Hello darkness my old friend...
In much of my portrait work, I've tried to stay on the flat light, big smiles side of things for my clients. I had somehow learned that my client/portrait work should somehow reflect only the bright and lovely.
Where did I get THAT from?
Lord only knows.
At any rate, I've been studying my 2016 portfolio. All of my work this year really has brought me so much joy but, when I look to a lot of it, there has been something missing. A piece of me somehow wasn't showing, or, perhaps it was. As a photographer, my work is about my service and the heirlooms that I create for my clients. My work is also about me. My heart. Everything I pour into my work is what helps me reflect my client's right back to them.
You see, when I deliver a client's portfolio to them I am not just delivering ink on paper in a pretty box. I'm delivering heirlooms. When I look into your folio collection, I see my grandparents and everything they mean to me. I see the past and the future all tied into one beautiful collection of imagery. I see you paging through them in forty years thinking about what an incredible life you've been able to lead and "Damn...I looked good.". I see your children and their children looking to this beautiful keepsake wishing they could speak to you one more time. That is such a powerful scenario, thinking about the day when you open the box again, when your spouse does, when your children do, when your grandchildren do. There is no cookie cutter solution there. That isn't just about pushing a shutter in a well lit room.
My intention for 2017 is to embrace the shadows as well. I paint with light AND dark. They dance together and you can't embrace one without the other. Our photo shoots in the new year will be even more streamlined and creative. Of course we will continue to shoot beautiful portraiture, and meet with each of our clients beforehand to discuss how they're envisioning being photographed but we will be taking it a step further in the design process. Do you want to be photographed in a bed of roses? As Marie Antoinette? As a powerful, feminine leader traveling the world? Maybe you want to be photographed with your love OF dance, though you have never been a dancer. In a simple monochromatic studio setting with a black turtleneck and your favorite pair of jeans?
I thought I would end this year with a simple self portrait. One that defines the exact moment in which I decided to welcome the darkness back into my work. [ Gosh, darkness sounds so morbid, doesn't it? ] One that played with the light available to me in my kitchen, shadows and all. There is an art there, there in the darkness. It is a piece of a moment that we will never get back and it is just as crucial to a portrait as all the light of the sun. I hope you like it.
Stay tuned for more inspired portraiture for my clients in the coming months and, if you're interested in creating portraiture for yourself, your family, or for your business please do reach out. I would love to photograph you.