Grab a cup of coffee this is a LONG post and I think you will enjoy the journey…
When I first met Donna, she was the meeting planner for a bride of mine. We clicked immediately. I think my quirkiness could see her quirkiness and I just knew I liked her. She was very open about her children and the challenges they had faced all of their lives after being diagnosed with autism. She had never had professional portraits made of her children. She asked if I photographed families and if I would be willing to work with her and her children.
I love all kinds of people. My goal as a photographer is to photograph not what you look like but to photograph who you are. Who and what your essence is. Some people are harder to reach in this way than others, but I have yet to have a client whom I could not see that special part of them.
Donna was really anxious the day of the shoot. While her children were willing, as most teenagers they are not thrilled about walking around with mom have some person they do not know stick a camera in their face. So we sat and chatted a bit. I find if I open myself completely, children and teens can see my flaws. If I find a point we have in common, everything clicks. With Donna’s daughter it was my images of grave yards. She is fascinated by what many people are afraid of. She thought it was okay that I liked some of the same things she did. And with her twin brother, it was his instant ability to see light. As a photographer seeing light is critical – it sometimes takes years for photographers to see the changes in light; he saw it instantly. Each time the light changed, he let me know. I told him what a gift that was, as most people never notice the tiny subtle changes in light. We had a bond from that moment.
Both the twins are amazing violin players. To see them play is breath taking. This was a beautiful shoot with an amazingly quirky family. I hope you can see the beauty that is truly them.
For more information on Autism go to www.autismspeaks.org
I normally just let you view the images, but for this post I’m going to make some comments about shooting and why I chose to do things a certain way. This is a shift in my style and I think I may be on the precipus of moving in a new direction. I would love to hear what you think in the comments section.
First up is Kat – she is an intense young woman. Uniquely herself. As you can see from this first image she is beautiful and very cool with her purple red hair and bracelets.
This next image came at the end of the shoot. She was doing a matrix move with her violin and she fell. Her mother said your going to kill yourself… so I said say on the ground we are going to get you as a fallen player.
Two different perspectives… both of which I really like
These next two images were about the idea of walking though the woods and coming upon a young girl playing clasical music in the woods. Something romantic that you read about in a Louise May Alcott book – with a 2011 spin on it of course. When shooting this I loved the dappling of light thought the trees but wanted to light her a little move to give a selective light feel. The old master painters did this with precision and brilliance and I was inspired by that idea. I just love the feel of these two images and I imagine them as 60 inch wall portraits on canvas.
What I love about this image is the selective focus. I focused on the violin between her hands. The rest of the image is soft focused going completely out of focus. I like the idea that she can pierce the focus with the intensity of her gaze and it give the image an ethereal feel and look with simple posing.
The final image of Kat is a stunner… hard to believe she is a freshman in high school. She is a natural when it comes to posing – she just knows what’s going to look good…
Tristen is Kat’s twin brother… no they are not identical… Yes their mom gets this question all the time. Tristen is sweet, interesting and loves bugging his sister. He too plays the violin. First up is the his Abercrombie look… Just love this background and thought it was perfect for a studio look outside.
Tristen is also a violin player and love the depth of field in the first image and the intensity of his eye contact in the second.
One hot Mama… nothin’ more needs to be said… take a look.
This family is self described as “quirky” and they really wanted an image of their feet which showed their personality so we captured that. I especially love the second image where they were just hanging out for proper lighting.
As the title states this was an Amazing family. Here are a few of my favs of them together… in different pairs and groupings. This first image is one of my favs as I love the look which is ery and almost fantasy based.
The final images are of a family on a new path with the past at their back and the future looking bright. It was a really wonderful shoot and I look forward to working with this family for many years to come.