A few weeks back I was visiting an old friend in Austin and she asked me what I thought set me apart from other photographers – what was my edge…. An excellent question as I look at the tons of photographers everywhere and all at different professional and amateur levels. Anyone of these folks can take a beautiful picture, but what is my unique quality? What would inspire someone to hire me above any of the other thousands of photographers? Looking at my work, one can see that I have a passion for several avenues of photography be that people, pets or nature – I love to photograph them all, but my people photographs tend to lean toward the “fashion art” side and that is what I see as my edge.
As a kid I use to pour over fashion magazines and all for the ads – I loved all the ads – the feel you get when looking at the picture and how the picture sells a product but I also loved the uniqueness of each photograph as they are so different from the standard, normal and boring portraits. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen a few portraits that are unique but for the most part anyone can get a portrait done at Walmart or Sears just to name a few. I wanted my photographs to say something about the subject or at least capture that person or animal in a special moment not just a posed position. Many native american tribes as well as other indigenous peoples around the globe believed that to take one’s photograph was to steal the spirit of the subject, but I believe that the camera enlightens the spirit for all to see for eternity.
When I started taking photography seriously it was to capture exotic animals and landscapes for my own pleasure, but the first official person session that I shot just gave me this huge burst of excitement and I still get that burst of excitement each and every time. From that moment I was hooked and found my passion. That first photograph (see below) is still one of my favorites.
Photographing a subject usually starts before I even pick up the camera. I develope this scene in my head of how I want to shoot the subject in certain ways. I fed my early habit by using my girlfriends as models, some more cooperative than others. In their daily lives with kids, soccer, homework, laundry, etc. dressing up and doing a photo shoot was not in the schedule, but I begged and they eventually gave in. I saw these women a different way in my head and I wanted each of them to see themselves in a different way than the normal look they see in the mirror each day. That is where I believe my edge comes in play. My mission for each and every photo shoot is to capture the subject in a way that shows something different and unique about that person, family or pet, but in the most flattering way possible. My passion is to hold the spirit for a second in order to enlighten it on paper for all to see the beauty that I see through the lens.