This is the part of my website where I tell you my story and, for those who might be interested, why I decided portraits was the photographic business I wanted to specialize in. For those in a hurry, I'll do this in two parts, the short and the long version.
The short version..........
My goal is simply to exceed my client’s expectations; to make my clients look the best they can look and enjoy their experience having their photographs taken. When you call my phone number or send an email, the person responding is me. Finally, because I’m hungry for business and opportunities to be creative, my fees are a whole lot less than you would expect to pay even at Sears or Penny’s.
Since I wrote the above, and before I launch into the "long version" that some of you may have read when I first published my website three years ago, and which I continue to provide for those interested, I need to bring you up-to-date.
In the past three years I have not only taken lots of portraits many of which are included on the homepage and in the various galleries (some old favorites are still there). Many of these photos have been used in local publications and at various events. I have been a corporate photographer (until the business was sold), the photographer selected to take the photos at a regional church conference, and also the photographer chosen to take member's pictures for a church directory. Finally, I have added photographic technology and skills that has enabled me to do more advanced work.
The longer version ....
When I enrolled in the New York Institute of Photography (NYIP) my objective was to start a small business doing something I really liked to do after I retired from my career as a health care executive.
While pursuing my NYIP studies I realized some things very early on. The first was that, as one friend put it, the world is “drowning in images” of friends and family, rivers, trees, mountains, waterfalls, bees, bugs on flower petals, etc. Furthermore, you can purchase whatever image you want for a very modest price by going to any of the internets “stock photos” websites. With the advent of digital photography there are tons of photographs out there and lots of them are fabulous. I continue to be amazed at the quality of photos taken with point and shoot cameras. You can even buy “apps” now for enhancing photos taken with an I-Phone or other smart phone.
The second thing I realized was how much I enjoyed doing the NYIP portrait assignments, reading Joe McNally's Hot Shoe Diaries and taking one of Syl Arena's (Canon's answer to Joe McNally) weekend workshops on the use of Speedlites when doing portraiture.
To complete one of the NYIP assignment, I created a simple studio in my garage. After purchasing a couple of Speedlites, some background paper, and selecting some photos to replicate, I went to work. My barber gave me an old mannequin head that I placed atop a small ladder in order to practice various lighting arrangements. Whoever said, “Portraiture is painting pictures with light,” knew what they were talking about.
One of my first “shoots” was my stepdaughter and her then boyfriend (now husband). I tried my best to be prepared, but had not counted on their bringing their dog Lamount to be in the picture. The dog turned out to be the best “poser” of all. You can see the result in the first series of photos displayed on my home page. The important outcome, however, was how good I felt when my stepdaughter and her boyfriend said how pleased they were. Similar outcomes photographing neighbors and friends and then finally being paid for my work has continued to reinforce my feelings of achievement and my continued motivation to be, as stated above, the best portrait photographer I can be.