Engineered Serendipity


One of the things I love about photography is the surprises I get when I upload images to my computer.  I try to intentionally craft each photograph using lighting, composition, and patience.  Even so, every now and then something surprising shows up when I look through the images.  Sometimes it’s a fleeting facial expression that got captured.  Sometimes it’s how the aperture combined with the compositional elements.  Sometimes it’s that the image turned out better than I was anticipating.

The picture above is an example of serendipity.  This little girl didn’t hold still for very long.  I did not pose her in this position.  Capturing a picture of her in the foreground, looking forward, with her parents blurred slightly in the background on each side of her was somewhat miraculous.


This picture is another example of serendipity.  I was doing a late afternoon shoot with this mother and daughter.  We had done a bunch of shots down in a valley and when we came back up (thinking we were done) the sun was just setting.  I had not expected to get any backlit shots, but was happy with this one.


One last example comes from an indoor session.  I was using my old camera on Live View, which involves the screen image blacking out for several milliseconds when taking the picture.  I knew I hadn’t gotten any genuine smiles yet, but when I uploaded this last image I found out that during those last black milliseconds a genuine smile had appeared and been captured.


I enjoy these moments of “engineered” serendipity.