In recent months, more often than not, Saturdays and Sundays would find me in a stadium, arena, or football field ->shooting sports. The next 24-48 hours would then keep me busy editing photos from the just concluded weekend. - after which I'd come up with a very select few [really good photos] to add to my growing portfolio. These "Best Of" photos could be very few in some cases [not good] or they could be a lot [better]. Bottom line is - I have to have produced some GOOD photos, at the very least, every weekend.
Today was a lazy Sunday [need that occasionally] - no shoots. Brought my parents for a couple of chocolate sundaes at Jollibee. Usually, it's a simple snack [sometimes at Chowking or Shakey's], brief, and uneventful. [My dad's 85 and my mom's turning 89 next month - They celebrated their 62nd Wedding Anniversary last May - Everything's pretty much in slow mo!] Brought their yaya to assist them when they walk [ever so slowly]. And as always, took my SLR w/ me, expecting the usual "generic" snapshots amidst the Jollibee crowd.
Thing is, while waiting for our sundaes, I noticed a just vacated corner table beside the window. There was a dark blue wall which I thought would be a better background than customers walking to and fro. There was a wide window pane with the 2:30 afternoon sunlight coming in. A Jollibee waiter then graciously pulled down a transluscent shade that diffused the direct sunlight. Then Viola!! ---[Being very observant when it comes nuances of available light] I knew that I had, unexpectedly, an "improvised" studio light w/ a softbox, in the form of sunlight diffused by a window shade. Right of, I knew I could go beyond my "generic Jollibee snapshot". Before the sun had a chance to change her mind, I composed an image in my mind, then proceeded to take a couple of tight shots, using my 105mm lens, all the while talking to mom, and trying to illicit a few smiles - then, I was done. I just knew I had one of the best portraits of my mom in years.
They were oh so SIMPLE, yet there was something I could feel even just by looking at my SLR LCD dispaly. There was a sadness in her smile, a humility, a vulnerability or maybe something else -- that really hit home. It was just a nice feeling to have captured it. It's not the "jumping-with-joy" type of happiness, It's a different kind. but equally, or even more gratifying.
[Why spend so much for a studio shoot when one can achieve even better results on location and "on-the-spot"??] No denying I absolutely love sports photography but I also Absolutely Love Available Light Portraiture.
That little corner at Jollibee.
Portrait of My Mother.
I Love You Mom.