The quiet before the storm

They say that it always quieter before the storm. For me, it’s the complete opposite.
Contrarily to many may think, being a photographer it’s not easy. It’s not just clicking on a button. Without wasting time explaining all the technical details, being a photographer is learning all the time and dealing with your anxieties. Sometimes, I even get nervous before photographing couples that I’ve known for ages. But with time, we learn to deal with that daily stress.
To me, weddings and events are the highest level for my anxiety. Everything has to work out fine. It just happens once and if you miss THAT photo of THAT specific moment, it’s ruined. It won’t happen again, we just lost our chance.
Before any big event, I can’t eat. I get so nervous to the point that my stomach seems like a ticking bomb. I admire the photographers that make it seem like they’re so cool and relaxed and that they won’t get stressed about anything. I don’t know how they do it, but I envy them.
Working with kids is completely different. To me, photograph a kid is like photographing a pet. They’re unpredictable, uncontrollable, and we can’t ask them to pose. They do what they want.
This series of photos belongs to a baptism I did. I learned so much about kids and how to interact with them on this day. I got to Salvador’s place and I was nervous as always. I didn’t know the family at this point, neither the place nor the kid. I just knew Salvador’s godmother. As soon as I got in, the family was so nice  to me. However, the worst happened! When I entered Salvador’s room, he was terrified by me. That’s very common to happen with kids once they see the photographer. They think “Who is this stranger person with a camera pointing at me?”. Every time I tried to get closer to him, he would cry even louder, he would scream and I would freeze. The more angry he got, the more nervous I became. I had a timeline to meet and we were going behind schedule.
Then, for a moment I stopped. I remembered Felix, my neighbor’s cat. He has a cat sister, Nica. My neighbors went away for holiday and ask me to take care of their cats. Nica was all over me, we instantly became friends. Felix was so scared, he was always running away from me, and he wouldn’t eat if I was watching him. I decided I wouldn’t give that much attention to Felix since he was uncomfortable around me. Long story short, nowadays, Felix is always waiting outside my front door waiting for me. I call him ,and he comes running. It took some time, but I gained his trust.
So I thought: Salvador is like Félix. He’s scared at me. He needs to see if I’m trustworthy. I wouldn’t become Salvador’s friend by forccing him. So while he was crying and yelling, I started playing with Constança, his sister. A few minutes after, Salvador and I were friends and he was trying to play with us. 15 minutes after these photos below, he was always smiling at me and asking me to show him the pictures I was taking.
By the end of the day, he was so comfortable around me that he would pose if I asked him to! For this reason, and for so many others, I love this photo set. I always like to photos taken at home, before the big ceremonies. These moments are authentic, full of details. People are overwhelmed with emotions, and stressed to get everything prepared before the guests arrive.
To me, these are the moments that stay with us. This is the real, before the pretty.
“This is the real stuff.”
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