As a portrait photographer it's sometimes hardest photographing those the closest to us. And yet it can be the most rewarding.
In this blog post I'm pleased to share, in her own words, my wife Nicki's story about her portrait session -- how it came about and the effect it had on her. ENJOY!
"I am Nicki. Mother of two. Wife of photographer.
People always tell me how lucky I am to be married to a photographer, and of course I agree. Thing is, I myself am rarely in the photos - I do not really like my photo being taken unless I am prepared for it - hair looking good, make-up good, clothing good, and of course never the right weight for it. Most days, I do not look "good enough" to be in photos. Yes, there are the annual Christmas card photos that my kids will likely cherish when they themselves are grown up. Mostly, however, they will find a gazillion photos of themselves photographed by dad (his most precious and ongoing project is documenting our kids). Not many of their parents.
I have a photograph of my mum in her youth, looking glam and gorgeous, posing in a lifebuoy (I guess that was the fashion then) - those photos you want to always remember them by, because they are so beautiful.
I have recently been introduced to the lovely portrait photographer, Sue Bryce, and was immediately infatuated with her photos of everyday women, transformed into glamorous movie-star types - photos that could appear on the pages of Vanity Fair or Vogue.
I asked Paul to do a photo shoot like that of me. He readily agreed - then while we were chatting about it, we both looked at each other and like a bolt of lightning, were struck with the idea of transforming his business to this kind of portraiture. No, I did not want to lounge on a bed in my lingerie (I am not THAT comfortable with my body for that), but in a glorious evening gown, or LBD - something I would be proud of to share with my kids, my friends, the world. Something that would transform me from regular mother of two, making school lunches every morning in my pjs, glasses and hair in a bun, playing taxi to and from school and sports most often in yoga pants and that same bun in my hair, doing 20 loads of laundry a week…..you get the picture, to a beautiful woman ready to walk the red carpet for her debut!
We researched hair and make up artists and found someone who was eager to come to the studio to get me dolled up. What an experience that was. It has been many years since I had someone doing my hair and makeup. Most women tell me they haven’t had it done since their wedding! It was a pampering I will not easily forget - something I wish i could do every time I have to leave the house. I had no idea what I would look like - until she was done and I was given the mirror. WOW! I didn’t even look like me!
Then we started on the portraits - Paul was so masterful at posing me and telling me what to do, where to place my arms, my hands, my legs, for the best angle of me. We had various backdrops, standing, sitting, lounging on a chaise - it was so much fun. I was a total model for a day. Music pumping (a little champagne too) to relax me.
Paul showed me one photo on the back of the camera while I was modeling for him. WOW - I looked like a model! What a feeling! When I saw the edits, it was very emotional. I was beautiful. Something I definitely do not feel most days of my life. Since then, I look at the photos almost daily - just to remind myself what I can be and it makes me feel beautiful all over again.
Thank you, Paul, for giving me this gift. This gift of ME. This gift that will outlive me and be my legacy to our children and theirs. something that they too, can display with pride and love, just like the photo I have of my mum in her lifebuoy."
Behind the scenes....