The olde school photograph

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“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.” 
― Ansel Adams

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” 
― Eudora Welty

These two quotes typify what is great for me about photography. At the most basic level, I like photographs because they are a memory to me of a good time. Because I can look back and see that I looked happy. 

Memory can play tricks, but photographs not so much. 

I chose these two photos to compare natural happiness to somewhat more forced happiness. The top photo was taken after my primary school won a competition to play football at Leicester City’s training ground with Sir Geoff Hurst and a couple of other World Cup winners who I have completely forgotten the names of! It was a fantastic day, the local paper came down to interview us and the picture I believe shows this.

Alternatively, the football team I coached in New Zealand; this picture is the traditional forced photo. We had been told off for being late to get it taken, and it is a bit of an awkward photo. The team were actually a great laugh and in another more natural context, this would have been displayed. Instead, it doesn’t capture a great moment, but fulfils what is expected.

They show how vital naturalness is in a photograph. Great moments can’t be forced. Happiness cannot be forced. Capturing a true moment of happiness must remain the ultimate goal in portraiture.

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