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Being Candid

I love a good photo. Whether it’s a picture of a person, animal, or place, I appreciate all that goes into capturing that moment in time. A good photo can elicit a whole host of emotions, including joy, sadness, pain, fear, and excitement. It not only allows a photographer to relive the instant they took it, but it gives viewers a glimpse into the heart or soul of the entity being captured.

Anyone can take a good photo, but not everyone can master the art of photography. Taking a class or reading a book will definitely improve your knowledge and skills, but the eye is inherent. It’s kind of like rhythm to a dancer. To capture the essence of a person or scene on paper, you not only need patience (and simultaneously speed), but you need to be able to anticipate a candid moment worth shooting and differentiate it from every other moment.

I first realized that I could take a good photo back in the eighth grade when I happened to capture two of my best friends sharing a smile in the schoolyard. I was trying to be artsy, and I had used black and white film. The photo looked like something ripped out of a magazine, and I couldn’t help but keep looking at it. I went to Catholic school, and we didn’t have nice yearbooks back then – certainly not like the public schools produced. To remedy that, I decided to create my own. My teachers thought this was a great idea and encouraged the creativity. They also designated me the class photographer, giving me free reign to take photos at all school activities. In the end, I’m not saying I produced a great yearbook. It was homemade, clunky, and didn’t age well. What I am saying is that I developed an understanding of photography and all that goes into seizing seconds of time.

Fast forward almost thirty years, and I still love taking pictures of people, animals, nature, and landscapes. I took photography up as a hobby back in 2015, and I haven’t looked back once. My specialty is concert photography. There are a ton of professional photographers out there with huge cameras who can film artists doing what they love to do on stage. What set my photos apart are their rawness, humanity, and passion. They’re almost always close-ups. And they’re almost always taken with a Canon Powershot – a camera small enough to be allowed into any concert venue or stuck in your purse for a rainy day, but equipped with a powerful zoom.

I’m only an amateur photographer, but I’ve managed to build a small fan base through social media over the last five years. As far as I am concerned, art, in all of its forms, was meant to be shared. So, I don’t hide my work. Giving people access to my photography allows the world to get to know me AND the artists and places I have photographed. To me, that’s a win-win.

All photos featured on this page are the property of Elizabeth Merck.

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