have photographed a few people who were just "ah get on with it". Most people, however, are a little bit nervous. I must be mindful of this, and make an effort to calm those nerves and assure them that this will be fun. I must be very mindfull of what I say during the shoot. People are often quite sensitive about their appearance. I must be sure to encourage them to be at their best during the shoot. Some of my sitters, I know quite well, some I have never met before. There is not a huge difference, but at least if we have met before, there is some expectation of how happy I am! If we have not met before, I tend to chatter away explaining, a little of my story and me. I want to relax my subject. I need to know what they want from the shoot, what are their expectations? How do they want to look, do they have a prefered side? There are so many little bits, all of which, I must be mindfull of, that go to make a successful shoot. I am proud to say that a couple of people have had the confidence during the shoot, to ask for a slightly "boudoir" type of session. I had not encountered this before, and was slightly taken aback. I felt honoured that the lady was sufficiently confident in me, to ask!

As a photographer, making images of people, I must be mindfull of them. Mindfull of how they feel, mindfull of what they want, what they expect. I must be mindfull of the emotional experience of the image making!



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