“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.” – Don McCullin
Few weeks ago an idea came out of a casual conversation between Aaron and me. He invited me to photograph his family and create a photo book for his wife, Ali, as a surprise birthday gift.
On a freezing Saturday morning, I embraced the cold and drove to Aaron’s house. But I quickly found myself welcomed by a very warm family. I knew I wasn’t going for just picture perfect moments, but moments that they will treasure for life.
The day after the shoot I sent Ali a thank you note along with four pictures. In order to make sure the book would arrive before her birthday, I put together a 40-page photo book in two days and placed the order through Blurb. However, to keep it a secret, Aaron mentioned to Ali that I was so swamped at work and that I wouldn’t be able to work on the pictures anytime soon. ; )
On Ali’s birthday, the girls and Aaron surprised her and gave her this book on the bed. (Flash player required) See it here if you don’t have flash player installed.
On the same morning I received this email at work.
“Ed, Thank you so much for the incredible book. I LOVE it!!! Waking up this morning to be given your book of photos was the greatest start to my birthday. I’m so excited to look through them over and over again. There are so many perfect shots, I can’t get over it. I feel like you really captured our family at this moment in our lives and I will treasure these photos always. What you do for families is truly special and you are extremely talented at it. Thanks a million. Best, Ali”
It was a real joy photographing this lovely family. I remember the day I was driving back home after the photo shoot, my mind was filled with images of all the sweet and funny moments we shared. It made me smile. At that moment, I thought to myself, “This is exactly why I want to be a photographer.”