Emotion

I was thinking about how many different ways we have of describing the rhythm of our heartbeat and how we use it to punctuate different moments and events in our lives. We say our heart races when we fall in love. It stops when we’re afraid. It aches when we get hurt. It swells when we feel proud. It hammers, it skips a beat, it bursts, it thuds, it breaks. It’s a muscle, roughly the size of our fist, that plays like a silent soundtrack throughout our lives.

Sometimes I can look at photos and all I see is a heartbeat. I can see it swell, I can see it race. I have felt it when I’ve taken photos; the feeling like it’s beating so loud I could hear it echoing in my ears. It’s usually when I know something is coming, when I’m anticipating some moment I want to photograph.

 

SPNPhx 2016

SPNPhx 2016

 

Some might say that’s esoteric or simply a whimsy, that I’m placing too much on capturing a photo. But it’s these photos that I know have effected me that are the ones that seem to move people the most.

 

VegasCon2014

VegasCon2014

 

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Makayla, 2012

 

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Kim Rhodes and Rob Benedict, SPNPhx 2016

 

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Matt Cohen, SeaCon 2016

 

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Rob Benedict and Briana Buckmaster, Seattle 2016

 

Jensen Ackles, VanCon 2015

Jensen Ackles, VanCon 2015

 

Chris Schmelke, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special PasCon 2015

Chris Schmelke, Louden Swain Saturday Night Special PasCon 2015

 

Photography is a shared, universal language in the same way that emotion is. Emotion doesn’t know or recognise age barriers, gender barriers, religious barriers, language barriers. It just is. It’s something we all know, and we don’t necessarily understand why we know it. But if we can look at a photo and recognise the emotion in it we will respond to it, regardless of the context of the photograph itself. It’s no wonder that photography is what is mostly used to document our history and humanity. It can tell a story that can cross borders in ways that words can’t.

 

Briana, Seattle 2016

Briana, SeaCon 2016

 

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Richard Speight Jr, SeaCon 2016

 

Dani and Dad, December 2012

Dani and Dad, December 2012

 

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Ruth Connell and Rob Benedict, VegasCon 2016

 

Osric Chau with fans, Karaoke VanCon 2015

Osric Chau with fans, Karaoke VanCon 2015

 

I truly believe that the more you put into a photo the more someone will take from it. If you want it to last and to have meaning, the feeling behind it should be equally as sincere. This is even more important in the editing process. You have to be quite strict and ruthless in what you cull. What you don’t show can be as important as what you do. It’s something that I battle with; I have to learn not to over-saturate, but instead to be more deliberate about what I show. It has greater impact that way. Leave people wanting to understand but not being given all the tools to understand.

 

Richard Speight Jr and Rob Benedict, Karaoke PasCon 2015

Richard Speight Jr and Rob Benedict, Karaoke PasCon 2015

 

Jared Padalecki, VanCon 2015

Jared Padalecki, VanCon 2015

 

Sometimes putting so much into photography can be exhausting, and when it’s all going wrong it can feel overwhelming. It’s tempting to just coast along and it’s tempting to not try to shift and grow.

But as exhausting and overwhelming as it can be there’s nothing really like putting your whole heart into a photo and seeing people respond to it.

There really isn’t.

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