Archive for April 2011
After a failed attempt yesterday (The Geffen is closed on wednesdays) I made it to the Art in the streets exhibit. I typically use this blog to write about my photography but after the show today I wanted to share my thoughts.
Go see it.
It got me thinking about how incredibly creative some of these artists are; and that I still don’t know what “art” is. I know beauty when i see it. I know that some things move me and some don’t. Throughout the show I realized that art is such a personal thing that I really don’t have to worry about what’s art and what’s not.
I don’t typically consider my photographs as art, others do. For me to walk out the door with a camera with the goal of creating “art” is like me writing a grocery list with my left hand. I may make it to the store and decipher a few things on the list but most will be indecipherable. A comment I overheard today sums it up best. While we were in “neckface’s” installation looking at broken bottles, empty cigarette boxes and other trash a teenager asks his mom “Is this part of the artwork?”
My first maternity session was about five years ago with my wife’s friend. I shot it as a favor and as a test to see if I enjoyed the work and liked the results. I enjoyed the shoot and everyone was happy with the results. I’ve been offering maternity sessions ever since.
Maternity sessions are an interesting niche. Some people love ‘em, some don’t. A few years ago I wondered why the disparity in opinions. I talked to a handful of women and previous clients and asked their opinion. A couple former maternity clients fessed up to not loving the shots at the time of the shoot. They thought that they looked fat in the photos. We all know that isn’t the case but when faced with 50-100 images of our bodies most of us will focus on what we don’t like. The clients that were honest about their feelings of not loving them at the time also raved at how happy they were to have done it, how much they loved the photos once their child was born and how grateful they were to have documented such a momentous time in their life. That’s what we as professional photographers do; we make sure that those special moments and events in your life are documented in a way that is unique and special.
I really enjoy maternity sessions. The session is a collaboration that my clients are very much involved in. We look at examples of maternity photos and talk about the goals for the shoot. Are the photos for posterity, to hang on the wall, are we trying to create art? For most women, other than their wedding day, a photo session devoted entirely to them is new and exciting. For me it’s the same feeling and planning I devote to a fashion shoot. For come clients it’s as simple as a couple’s portrait shoot out on location. For other clients I set up a mini-studio at their home or have them in to my studio.
Over the past couple weeks I had the honor of shooting maternity portrait sessions with Jen and Courtney. I’ve known both for a couple years and worked with both Jen and Courtney before they got pregnant. My session with Jen was about trying to get something creative and beautiful as well as shooting relaxed, timeless portraits. Jen and Courtney were photographed in my studio.
My session with Courtney was different in that there was not any pre-planned ideas or goals. Courtney makes her living as a model and we both knew that we would come away with something fun.
As I mentioned for some clients it’s just about having a fun family or couple’s session to mark the occasion. To see more examples check out the maternity portfolio on my Wedding and Family Website.
I’ve maintained two websites for a long time. Once upon a time I decided to keep my commercial work separate from my wedding, family and children’s portrait work. I figured the clients looking for family portraits or wedding photographers might get confused if they see a bunch of architecture photographs and vice versa. I have to admit that I don’t like curating my websites. There are plenty of great images for the two sites but choosing image A over image B and trying to make sure it fits with the message is difficult. It also takes a lot of time and effort to dig through years worth of images spread across two computers and four hard drives. This is something I need to work on. I have to remind myself that facebook and this blog aren’t substitutes for updating my site.
I’ve spent the past six weeks prepping for the new wedding and family site. The beauty of the new site is that I can have as many galleries and images as I want. As I dig through the wedding and family portrait images I’ve shot over the years I noticed that the images that stick out as favorites are the unexpected moments. If I were to look at the images my clients buy and the ones I like, they are very different. Going through the wedding shots I found very few formal group portraits that made the cut; mostly they don’t resonate with what I’m about. I want the photograph to tell the viewer something about the wedding or portrait session – that they had fun.
So cruise on over, take a look around and let me know what you think. If you want the best viewing experience launch the full screen option. www.chuckespinozaphotography.com
*for those of you who are interested both of my sites are from Rob Haggart’s company aPhotoFolio.