Guest post by Michelle M Peters
Let me start by stating the obvious. I LOVE my Narrative Clip. As humans, we are all innately compelled to keep memories. Our attempt to keep memories fresh in our minds usually involves keeping some piece of the action. An item, or souvenir. A memento of the occasion. These pieces refresh our minds and take us back to that special time. We love to relive those moments. That’s a lot of what photography is. Documenting an occasion, whether it is the birth of a baby, a Middle school promotion, a birthday picnic, or, the big day that a lot of us dream of…a wedding.
In wedding photojournalism, which is essentially documentary photography, I strive to capture all those little moments that are lost in the bustle of such an event. There is so much going on. Mother-of-the-bride rooting through mounds of flowers to find her corsage, bridesmaids giggling of how to get their dresses over their hair, a little flower girl and ring bearer practicing their walk, the father-of-the-bride anxiously waiting outside the door for his little girl to appear as he has never seen before, nor will again. And it all is happening at the same time. Nearly every couple has said to me, after I’ve posted their wedding photo gallery, “It all went by so fast! We didn’t even know half of that stuff happened at our wedding!” And that is my goal. Capture the story. The whole story. And the story I’m chasing is a basically billion little moments. Our entire lives are a zillion little moments.
That is why I love the Narrative Clip! Its entire purpose is to capture all those little moments. And every moment IS a moment. You never know until that moment has passed, that it was special to you in some way. Without a camera constantly in your hand, you can miss saving those moments. Even with a camera constantly in your hand, you can miss them! We all know that these moments are fleeting! With the Clip, you can look back through your day and realize those moments. Maybe you were expecting that moment. Perhaps not. But it is saved. So you can re-live them, and preserve the memories.
I did not buy the NC intending to wear it just for wedding shoots. I just liked the idea of wearing a camera and capturing ‘life as it happened’. My everyday life. And that includes working a photo shoot. When shooting weddings, I have several pieces of gear I wear. A Spider Holster belt (http://www.spiderholster.com) which holds cameras on my waist, and a Shoot Sac (http://www.shootsac.com) across my shoulders, which carries lenses, cards, and batteries. It’s the bag, and my femaleness, that made it tricky to get the Clip situated where it could capture moments of interest. I was not wearing the NC for the benefit of my clients. That is, at first. When it occurred to me and I realized I could wear the Clip while shooting a session of any kind, it was to preserve the working moments of a shoot for myself. I attached a larger safety pin to the strap that crossed my chest, and slid the Clip on.
As with everything in life, there is a bit of a learning curve with wearing the Narrative Clip. As a female, I have a slightly different issue of the angle when I wear the Clip on my shirt. At first, I took a bunch of shots of the underside of my chin along with the ceiling and sky. Not the moments you want to recall really. But putting it lower made a more forward view. And since I wear pro- all black to wedding shoots, my awesome orange Clip was even more obviously awesome! Everyone asked what it was, but no one was surprised when the wedding photographer said, “It’s another camera!”
By now you are curious of what moments I captured. Well, to my surprise, the first wedding, I got just what I was hoping for. Images documenting my work day. It was not until a few days later, that I realized I got a handful of shots worthy of sharing with my clients. I loved seeing my day from the Clips’ point of view, and the couple even got a few extra artistic shots for their album!
Since that wedding, I wore the NC through a few engagement shoots, another wedding…and a birth story shoot where I had to quickly attach my Clip on to the scrub shirt of Daddy-to-be for a quick, unexpected session in the operating room! I plan to wear it for High School senior shoots, family shoots, or whatever makes me pick up my camera and click! Of course, I plan to wear it as much as I can this wedding season. I realize now, that the Clip did not just document MY moments. It captured my clients’ moments too! And I live to capture my clients’ moments. Of course, THAT is what documentary photography is all about. And THAT is what the Narrative Clip is all about. The moments.
©Michelle M Peters Photography