Kindness & the Lens

Post by Tara Lisciandro- Hornich for the Kind Kindred series.

Kindness and the Lens

Recently I had the privilege of meeting some pretty amazing and talented people at my “Through the Eye of the Lens” photo workshop. One of the themes of the workshop was (ready?!) KINDNESS!

The workshop focused on looking through the lens and watching magic unfold. So many of us “fear” we won’t “get it right”… This has always amazed me. I’ve never been formally “trained” in the art of photography… I’ve taken a class here and there. I’ve learned from some family members, who were always amazing with a camera! But my best lesson has always been this: TAKE PHOTOS everywhere you go and don’t stop.

I don’t know that I still have it “right” – but I love what I do. And, apparently, so do my clients as my base grows each year. You can shoot with your Iphone (heck, I LOVE mine!) The focus, for me, isn’t getting the $8000 Nikon (although, ok, ONE day, that will be nice) BUT, instead, capturing beauty, nature, a story or just a moment.

Most of the people I work with become clients, not so much of photography, but clients who are looking for a bit of a direction in their lives. Oddly enough, the directives of photography usually help give them a sense of direction too 🙂 So, here are some of my simple “tools” that I use to guide my clients as we embark on our photo adventures:

• Be dedicated. If you enjoy it, do it. work at it, practice it…always. We never stop learning.

• Find your eye. Most of my clients want to know how they can train their “eye”… I admit, it took me a while to understand what they were talking about… Having a good eye as a photographer can make or break you. Yes, there are the rules of thirds, lighting, exposure, blah blah blah… I don’t really do much with any of those. (I don’t like a lot of rules!) In fact, I love when the sun over-exposes my shots! What makes your eye capture good photos is shooting the moment you think is right. Shoot again, and again if you want to be sure!

• Find your spontaneous side… Here’s one reason NOT to hire me or take my course, I DO NOT LIKE POSED photos. In fact, I can’t stand them. Most of my shots are spontaneous. Sometimes kids are looking. Sometimes I take photos showing the backs only. Sometimes people are smiling, and sometimes, they’re not. And you know what? THAT’s OKAY!!!

• Learn how to edit. I admit – I’m in love with Adobe! If you don’t want to start with Adobe, or feel like tackling photos with that head on, try something simpler. There are some great photo apps for Mac out there, as well as for PCs. Editing your photos can give you different looks, various color schemes, shades, cropped effects, vintage effects, etc.

• PLAY outdoors! I ONLY shoot outdoors. Yes, I’m a “natural light photographer” – the sun is my girl – so is the moon – those two make things happen! Yes, on a rainy day, if I must, I’ll do some indoor shots but take some outside and compare the two. There’s a world of difference that natural light makes. A BIG one. Plus, getting some good , healthy FRESH air into your lungs can’t be a bad thing. Tackle new spots – parks, beaches, paths, small valleys and roads, alley ways (ok, in NY, I’ve found this to not always be your best bet!)… Look for things that make great, natural backdrops like brick walls, old buildings and cars, fields of green and yellow, dusty trails – and shoot away!

So, – try this…. take out the “camera words” from list above and apply those to your life, your world… It’s like a game of mad libs! When you spell it all out, you have a life filled with fun, love, kindness and spirit. And really, that’s what we’re all about. Above is a collage of a few photos of mine, and some clients from our prior workshop. We explored nature and one final photo needed to be entitled “kindness” – the collage is the result!

Tara is a mom (to one daughter and 5 dogs, 2 cats and 2 cockatoos), wife, teacher and photographer who resides on the East Coast. She also uses Reiki and energy work in a private practice, and has added Tarot to her portfolio most recently. Tara also lived Italy for five years where she learned about an even deeper love for the arts and kindness. Her work , information about photo courses and more can be found at AnimaFoto + tarot spirit + The Happy Healer

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