My short, simple portrait experience was born of necessity. People would write to me and say “I want to do some photos, but I want something different, and I don’t know what.” They wanted to close a chapter or start a new one with a series of photos. Or, they had a big birthday approaching, and they wanted to mark the moment. I admire Danika Franks and the trail she’s blazing in her community work to change the culture of medicine, and any time she comes in for portraits is a great day.
There’s immense power in seeing ourselves. Isn’t that what we all want– to be seen? And, after a certain age, we may feel invisible. I’m speaking only from my own experience, of course, and what my client tell me.
I went to NYC last month to photograph my editor’s surprise proposal, and I had the opportunity to see Ming Smith’s exhibit at the MOMA. I took a photo of what she said about photographing people because it expressed what I feel, too:
“Whether I’m photographing a person on the street, someone I know, or on an assignment, I’m doing it because I admire them. I like the sense of exchange– they’re giving and I’m taking, but I’m also giving them something back…Whatever I’m shooting, whether it’s a portrait or a place, my intention is to capture the feeling I have about that exchange and that energy.” – Ming Smith