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Jared Bumgarner Photography - Elopement and Portrait Photography for Adventurous Folk

 

When I first started photographing people, I was shaking in my boots. I knew my way around a camera and could compose a solid shot - heck, I even had a degree in the arts! - but I had completely underestimated how powerfully intimate the relationship between photographer and subject can be, and I couldn't seem to find my footing. How was I supposed to capture all "the right" moments? What if a client didn't like my view?

Willpower is a magnificent thing, though, and I knew there was something profound to be discovered by making my life about reflecting something momentary and true back to my clients. There's at least one moment in every real adventure when you have to decide if the risk is worth the reward, and I have had many points where pushing forward through my fear of failure felt terrifying, but I just knew there was more to be gained.

Now, I've been shooting portraits for more than a decade, and when I feel the nerves kick in, I see them not as a barrier, but as a marker of the power of pausing time, of having the potential to show someone something true about themselves that they might not see every day. For an hour or two, my job is to witness and reflect real (sometimes messy) love - whether between partners, or new parents toward their child, or friends and family coming together. If I can offer a client a reflection of their life that highlights their own beauty in the chaos of living, I've done my job right.

 

I've learned to take it slow, to bring my human self to the table too, so that I can cultivate a session that feels safe and honest, and clients might then open up and let me witness a part of themselves that is normally shuttered to the world. As I’m lying on a nursery floor giggling along with a weeks-old infant, or shooting through tears at that moment in a wedding when one partner chokes on their words because they just mean so much, I can’t help but feel like I’m a small part of their world. And that's what I want to capture.

That’s why I love to shoot.  I love the connection you make while trying to coax out the very best in someone.  I've spent enough time in my own fear of vulnerability to know that being in front of a lens is initially terrifying. But I've learned to trust that the very same vulnerability actually brings us the most honesty, and I think the experience of feeling connected in searching for real moments can linger long after the shoot.  

 

In an hour I usually shoot about one thousand images of a subject - just to make sure I've got a shot of the perfect smile or glance or squeeze of a hand.  This makes the editing process a joyful exploration of what we found together. Fleeting moments that we hardly knew we were catching are often the most powerful. 

 I still get butterflies every time I deliver a gallery of images to a client. I can't wait for them to see how beautiful their most honest moments really are.

I'd love to work with you. To book a portrait session or elopement shoot, please visit www.jaredbumgarner.com.

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