Happy 2024!

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As you know, I love landscape photography.  But I also have another love – a completely different genre that doesn’t seem to fit into this at all.

I love candids.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

I’ve never really been one for anything fake, artificial, or exaggerated.  I’m not good at portraits, because I never know how to place people.  I’m not a fan of people staring at me through a frame with forced smiles that really only say, “take the picture already!”  People don’t actually look like that; they don’t live like that.  And it can be somewhat unnerving.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Instead, I prefer the beautiful moments in between the poses, when people are their truest.  They’re real people with real emotions.  Raw sadness, thrilling joy, unbridled excitement, dazzling smiles that don’t care who’s watching.  These genuine “breaks in character” show who they actually are.  And I find these hints at their inner selves far more compelling.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017
YouTuber Zaxel; I promise he’s laughing 🙂

As individuals, we frequently want to don masks and put up a facade of who we want the world to see.  Some are quite good at it.

But everyone is different.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017
Voice actress Lisle Wilkerson

I don’t want to see what you believe society wants to see; that’s so boring.  I want the insight into the unique qualities that make humankind so amazing.  And when you shoot long enough, you’re lucky enough to gain a few peeks into their worlds.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017
Voice actor Vic Mignonga

People are sometimes uncomfortable with this, because it reaches beyond the mask, and they lose that control.  But I love the challenge of capturing those moments, because those glimpses reveal the true underlying spirit – the beauty of the soul.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

I value that far more than a practiced smile.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017
Cosplayer Uptown Cosplay

Perhaps we’ll one day get to a point where we can just be ourselves around everyone without fear of judgement or repercussions.  But until then, I’ll continue to search for those tiny cracks in the masks – the wonderful beauty within.

If you see yourself above, I would love to credit you!  Please send me your name (or alias) and a link to your cosplay page (if you have one).  Header image features cosplayers Uptown Cosplay and Momma Sammu Cosplay.

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    1. Thank you, Alison! Fortunately, events like these (Kumoricon) are fairly easy to get candids, because people are generally expecting cameras and become blind to them. It’s certainly trickier in other situations, but it’s worth the effort when you can capture that perfect candid moment.

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