Each one of these families I photographed has a story of strength and courage that’s hard to put into words, so I set out to capture them visually. I was amazed and moved deeply to get to know a group of people who too often are associated only with war, and unfortunately, with politics. I saw and experienced them as people who proudly and dutifully serve our country when called upon to do so.
I have faint memories of modeling in Paris, Munich, Milan and L.A when I was 20. I do know that my first job was for Elle magazine and the highly-respected photographer Toscani who created all those colorful Benetton ads. Also at that session I was accompanied by Carrie Lowell and Paulina Porzikova. I thought that was a good start.
I felt it was about time to let everyone know about the photography experience that they can expect at our three portrait studios. Many people get really nervous being photographed but there is nothing to fear. It’s a fun experience! I am a photographer and I can tell you that it’s true.
As I prepared the couples portraits for them, I have to admit I got jealous. I thought it was such a terrific idea that I decided that I wanted my own couple’s portrait of my husband and I to celebrate our 16 wonderful married years together. So, on our anniversary last week we went to the photo studio, and what a terrific time we had together.
My art consultants and I all know how life affirming it is to have incredible, artistic portraits of your family around with impact. I have many larger than life size portraits of my family and my babies around my home and everyone who enters is awestruck. “Wow,” they say, “I really like that.” It gets them thinking. It creates a positive energy.
. . .most recently photographers, such as myself, have added fine art nude portrait photography to our portfolios. As a woman, I know that there are those fleeting moments when a female sees her nude body in the mirror and her mind actually registers and acknowledges the true beauty of her female form.
Bill wanted to give his Debbie something unique and special for their 21st anniversary. While looking around the house and contemplating about the perfect gift for Debbie, he admired the family portraits they had taken over the years with their children, and realized they had never had professional photography of just the two of them. Bill let his creative mind run wild, and he decided to actually turn the experience of doing a professional portrait together into a anniversary gift for her. I was so touched when he told me that after much research, he decided he wanted me and my studio to be a part of their romantic day.
That’s what my children do to me. They stop me. I am a high energy woman. I can easily obsess about photography every day, but my children bring me back to reality, to family and to love. They breathe life into me. They frustrate me like nothing else and yet, they transform me every day. I am so grateful that they arrived four years ago.
When I photograph a celebrity portrait, I feel very honored to get that extra seal of approval. But nothing touches me more than when celebrities return with their family for another portrait session, especially when they’re as wonderful as Brooke Burke and David Charvet.
I want to create family portrait photography with heart, family portraits that show how much you love each other. So, with your best interests at heart, I welcome you to experience a different kind of family photography at one of my three portrait studios.
We have had a wild year here at our portrait studios. We have grown so much, so rapidly as so many of you have called us for a family portrait or a maternity portrait or a baby portrait or a. . . the list goes on.
What I’d like to say to photographers is this: follow your path, follow your vision. You will not be happy until you do. But don’t copy other photographers. That’s not cool. That’s not your vision, but someone else’s. I never have copied other photographers and you can see where it has taken my vision by looking at my work. It is original. It is me.
I hope all of you California photographers make it to this event because I don’t think I’ll be speaking much on the photography speakers’ circuit. I really don’t like spending any evenings and mornings away from my kids. I make sure to be there every evening and morning because I unfortunately cannot be there during the weekdays.
I love photographing pregnant women and their spouses together and talking with them about their expectations of what it will be like to have a child. I love sharing my experiences. I had no clue that motherhood would change me as it has. I talk about this in my photo sessions because motherhood is bittersweet and most of us don’t expect that this little person will pull us in their direction so forcefully.
As my photographic technique has become second nature and my artistic vision has become stronger I can let go of all of that and focus on the people in front of me as unique individuals. I look for the emotion, I look for the place where they are in their lives and I try to take a very simple, genuine moment and turn it into art.