Chris Orwig Lifting Spirits This past week I had the opportunity to go on a photo walk in downtown Los Angeles with Chris Orwig. If you're not familiar with Chris, he is a fantastic photographer, and an even better person. He's given TED talks, teaches photography , and has written a few books. The most recent, The Creative Fight, is very good. If you know Chris, you know he's talented, hard working, and sincere. Anyways, our group had a great time during our photo walk. We were fortunate enough to have some photogenic people on our walk with us, who were willing to jump in and be models. Having the opportunity to take these photos was great. Having Chris Orwig there to teach was even better. This still only scratched the surface of what I was to learn during this hour. Chris was leading a group of people around downtown LA, and we were all taking pictures. It would have been easy to get wrapped up in making the best photos. Believe me, I had questions for the man about his technique! Technically, his photography is just about perfect, but his pictures all seem to tell a story. Watching him lead this group that day helped me to discover a great truth, and let me see what I believe makes him a successful photographer and human being. I took a lot of photos during our walk. Photos that I think turned out pretty well. The photo at the top of this post is by far my favorite. Even if it's not as technically clean as I'd like it to be. As we were walking down the street, he stopped with one of the females in the group, and asked if he could take her picture. He had done this several times with different people in the group, but it took a couple of times before I understood what he was teaching without saying what he was doing. He had each person take a step back into what he saw as a nice backdrop. Then, as he proceeded to take their picture, he talked with them, and told them what he liked about what he was seeing. What he talked about wasn't just surface things, he talked about how he liked the fact that their smile lit up their face, or how they looked wise, or strong. He was seeing attributes in them that they may not have seen themselves. THIS is what he was making photos of. I finally understood after watching him take the woman's picture at the top of this post. He was telling her how her face just lit up, and how she had a beautiful glow about her. When he was done, he reached out to her, and told her again, "You have a beautiful glow about you. Then he turned to a few of us, and said, 'Do you see it?'" He was right, she did. As he was telling her this, her countenance changed, her posture changed, and you could see that she was receiving his message. I grabbed my camera, and made a photo of this moment. I was so glad I was lucky enough to be able to capture it. It's almost as if you can see his positive energy being transferred to her. You can see his sincerity, and you can see her confidence grow in this moment. THIS is what he was teaching. At least, this is what he taught me. Who we are is so much more important than what we do. He could have just made a photo of her and said thank you, and moved on. It would have been beautiful too. He didn't just do that. Chris let who he is come through in what he was doing, and really took a photo of who the other person was. I will be forever thankful for the lesson learned that morning.

One Comment

  1. Jarred – Thanks so much for posting and sharing your thoughts. It’s been cool getting to know you better over the last couple years. I appreciate the interest and friendship. You post brightened my day in so many ways. You get what so many completely overlook or just forget. Thanks for reminding me what’s most important about all these things we do. Cheers! Chris

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