The Designer and the Portrait Photographer
One of the never ending jobs of a business person is “getting the word out” and trying, with all your might and know-how to make sure the message is correct in every aspect. You want a potential client to “see or hear the word” and have an “AHA” moment - the moment when the potential client realizes that you can solve some problem for them, or fulfill some need/desire they have. (And even better, they purchase your services!)
The difficult job for you is trying to find THAT ONE person who is a superb designer, understands your work and communicates your message with incredible beauty. I found that designer in the open heart of Latifah Shay Design. While this post might serve as a blatant recommendation (it is!) of Latifah and her work, I really want to highlight how Latifah understood the role of empathy in my portrait process.
You know that WOW feeling when someone “gets you”? When someone really understands what you do? Yeah, it’s a feeling of surprise + gratitude = validation! That’s what I felt when I read Latifah’s words.
And I certainly work to generate that same set of feelings for my clients.
The Designer’s Words
I recently had the pleasure of working with photographer Rebecca LaChance at Rebecca LaChance Artistic Portraits.
Rebecca is a fabulous photographer - that's the obvious part. Then when I got to hear how she so gently and expertly coaxes her clients to a place of real vulnerability and emotion, where their true selves are present - and then she captures the moment 'on film'. I was blown away. She's like this magical creative person that encourages love, intimacy and connection. She said she has been known to assign 'homework' to her clients, and even had one husband write a love note to his wife as part of the photography process.
Below you'll find one of the print ads I did for her. She has a wonderful studio in Thurmont and can be seen out and about in Frederick. See her online gallery here:
Ahhh, where to start? I guess it starts with the recognition that we are all overwhelmed by the “noise” of our daily lives, the tasks, the required “doings”. Slowly, the “deep Beingness” of ourselves gets stowed in the imaginary closet that holds “things I’ll get to later when I’m not so busy.” Eventually, more things get stuffed behind the door of that closet, pushing each memory and knowing of our Being further back into a dust covered pile.
You might not have ever considered that a portrait could be about recovering your Being, your memories, your connections, your love, your Self. I am here to tell you that a portrait is, and should be, much more than a “smile and a snap.” It is my job to see the world through your eyes, your experiences, your story. It is my job to hold you in my heart and honor your Being, your heart, your soul, your love.
That is the empathy that I bring to bear in every commissioned portrait. And, it requires work and trust from you. It is scary being vulnerable about yourself. I work to foster those self-revelations in a very safe emotional space for all involved.
A portrait should remind you of your story, not someone else’s ideas about who you are.
A portrait should hold the power to inspire you every day.
A portrait should be about what or who empowers you, who fills your heart.
I can only create these purposeful portraits through time spent with you. If you’re in a hurry and think a portrait is a quick snap in fancy clothes, then you won’t be happy in my studio. If you’re the person who wants to be heard, wants to be visible, wants to be valued for your uniqueness, then I think I can meet your need and fulfill your desire.
Until then…may your days be easy and filled with love and happiness.