Written by: Lindsey Overstreet
*disclaimer: This article is the opinion of the author.
A picture used to be worth a thousand words. Images such as the 1936 “Migrant Mother” by Dorthea Lange hold their worth throughout the decades because of the genuine authenticity of the subject and the commentary on life at a particular time. Now as we scroll through our social media feeds, photography and their respective photographers have collectively become a mass of redundant poses, filters and #liveauthentic hashtags. So many photographers are attempting to craft the ‘perfect shot’ that the individuals become a shallow prop in the composition of a stock photo. The vulnerability, intensity, and character that resides within every human gets shut out. Their eyes glaze over and their lips pout while the camera shutter clicks, capturing a lifeless form that evokes nothing but passing lust within the viewer. If photography, especially wedding photography, is about “capturing moments” then our Insta-fed world should let go of trading the facade of faultlessness for likes and embrace the impermanence of sincere moments.
Louisville photographer, Adam Brennan is one of the few photographers I’ve known who truly photographs the independence of personality within each person. He fosters continual friendship with his clients, allowing them to unveil their humanity in front of the camera. Below are the beautiful phrases and sayings that capture this Louisville photographer’s work.
1. Ichi-go Ichi-e: Literally meaning ‘one moment, one time’. This philosophy reminds us that our history and our experiences have led to the conception of the present moment that cannot be faked nor re-created. Each day, each wedding and each event is its own entity. Adam has photographed countless Louisville weddings, events and family portraits (just to name a few) yet each person’s energy exudes their personal ambitions and reservations for that moment in their life.
2. “La vie a beaucoup plus d’imgination que nous.” ~François Truffaut: “Life has way more imagination than us.” Nothing compares to the beauty of the natural state of life. There are wild phenomena happening every day among us. Instead of focusing on fantasy, Adam delves into the creativity of existence.
3. Couper le sifflet à quelqu’un: to leave someone speechless. We have all experienced that tempo of silence. Be it the moment a groom watches the love of his life come down the aisle to spend the rest of their lives together or the magnificent feat that leaves us suspended in the second. These details pass with a glance. Without the skill to capture it, they will be lost in the crevices of waning memories.
4. Maraki: to leave a piece of your soul in your work. Every photograph Adam takes is a legacy of the life he has lived and the people he has encountered. Through his viewfinder, as people, animals and landscapes come in and out of frame, he documents his character in how he views others. This has led to photographs of laughter and fulfillment of life. Strangers turned friends stand in front of his camera as they banter about their own musings and observations.
5. Être au four et au moulin: to be in two places at once. Not many photographs feel like a memory if you weren’t there to begin with. Yet Adam’s photography transcends the present reality and brings another existence before you. Physically, we may not be able to be in two places at once but on an emotional and spiritual level we can experience the present with another’s past. His photography curates empathy within the viewer. That is one if the most difficult tasks a photographer can not only achieve, but excel at. His work demonstrates this excellency on a continual basis.
If you have the chance, see these philosophies in action by popping over to his gallery.