In this interview with Jesh De Rox, we talk about going beyond the camera smile.
“People often think that photography or getting your picture taken is about the way that you look. But, it’s actually not about the way that you look. It’s about the way that you feel.”
When we ask our children to say cheese, we are saying to them, “On the count of three – look happy!” But, we all know that doesn’t work. You get the smile your child has memorized from an early age. But, it’s not the expression you got the camera out to capture. The camera smile doesn’t make you feel the wave of love for your child that you feel when you watch her laugh with her whole being.
“The cameras are not magic. They can only capture what’s in front of them. If you want and amazing picture, there has to be an amazing moment happening.”
Jesh has been working for ten years to help photographers create spaces where the people they are photographing are feeling beautiful states connection, joy, wonder and epiphany with what he calls Moment Design. Moment Design gives photographers simple and easy ways to create moments where there really is laughter, joy and unguarded beauty coming from the people who are being photographed. The small interactions in Moment Design are called “invites.”
Recently, Jesh worked with Juliana Wiklund to create a special set of invites for families called The Playful Heart. In our conversation we talk about a few of the simple invites that bring children and parents into moments of connection and play.
Pay more attention to how you personally feel when you click the shutter. Stop being so concerned about what things look like. When does your child feel the best? Photograph them when they feel amazing. Shoot the moments that make you feel something.
And this, “If you practice looking for the the beauty in people, you get really good finding it and there is a lot there.”
Jesh De Rox is a photographer, speaker, adventurer, and father. His work has been featured in magazines from Rangefinder to Vogue. He teaches workshops all over the world.
I loved talking to Jesh for this family photography podcast and I’m looking forward to hearing him speak at Click Away in San Antonio this October.
You can see the photos I talked about in the show using The Playful Heart invites here.
Thank you to Sofia Sunseri and Rick Watling for the TWiP Family music.