There was no shortage of cuteness during this portrait session!
I wish I had a penny for every time that a client has come to me and exclaimed disappointment that the portrait photographers that they chose for their maternity and baby photography were their incredible wedding photographers. “He did such a great job at our wedding and I don’t understand why he wasn’t a great maternity and baby photographer.” Really? You don’t know why? Oh, okay. I forget that you’ve not hung around the photography industry for decades like I have. The assumption from every layman is that a photographer is a photographer and that means that they should wear every hat. That’s like expecting your podiatrist to perform open heart surgery. We choose our specialties based on what we are passionate about and what we are good at. Don’t expect good portrait photographers to be good event photographers, and vice versa.
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.
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.
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.
My mother produced a daughter who has always made a big effort. I never realized until now that she did this because I have been too busy working hard. Not only do I work hard daily at being a good parent, but I work daily at being a good photographer. Does it work? I hope it does. All I know is that I have always been driven and happy.
Do you see why I am walking on air? I am living a beautiful dream. My beautiful babies are here, present in this world and blossoming before me. I am, also, privy to special lives of twins at my portrait studios, re-experiencing my own twins’ newborn stage through the twins photography I create at my studio.
A portrait photographer is even odder in that he or she needs to pull into their brain, their gut and their experience and yet. . .connect. With every portrait I create, I pull in and. . .emerge with a feeling, an emotion or a moment of this family’s life. I connect, I breathe and I express. If I can let my guard done, I can see more than what is in front of me. I see the future, the past and what is, what really is, at this moment.
My intention, always, when photographing anyone, is to capture a feeling and also to let light and shadow lead the viewer to that emotional place that we universally feel. When someone looking at your portrait can understand how you feel and see the art in your own emotions, then I know I’ve done my job. I am a professional photographer.