"Auric is a word with two meanings: the first is "of or relating to the aura supposedly surrounding a living creature", and the second is "of gold." Auric Photography is a business with two objectives: the first is to create an intentional aura of colors, styles, and surroundings around the people in the pictures, and the second is to create something golden: valuable and versatile. "
The paragraph above is my missions statement and name definition rolled into one body of text. If it looks familiar, good job, you've done your homework and read my About page already. ;)
The purpose of this post is to provide some background to myself as a photographer, and some of the events that have developed my love for photography. To begin, I became interested in this field, specifically framing and lighting, in high school. I took my little point-and-shoot with me literally everywhere: church, school, walking the dog, you name it. Then, the beginning of my senior year, a friend and I decided to take each other's senior portraits with her Mom's DSLR. At first, I thought the fun part about this shoot would be dressing up and feeling like a million bucks, but I found myself relishing the chance to have a turn behind the camera where I could try to capture those elusive perfect moments. Shortly after, my awesome parents bought me a DSLR and I consider it one of the best investments in me that they've ever made.
Three years and several photography classes later, I took a hard look at my work. I was discontent with the direction I was taking with photography, and I was especially shocked to find myself experiencing a feeling of boredom. Since high school, I had always looked at photography as a way to express various emotions, but suddenly all my photos seemed to me like stock photos: high-key to the max and with every bit of bokeh that could possibly be crammed into one background.
Don't get me wrong, I still love the light and carefree feel of high key images with a soft, non-distracting backgrounds. However, once I realized that was all I was shooting, I really started to feel claustrophobic within my own work. In addition to that, I was on a class field trip to a local photo studio one day and all I can remember was how much emphasis was placed on how important it was for photographers to pick a style and target audience. Now, I knew consistency and a specific direction will help to push any entrepreneur towards success, but for some reason, the thought of shooting ONE STYLE and ONE DEMOGRAPHIC for the rest of my foreseeable future really solidified that feeling of claustrophobia in my perspective towards photography. It was at this point that I really backed off on promoting my work and began to view photography with a little more skepticism.
During the summer, I shot/second shot some weddings, but hardly picked up my camera for any personal projects that I wanted to pursue, because I really wasn't feeling struck with inspiration of any kind. Then mid-summer, a photographer friend and I had the opportunity to create a body of abstract work for my alma mater's newly renovated Student Center. Abstract work was a realm I was not familiar in, and it pushed me into a situation where I couldn't just tell fabric, water, and paint to "look at each other and smile." For once in a long time, I felt excited to be on a project because it was all fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants experimentation and just LEARNING. I began to seriously question my perspective on photography, starting with the whole consistency bit. Like, what if I just shot anything I wanted to any which way I wanted to but kept different styles organized together? What if I communicated with my clients better and really came to understand the styles that they REALLY wanted rather than immediately assume they would want some cookie-cutter stock photo style? What if I pursued my own, independent projects regardless of their "fit" into the style that everyone was raving about at that particular point?
I decided then to take a different approach to photography. With all future clients, I would really take the time to learn about them personally and try to illustrate their own unique elements through my work. I decided that while I love working with different people, I would not go against my gut and work with potential clients if I didn't feel like they would be a good fit. I decided I wouldn't place monetary success as my highest goal.
Finally, I decided that I thrive best on variety. High-key, low-key, dramatic, romantic, carefree, soulful, weddings, product shots, families, abstracts, babies, fitness, engagements, editorials.
So that is what I'll pursue.