There is a patch of land near where I live in Avon that hosts a few seasonal surprises.
Sometimes it’s a rabbit.
Sometimes I’ve seen a bear or fox meandering through the freshly cut grass and the glowing forsythia bushes.
But lately, it’s deer.
Three days in a row now, I’ve seen deer in just about the same spot each time I drive by.
As you wind your way through Old Farms Road and onto Scoville Road, you are liable to miss this sun-drenched swath. You may have had to use your brakes to stop for people crossing the road from one side of the bike trail to the other.
Every year, I look forward to riding my bike on the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail. You never know what or who you will see as you walk, run or bike on the north-south axis of the trail.
A couple of days ago, I had just finished photographing a varsity lacrosse game at Avon Old Farms School, when I spotted this lonely deer. I pulled my car over quickly and quietly emerged out of it with my camera. Every so often, the deer would look up to check on my position and go back to grazing. As more cars emerged, though, the deer started to tuck back into the woods.
I stood my ground and waited and composed my frame. I checked my exposure and was ready for whatever was going to happen. The deer looked up and through the trees. I made a couple of frames. Then I waited again as the deer seemed to circle back to where it was grazing before. As it crossed through this stretch of land, it looked right back up at me, giving me precisely one chance - one frame - to photograph it with a catchlight in its eyes.
As I photograph a family portrait session, a sporting event or even a headshot portrait, I am always reminded of what some of my teachers in photography have taught me.
While I was at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies many years ago, I recall Todd Hoffmann, the former director of photography, reviewing my work. He looked up over his bifocals and said, “Seshu, you haven’t gone far enough with these photographs.”
I had just come back from photographing at a pottery in Blue Hill, Maine, a nearly 5-hour round trip and I didn’t want to hear any of it. It didn’t make any sense at that time. But over time, I internalized the critical lesson he imparted to me: creating good work takes patience and persistence.
I bring this work ethic to every opportunity I am given because ultimately I want to create photographs for my family portrait clients that will mean something to them and leave a lasting impact in their lives.
If you have kids who are fussy or if the weather changes dramatically on the day of your session, you can stop looking at your watch and relax. I assure you, the beautiful unscripted moments you are looking for me to document in your life will take shape. And I will be there for you, waiting patiently for the situation to change or resolve itself. Perhaps it is the optimist in me that believes that there is always a solution if we try and figure it out together.
In our harried lives, a custom family portrait experience with Seshu Photography is an opportunity to pause and be fully present for who matters to us the most every day.
I’m opening up a limited number of sessions in June starting today. If you are interested in reserving your family portrait session, please contact me right away! I look forward to hearing from you.