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All Things Artsy and Photographicsy!
May 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment
I have been enjoying slowing down and allowing the passion for all things visual to flower and deepen. When I first started out as a photographer and artist, after graduating with a degree in fine arts, I was a gung-ho business woman. I had a yellow pages ad, and a resale #. I went to photography conventions. If I got a call to photograph turtles, or bottles of oil, or a boy and his cat, I was there! I did weddings, I did birthday parties, I did funerals. I set my camera on a rickety tripod to capture families of 12-42, I did model portfolios, and I did photojournalism for magazines and newspapers. I have interviewed and photographed Miss America, Olympic Gold Medalists, and burn victims. I have photographed riots, cathedrals, and births.
All of these things have given me a massively stable foundation, experience, and many memories. Now, after 40 years, I am focusing, ahem, more on the faces of the wonderful people all around me. I have been doing more portraiture, both photographic and with paint, brush, and pencil.
If you want a portrait session for one or two people, I am there. If you want some warm and casual images of your family, while gathered around your home, relaxing and chatting, I am there. If you want to do something creative, I am there.
If you are about to move from your home and would like a series of photos of the details that you want to remember, I am there. Photos of your baby when emerging into this life, I am there. Your child's first day at Kindergarten, I will gladly come with you.
I am enjoying the details, the moments, the thoughts and emotions that fly across a face in an instant. The doorknob that you open and closed for 20 years, the stuffed animal that was loved for a lifetime, the well-worn hands of a loved one who may not be there much longer, the eyes that say so much.
I have been doing more natural light, less flash, less studio, although I can set up studio lighting when it is needed for the sake of creative imaging. I have been taking more creative risks, being more thoughtful, less hurried, more involved.
I am enjoying settling into a corner of the lives of others to document, kindly, quietly, what goes on, so that it can be remembered with hearts brimming over.
I am remembering an excerpt from Thornton Wilder's OUR TOWN. I was young when I first heard this quote, but it has remained with me all of my days, and I recall it even now:
I wish to make it possible for people to realize life while they live it, by stopping time, at intervals, so that examination, realization, and appreciation become possible.
November 07, 2013 • Leave a Comment
My passion for photography has been a long and interesting road. I started in the 50s. In the 70s, I was making money at it. While the passion has always been there, the activity has ebbed and flowed depending on where I was and what I was experiencing.
When I had little babies to care for, I did less photography for others. I did more for my family. As my children grew, so did my business. Now they are all grown with babies of their own. And now, it's time to make a few more changes.
I did a lot of weddings back in the 70s. I did not aspire to be a wedding photographer, but I did them because it was a time to pay my dues, to learn, to grow, to experience the stresses of covering a major life event that can never be rescheduled. After a few years of doing that, along with other wedding photographers who went on to do mostly weddings, I weeded weddings out of my activities.
I did continue to do some gigs as a second shooter, and found those to be fun, but never again would I be the principal wedding photographer, by choice. (Well, there was one time when the principal photographer quit in the middle of a wedding and I had to step up to the plate, with the wrong gear for the job, but somehow I pulled it off as my last hurrah as a wedding photographer.)
I have done model shoots, and product shoots, and I have shot for magazines and newspapers and stock agencies. I wish I had kept track of all of the family shoots that I have done. Over the years it must number in the hundreds, possibly nearly a thousand.
When I first went into business (other than as a wedding shooter, or a magazine shooter), but when I first claimed some space in the photography world, it was as a child photographer. I had a business card with a cute kid's face (thanks Liza) on it and my name, and under that, "Child Photographer." And that is what I did.
I had graduated from college with degrees in Fine Arts and Child Psychology, as two separate majors. But the two merged so nicely for the role of a child photographer. I had fun doing this. I would go play in the backyard with the kid and we would look for caterpillars and dandelions, while the adults chatted inside. Those were good times.
I was talking to my husband recently about how I often feel fragmented by the pull of three talents, like demanding triplets. Photography, art, and writing. I have done all three, and seen all three published. Now that I am well established in my 60s, I think about what I want to do when I grow up.
There are some things that I want to retire or semi-retire from at this time. I want to semi-retire from editing other peoples' books. I want to semi-retire from writing to spec (writing assignments that must meet the editors' demands for the editors' purposes, as opposed to creating something that comes from the vast universe within me).
I want to retire/semi-retire from traditional family photography. Gasp? What? I know there is a lot of demand there, and hardly a day goes by that I do not receive an inquiry from someone looking for a family photographer. Some of you reading this may have had some family portraiture done by me only recently.
So, I will explain. First of all, it is the most physically demanding of all of the photography that I am presently doing. It wears me out immensely.
Secondly, while it is possible to be creative with family photography, the parameters are still pretty much set. It tends to favor the line-them-up-and-shoot-them style of photography which I try to avoid.
Thirdly, I hang out with a lot of photographers, and many are very talented and up and coming young people with lots of energy and motivation. I would like to refer most family photo sessions to them from here on out. Will I not ever do another family session? I will never say never, it will depend. If I like the situation, I may agree to do one.
But my fourth reason for retiring from that aspect of the business is in order to do more photography for my own family. I am behind. Kind of like the shoemaker's children always being barefooted.
And my fifth reason for phasing out the family group sessions is in order to focus more on the things that I want to do more of while I still have time.
I need to write more. I need to draw and paint more. I need to do more creative photography. I need to play more.
Where do you, my clients and future clients come in?
Well, I want to do more fine art portraiture of you. So, I will emphasize more pencil and watercolor portraits. If you want more creative photography, of yourself, your baby, let's talk! If you would like a photojournalistic session of your family, I am totally there! If you want me to play with, and photograph your adorable kid, I'm there.
As for the writing, well, for the most part, that is a solitary venture. However, I am wanting very much to do more books that include photos, art work, and text to memorialize your family life, your loved ones. Imagine pages of collage, art, photos, and text in books that you will want to keep forever and hand down to the next generations. I am so there!
After talking to my husband to help refine my goals and thoughts, I worked on one of my own personal photos and the words to accompany it came from the wellspring within that has had to lie dormant far too often. It made me happy.
So, I am not leaving the business, but I am refining what I do more carefully.
If you have any questions, please feel free to talk to me. If you have a need for a kind of photography that I am not wanting to do anymore, I know of many to whom I can refer you. If we match up, then I will be very excited to do the work! Sound good?
Oh, and I lowered my prices on what I am offering, and I realized that in some cases, my prices had gone way up for the kinds of sessions that were becoming so much work. With those gone from my pricelist, I was happy to lower prices all over the place, to do work that I would love to do!
I will be upgrading the website, soon, but in the meantime, you may request a copy of the current pricelist at any time and I will send you a copy.
Thanks for listening!
August 06, 2013 • Leave a Comment
I hear that a lot. Also, I hear, "You are generous with other photographers. Why is that?"
Why not? I've been in this biz for 40 years. I have had periods where I have slowed down a bit (when surrounded by a houseful of rambunctious children, for instance), but for the most part, it has been a passion. It was a passion long before I was being paid to do it!
So, why am I not competitive? Why am I generous? My husband would say that it is in my nature, and he would also say that I am a terrible business woman. But if someone were trying to steal him from me, you can bet that I would become competitive!
Here are the reasons why:
I am getting older. I have had a wonderful ride in the world of photography. There has always been something innovative going on. There has always been room to grow and to learn. It has been challenging and a lot of fun. It has been a place for me to express my intense and creative needs to express visually. I get excited when I get to know photographers who are at the beginning of that same path. Some fall away from it, usually pretty early on when they find out that it isn't as glamorous or easy as they had thought. But there are those who have the passion. For those, I am willing to share. I can't take all of the photos that need to be taken. I can only take those within my own visual world. I am willing to impart what I can before I am gone.
I believe in synergy. I know a lot of wonderful photographers, and I love to see their work and see their attempts to master some new aspect of light or color, or form. I love how we can inspire each other. We are able to understand each other, help each other, support each other, and motivate each other to push the envelope. We learn from each other. We are kindred souls.
If a newbie photographer comes to me with questions, I almost feel like he or she is a child of mine, a newbie, I want to patiently and gently answer the questions to the best of my ability.
I have lost a lot of good assistants this way. They become great assistants and the next thing I know, they are out doing their own photo sessions. I may even assist them, if I am free to do so. I love to assist other photographers. I love being a part of the creative process.
I have been a crew member for stage productions. I am dressed in black behind the scenes, helping to create the magic that the audience experiences. I have been asked to be on the stage itself, several times, which always a surprise each time. I always turn it down, well, usually. I want to be part of a creative team. I don't want to be a star. I have also done a lot of stage photography. That is as much stage light as I ever want to be in. I love that creative process of creating something that visual.
I love to be a second shooter for weddings. Again, it is being a part of a creative team.
But mostly, it comes down to this. I have been richly blessed with this creative life, and I am happy to share it with others. And maybe there is a part of me that feels that sharing it with others makes it more likely that it will continue on, and on.
July 15, 2013 • Leave a Comment
Announcing the next special with the number 40 in it! This is 40.00 off a watercolor portrait session AND the watercolor portrait itself! So, a session and portrait for one person would normally be 250.00, but you can get this for 210.00. Woohoo, that is such a deal! For two people (in the same painting) it would normally be 275.00 but you can get it for 235.00.
This is how it works: I come to you, or you come to me, and I take a few images of the subject(s) from different angles and up close. Then, I go home and get started with the sketching and the drawing, and the painting.
The finished product will be around 8x10 in size, and will consist of pencil, watercolor pencils, and watercolor paint. It will be unframed, but if you would like it matted and framed, I will try to get you a good price on that, as well. I will give you an estimate.
The finished product is a family heirloom for you to keep forever!
There will only be four of these available so, to reserve one for yourself, contact me here on this website, using the contact form, or send me a private or public message on FB, or email me at [email protected]
If you are just joining us, this is another in a series of specials to celebrate my 40th year as a photographer and artist.
To get this special, you need to book the quick session before the end of August, 2013!
June 06, 2013 • Leave a Comment
Book a Lifestyle Session during the month of June, or purchase a Lifestyle Session gift certificate during the month of June, and receive 40% off your session fees. That is a big chunk! This offer is limited to three clients during the months of June/ July.
And WHY? Because this year marks the 40th year that I have been a working photographer. Yes, FORTY YEARS! And yes, it is true that we were using gun powder on a stand and setting that off for flash.
To take advantage of this offer, send me a note from this website, or send me a note, private or public, on FB, or email me at [email protected]. I will send you the price lists for the various kinds of Lifestyle Sessions that are available, along with your 40% off fees list.
Remember, only three clients will be able to take advantage of this offer. But if you miss it, watch for the next 40-something special coming in a few more weeks. And there will be more of them throughout the year or 2013 in celebration of 40 years of photography!