"We do not take pictures with our cameras, but with our hearts and minds" - Arnold Newman "When I say I want to photograph someone, what it really menas is that I'd like to know them. Anyone I know I photograph." - Annie Leibowitz
Ever since I can remember, I've been what I will call a portraitist. Since I was able to hold a drawing utensil - people have been my number 1 subject of choice. But it goes deeper than that - at its core is a love - a love of peoples' stories that is combined with a love of visual beauty. The desire to show people as they are or how they want to be seen. Why are they wearing those clothes - why do they have that kind of hair do - why are they in that place at that age with those particular people? To connect on a level that will impact both our lives (mine, my clients) just a little - to collect the knowledge and insight into the legacy of the human existence -- WOAH!!! I just got a little TOO deep, even for me. I can guarantee you I was not thinking these things as a 3 year old budding artist. I just wanted to draw pretty pictures. But I also wanted to create stories for these fictional people or make more than a 2 dimensional pretty face out of my Barbie dolls. (2 dimensional in the symbolic sense, not the literal sense). Thanks to a strong imagination and a fascination with the stories behind the faces, my sister Emily (also my #1 inspiration, supporter and lifelong best friend) and I made our pictures into stories.
Sound familiar? Well, its not exactly a new concept, but the passion for it runs deep in me and has been for 30 or so years. All throughout childhood and up until high school ended, portrait creation via pencil, paint or photograph was my passion.
I studied photography (where art meets science, my 2 favorite subjects) in college - where everything seemed ideal and no one really "cool" was a portrait (or wedding for that matter) photographer. The money, fame and prestige were in the world of commercial and fashion. Although it was fun, something was always missing for me. There was no emotional connection for me, there was beauty but no passion. The outer beauty was there but the inner beauty was gone. In spite of the seductive vaccuum of fashion and product photography, my greatest influences at the time remained to be Annie Leibovitz and Arnold Newman (and still are to this day among others). So, against the sway of my peers, I eventually came back to portraits again. Then, a few years later, at the suggestion of a friend, I tried wedding photography.
It was all the art and emotion of portraiture times 1,000 - there is so much love and excitement and energy and STORY surrounding a wedding day -- I regret to say my straight up portraiture started to take a backseat to weddings. I LOVE weddings, but I also LOVE portraits. They are my roots, my mind, my me... Well, not all of me, I do have a story with many chapters too. But if I can share a little bit of your story too, I really appreciate it. I find it fascinating. It completes me. Not to get too sappy. Haha!
So lately I have had the question asked of me: "Do you also take portraits?" quite a bit. Largely in part, I believe, to the lack of blog entries and portfolios of portrait work I have displayed recently. Well, the answer is: Yes, and I always will.
(Press the play button to view some of my favorite portraits from 2010. This slideshow is of only kids and families, another chapter in the Love Story. More to come soon):