Memory cards have been cleared and camera settings have been switched to sports mode. In the back seat, a giant bag contains a camera for the both of them, a spare base and five lenses. Sophomore Wesley and her mom Tiffany Truster have almost arrived to East’s auxiliary gym, approximately 20 minutes before the basketball game for test shots.
Tiffany instructs her photographer partner and daughter some specific standing points in the gym that will ensure the perfect shot. She reminds Wesley to shoot the player “tip to toe” — every square inch of the subject needs to make the photo, and include the ball if she can. This is just one of the tips Tiffany has picked up over the years as a photographer for Black Bear Photography.
Occasionally, Wesley’s phone buzzes with a text from her mom: Lower the ISO. Sometimes it’s shutter, and other times it’s aperture. Across the gym, Tiffany realizes a different setting helped her pictures. But she knows Wesley doesn’t need constant supervision.
“She has a great eye for it,” Tiffany says. “She’s really talented.”
The photography duo has been shooting for three years, since Tiffany decided she needed an extra camera at an event. Tiffany says her daughter has a gift — a real talent. But in a different way than her mother’s.
Tiffany has taken to loving the diversity between their shots. While they may be standing only a few feet from each other, aiming at the same subject, Wesley’s photos will end up being completely different.
“Wes doesn’t always shoot the way I shoot, and that’s what I love about working with her.” Tiffany said.
Tiffany describes one of their differences as Wesley having a broader scope. Wesley shoots, hoping to capture the attitude of a situation. She achieves this by finding the reaction of a student section, while her mom is aiming for the layup. Tiffany admits that sometimes, she will miss important parts of a scene because of the subject. She may not notice the sunset over the football field that Wesley took notice to.
The hobby they share is often put on hold, like when Tiffany took on a full time job as a social worker in the foster care division a year and a half ago. Since then, the mother-daughter pair has not been able to shoot as often as they once did. When Wesley’s concussion kept her from accompanying her mom on shoots. When Wes is there, Tiffany realizes all of the angles and shots she could be missing.
“We shoot different,” Tiffany said. “That’s what I love.”