I have a wonderful client who has hired me for maternity photography and then subsequently for newborn photography for all three of her pregnancies. Not only is she a gracious lovely woman, but she is also my muse. Every time she steps in front of the camera, I just go wow. She has this gorgeous alabaster skin and dark hair.
For her most recent newborn shoot, we did it at her house in NJ. It was late and the kids were tired, but we tried a bunch of different things that all came together. For this posting and probably future postings, I am going to publish what I consider the best images from our shoot. I also included two of her maternity photographs. Oh and instead of one or two, you are going to get all the good ones. Be sure to go to the last photo. It is priceless, and her idea! Continue reading →
Now that family photography is dominated by color lifestyle photography, black and white photography, and black and white film photography, has started to become unique and special. I like that. I like that I am still offering film. I like that my 20 years of training and expertise has to be distilled into one, two or three rolls of film. I have to get it right. I can’t put the camera on auto and just click away. I have to know what I am doing. I have trained to anticipate the image and the moment. A specialist processes my film; an artist who has trained for years to perfect her craft, creates my prints which are retouched by a master using a real brush and special dyes that he creates. These prints are museum quality and will last for a very very long time. Although not everyone appreciates this in today’s digital world, I do and my clients who find me through many avenues definitely do. Continue reading →
How photographing an autistic child taught me to be a better photographer
Today I photographed my first autistic child and I loved it. My client was worried because her son didn’t like to look at cameras, and she said, he can get very focused on something and not want to change course. Basically she was worried that this wouldn’t be what I expected or it would be difficult shoot. I told her, I am a photojournalist trained to make photos as they are happening, not to set them up and so I am going to treat this just like a story. Let’s just let him be himself.
It was awesome and it has taught me to be a better photographer in under two hours. Here is what I learned and will apply to photographing other autistic children, although they are all different. Continue reading →
I have spent my career studying the unique shape of the pregnant woman. With my most recent series, I am studying the landscape created by this form. When the images are printed large, the form becomes foreign. Worthy of examination and discussion, this shape represents an area of the women’s body that is surrounded by debate of ownership, degradation by toxic environments, and depravation of corporate fertility centers charging exorbitant fees for women who want to become pregnant.
Using mostly natural light and black and white film with no digital alteration, I have created two distinct bodies of work. The first is narrative and captures the subjects during their transformation to motherhood. The second is a radical departure from portraiture, removing the individual and framing the pregnant body as a new abstract landscape and language.
My goal is to present the diverse shapes and stories of pregnancy, to give them a place in visual history, and to employ this archetypal female form to spark conversations about contemporary western social issues surrounding the family. Continue reading →
During the 2004 election campaign, I was really bothered that gay marriage was so controversial. In response I decided to do a series of portraits of gay families to show that the love of these parents for their children was no different than straight parents. My hypothesis was simple. If those against marriage equality could see the love of the families in my photos, perhaps they could see the gay parents as people instead of gay or straight. And if they could see them as people, perhaps they could understand just a little bit more, the desire to marry and be seen equally under the law. Continue reading →
I spent ten days at an artists’ retreat this past August and had a fantastic time. What came out of the program was a renewed sense of commitment to keep on progressing with my work with the pregnant female form. After many late night discussions with an artist friend (usually over wine which is so stereo typical), I decided I wanted to break the maternal nude into two categories, one being more about the individual and one being more landscape. Today I am going to discuss the landscape form.
The inspiration for this work comes from a well-known Japanese photographer, Hiroshi Sugimoto http://www.indejacobs.com/Sugimoto.html. Sugimoto”s pictures “seduce in a down to earth way – an enchantingly Japanese minimalism informs the artist’s black and white photographs (assemblylanguage.com)” He is best known for his seascapes which have been his main subject for the past 20 years. Continue reading →
I recently did a proof edit over the phone with one of my favorite clients. I have been working with her long enough that we have similar discussions about images we like and images we think work together. She is so great, she comes up with brilliant ideas for triptych (three images together) that sometimes I haven’t even seen. I love that!
I am writing this today because I think these images illustrate what I feel to be an important aspect any good portrait or fine art photograph – the triangle or the diagonal. While we aren’t getting as specific as DaVinci’s Golden Ratio, that appear prominently in his work, a lot can be learned by studying this master. Continue reading →