Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Photographing the family at the cabin, part of Travel Photography: The Family Cabin.
Most of my memories of this place, of course, center around the people that I've been here with. I've come here a lot by myself, but mostly there've been lots of other people around. My parents, of course, my sister, lots of friends and other relatives and things down through the years. And that's a big part of the story and that's a big part of the memories and associations I have with this place. And so. I need to do something about that .I need to tend to that and try and capture something about that. While my parents are here, I've just been shooting candid just around while they're doing things. I bring this up, because my approach to this is not just about shooting people.
What I'm going to say is not just about shooting people. It's about this whole endeavor. I could come in here and go, oh, here's this space. I need to do architectural photography of this place, and, and when I invoke that idea of architectural photography you start thinking architectural digest style pictures. Which are one, not that easy to pull off, and two, No a real authentic representation of my experience here. I need to, while I'm shooting these pictures, try to figure out what the truth is, or, or what the image is that will feel true to me are.
When I say that I need to take pictures of my parents and the other people who have been here you might think oh, well that means you need portraits. You need to sit down and take portraits. My family's never done that. We, we just don't do family portrait kind of things. We do we do candid shots of all of us kind of sitting here ignoring each other because we're all reading or something. and that sounds cold, but actually that I've got a very warm feeling about that. So that's the kind of picture that I should shoot. I, that's the those are the kinds of things I need to identify of what are the what are the shoots that really do make me remember things or feel authentic and true for me about how to capture those place.
Now I am actually kind of shooting some portraity kind of stuff when I can. And it's nice to have those and it is good to maybe take the time to set that stuff up. But more important for me is to get those candids that feel like the types of photos that we have shot over the years. And most important to feel like they are capturing the type of action that goes on here. Because we do come to those places to relax so there is a lot of sitting around and a lot of hiking and that kind of stuff. So those are the types of shots that I need. We were hiking earlier and I realized I was just taking pictures of my mom from behind.
Well, you know, what kind of shot is that? I can't see her face, yeah but I spent a lot of time walking behind her on trails and things like that and I really have a lot of memories of that, so that's a shot worth getting. Don't get to hung up on coming in and creating these perfect polished. Types of photos, architectural photos, portrait photos, landscape photos. This is about breaking free of all those confines and really trying to zero in on the type of image that is going to capture a space for you and really help you remember it.
There are several layers to photographing trips to memorable destinations: you want to capture accurate depictions of the place and its surroundings, but you also want your photos to convey the notions of tradition and the passing of time. In this course, author and photographer Ben Long visits his family's New Mexico cabin. He shows how to create photos that not only capture the essence of the place and its surroundings, but also convey its significance as the backdrop for shared family experiences and traditions. Along the way, he shows how to recreate old photos to capture what has changed, shoot details that haven't been documented before, and explore the surrounding area, to capture the full essence of the place.