Why I Photograph People
When I first picked up a camera, it didn’t matter to me what I photographed. Flowers, pets, landscapes, random things I found while walking around the neighborhood…literally everything. Where I really found the most joy was photographing people. I found myself thinking about this the other day and wanted to explore why I landed where I did.
No two people are the same.
I can get bored pretty easily, especially if I am doing a repetitive task. All of you know that I shoot my actor headshots and personal branding headshots on solid backgrounds and my portraits are mostly done in my studio, but what makes every single one of them different is the people. Every person that walks in my door has led a different life. Some are nervous. Some are excited. My job is to figure out where they are as soon as they walk in so I know how I’m going to work with them.
You have great stories.
Connecting with people that I photograph is a huge part of my work. It’s what makes the difference between a middle school picture day shot and something draws the viewer in. I talk to people about their lives. Not because I am just trying to “get the shot” but because I care! I want to know them. Honestly, if the walls of my studio could talk…
I prove there is no such thing as being “photogenic”.
People walk into the studio and tell me, “I am not photogenic.” “I hate having my picture taken.” After these years of hearing it, I now just smile and say, “Okay.” I know that I am about to turn someone’s perceptions of themselves upside down. It’s not the person in front of my camera’s job to be photogenic. It is my job to capture the best of them.
I create images that matter.
My actor and professional headshots are a tool. Don’t get me wrong, they are still beautiful portraits, but they have a purpose to get people work/help them represent their personal brand in a way that tells the world “I am valuable”. I get emails all the time from actor and business person telling me how their headshot helped them book a gig (several off of headshot alone!) or how they feel pride because their professional headshot helps them stand out from their peers using selfies. These people feel pride AND are getting paid. That is huge to me!
In my portrait work, I get to create images that touch people on a more personal level. I was showing a someone her finished images in my studio. She stopped and said, “That’s me? I never knew I could look so pretty.” Honestly, I don’t have the word to describe what that did to me.
I hear back from people that I have photographed, how having the images have touched them, how they display or experience them. They become so much more than just “a nice picture”. They are treasured. I get to create images that will be passed on for generations. I get to create a part of someone’s legacy.
I have fun (and so will you!)
There is an amazing amount of laughter that happens in my studio. I love what I do. Something that really makes me happy is a number of people who walk in nervous, but leave saying “This was so much fun!”. Don’t get me wrong, I take what I do very seriously BUT I am going to have a good time doing it, as will you.