I love actors. I love characters. I love the possibility of change and development. Connecting with an actor behind and in front of the camera is great fun. They’re professional, they’re learning. They are constantly curious about what motivates people to act in a certain way. I love that actors can be so vulnerable and are able to meet any criteria to get the result that they are looking for. When I photograph an actor for their headshot, they are looking for an image of themselves that is open to possibilities. A blank slate. A moldable character.
It’s the beginning of a new year. I could go on and say things like: New Year, New You! Blah, blah, blah…
Really though, yes, it’s a new year. I like the new year because it seems like it’s a time for a clean slate. Some people do this for Lent, others at the beginning of the year. And, if you’re like me, you think, “Shoot! It’s January 9th and I didn’t stop eating See’s Candy, or make my bed everyday, or read for fun, or go to yoga!” You don’t have to do it on a date, any old date is fine. Just pick one. Some people find it useful to pick a day in the near future and think about what it’s going to take to really follow through. If you can do something consistently for 2 weeks, it really does turn into a habit. And, if you go off the map, just be better tomorrow. Give yourself a break, be kind to others and yourself and you’ll be great!
I love Before and After images. It really shows you the possibilities. Sometimes when I see them, I’m like…What? I love her before, she looks so natural, there is a natural beauty to her…What was the photographer thinking? Beauty, it’s a many-sided thing. If you’re happy with who you are, that’s a precious gift. If you want to tweak some things, figure out how it works for you and then do it. With love and kindness.
I really want to get my portrait taken, but I need to lose some weight. Ugh, my roots! I’ll do it in the Summer when I have some color. When my face clears up. I need to go clothes shopping. After I get my hair cut. My stylist is sick.
Oh, the excuses. If you keep putting it off, you’ll have retired! Yes, you need to have clothes that fit you comfortably. Yes, you should look well groomed. But, that’s about it. Let me take care of the rest. I will email you a PDF to help you with last minute things and then you are good to go.
Your social media portrait is important. You don’t want an image that’s ten years old. Time to update. I have seen so many gradated backgrounds lately, it’s driving me crazy. If you’re in the marketing department, you might want to think about slowly phasing out older imagery (that gradated grey background) and look forward to a nice neutral or in the office environment as your background. I can help!
It’s Senior Portrait time and time is a premium. I only schedule one shot a day, that client has a weather option: I keep the whole day open just for them. It might be nicer in the morning, so that’s when we’ll shoot. Or, the afternoon light might be the best so then, that’s when we’ll shoot. In the studio, though, the light is always awesome. I have a north-light studio. Floor to ceiling windows facing North and let me tell you, the light is magic. Everyone looks beautiful. Whether it’s backlit or side-lit, you are going to be gorg!
Sometimes a client will want to come in the studio and just play. I love that! I love taking our time and just goofing around and not having any agenda but to shoot in the studio. This girl was awesome! She brought in her favorite outfits and we just went…It is a process. I never like the first set of images, it’s just a chance for us to get warmed up. But, I loved these! It was such a bonus.
Let’s you and I shoot! Call me 816-686-3223
It’s that time of year. Spring is in the air, blossoms and shoots begin to appear. Eighteen-year-olds are beside themselves, anxious, excited, so ready to leave the nest. It’s an exciting time of year, there is change, as in any season. Sometimes bittersweet. Sometimes exuberant. There will never be another time like this time. High school graduates are so full of promise, determined to take on the world with full confidence. There is something about this age that propels them forward, they still think that they know everything and that is a good thing. They are fearless, not held back by things that only sage adults know. If we’ve done our job correctly, they will fly, soar. Good luck graduates, good luck!
The other day I was sitting with a friend and she was showing me her Tinder choices. We flipped through dozens of men. Shirtless men, men who were fashioned after Anthony Weiner. Men taking selfies in bathroom mirrors and what’s the deal with that? Men on motorcycles, men holding fish. There were very few pictures of men who actually looked serious about the prospect of meeting women. What are men looking for with the pictures that they’ve chosen to represent themselves? I’m thinking that there must be a great marketing opportunity for me, here!
I think that if you made an investment in some really great photography, you might get to meet a really great person! My friend is awesome! She’s a total catch! I’m thinking that if you really care about what you want in your life and take the time to produce it, you’ll get some really great things. What do you want? Write it down. Think about it. How are you going to get there? The great thing about the new year approaching is that we get to remake ourselves, we get a chance to start new. You get to carve out what and who you want to be.
I like my model. My senior model. You call me or text me or email me. We set up a meeting at your house or (my studio if that’s more convenient for you) and I bring “show and tell”. I come to you. It’s a concierge service, really. I’ll bring with me some European fashion magazines and leave them with you to look at, or you can can look at them while we’re talking. We set up a shoot date, weather permitting. We look at the magazines and talk about light, wardrobe, location. Do you need a stylist or hair and makeup? I’ve got you covered. Heidi and Michele are awesome, let’s see if they’re available!
On shoot date I’m ready. Typically, we start in the studio. Then we go out into the world. Sometimes we shoot in several different locations, the Nelson, Rivermarket, the Bottoms…I am yours. We go and go until we feel like we have a lot of variety. That’s my goal. I want you to be so overwhelmed by your choices that you can’t decide! I want you to feel like everything we’ve done that day is for you. It’s all about you.
In about two weeks, I leave you your package. It’s a bag with a boxed set of prints. Usually, 20-25 prints in the box. They are ready to be put in a gorgeous silver frame you’ve been saving or given to friends and family or just to be held onto. You’ll also get a link from me with everything that we’ve shot together. Okay. Please don’t feel overwhelmed. There are A LOT! You know your kid better than I do, but I know what I like. This way, I give you my favorites, how I think that your kiddo looks best, and you get to look on-line and see for yourself. You also get a high resolution file from me for your yearbook. It’s a pretty great deal.
So, the greatest thing about shooting senior portraits is getting to know the kids. Sure, they’re on their best behavior, sometimes their mom is with them, but you can really get a sense of the kid through their mannerisms. You can tell the confident kids, the introverted kids, the show-off kids. The ones that are the most shy are perhaps the most confident and the show-off kids might just be the most nervous. This kid was confident and beautiful and a delight. I love working with kids that really know what they want. I love working as a team to really make them happy and it’s always a successful shoot when they have a lot of the creative control. Having worked commercially over the years, I find most success when working in a team model. Some kids want to just have fun and be on a photoshoot, others like to have ownership. I hope that these are meaningful images to her family and that when she looks back at them in years to come, she’ll remember the fun we had.
I think I’m the luckiest person on the planet. Really, I do. Knowing the right person at the right time is paramount to success. The story begins with a beautiful jewelry designer who wanted to make her mark in Kansas City. She needed a photographer. It started with a headshot for her LinkedIn profile and other media needs. Then, a couple of pieces of jewelry and then thinking long-term, a campaign.
Having the right people in place, the right talent and hardworking dedicated individuals to not only deliver, but to deliver with heart and soul is why this will be a success. Georgina has picked the right people to help her, she will be a success because not only does she have passion, she has perseverance. She has the grit to make this happen. I’m lucky to know her, she is going to be a force in the industry.
Wow! What an honor! Joyce, a woman I photographed who was receiving the Women Who Mean Business 2015 Award, called me and asked me to photograph her for her graduation from the Washington University School of Business. It meant driving to St. Louis and photographing her on campus. I was all in. It also gave me a chance to hang out with fellow photographer David Stradal. We went to college together at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. We laughed a lot.
On that crisp Sunday morning, I met Joyce on campus she looked stunning. It was a perfect day and we made the most of it. I photographed her in her dress, Wash U sweatshirt and Cap and Gown. She truly is beautiful, inside and out.
I loved that she wanted to mark this accomplishment with photography. These milestone moments are important. We need to make them memorable for others, too. The gravity of these moments must be marked because they’re important moments to the fabric of us as human beings and must be remembered.