It isn’t so much in the doing as in the being. When a client comes to the studio for a portrait, something happens. We share (as women tend to do) the things that matter to us, that concern us, our pasts, our families, our pets. Why we choose to live in this location. How, for many, this is a time in their lives where they’re changing direction. A new relationship, a new job, a new endeavor.
So there is an opening up of the self, long before the camera is even focused on us. Then a second blossoming of the self when all those myriad aspects of our lives are revealed subtly in the images we create together.
There is a woman who had been divorced for many years. She was moving to a brand new community far from the people she knows. She decided she’d like a fresh start, so we discussed how she wanted to present herself in her new life. Together we created a series of beautiful and varied images that encompass all of her moods and styles.
I come to know my clients in a gentle and special way. And it certainly informs the final portraits.
Think of it as beauty therapy. Then there is the added bonus of the preparations for the shoot, which includes professional hair and makeup, styling and posing to enhance the experience. There’s a sense that you’ve overcome obstacles, and rediscovered the you that was there all along. If that’s not therapy, nothing is.