I’m in Central Park in New York City, I’m photographing engaged couples, it’s a beautiful day. All around me are photographers photographing engaged couples. Just as I am.
Well, maybe not quite exactly just as I am. They’re all doing a “look at me and smile” routine.
To my left and to my right I see couples standing there, looking at their photographers and smiling.
The photographers are directing the couples. “Stand there. Look at me. And smile.”
“Now stand over there… look at me and smile.”
I see this over and over again and it makes me wonder.
Because think on this a second.
If you stopped a stranger on the street, asking if they’d please take your photo and then handed them your camera…
…this stranger, not a professional photographer, not a creative artist, how would they take your photo?
They’d have you stand there, look at them, and smile.
They’re snapshots. Not portraits.
I was photographing the engaged couple I was with.
They’re not watching me.
But I’m watching them, peeking into their private world with each other, in front of my lens.
They’re immersed in their feelings for one other. And then, the world around them disappears.
And I observe.
What they’re feeling on the inside now manifests on the outside.
It’s in their expressions. It’s in their body language. I can see how they’re feeling.
And then comes the moment I witness something beautiful happen.
It’s as when a sunset hits its most wondrous burst of color.
A magical thing happens where the couple shines and a moment transcends time.
It may be in the way she’s looking at him. It may be in the way he gently brushes her hair off her cheek.
There’s affection. There’s caring. There’s passion.
And that’s the moment you want to catch in the camera to keep forever.
She looks at his lips. She wants to kiss him. The tips of her fingers lightly touch his face.
And he draws closer.
It’s as if her fingertips wield a magic power over him.
“That,” I thought, “that’s something.”
And you realize you’re seeing what love looks like.
And with that, a portrait was created that day in the park.
©MASANA | (646) 543-1321 NYC PORTRAIT ARTIST | EMAIL