I just had a major surgery on my colon that has made me slow down and be still. When I am not running around, I have more time to read and think. I read an article that Annie Homquist referenced Dr. Leonard Sax experiencing horrifying display of disrespect (of children to their parents) in his practice. To quote him " America's children are immersed in a culture of disrespect. This type of behavior would have been unusual a decade ago. It is common today. They learn it form television, even on the Disney Channel, where parents are portrayed as clueless, out-of-touch or absent. They learn it from social media and the internet. However there are still respectful, obedient children out there, largely because there are still a few parents who practice authoritative parenting."
I am not here to talk about how to parent however this article struck a chord with me. As a photographer you can choose the type of art you want to portray. Things are constantly being pushed for attention on social media. I see seductive styling, posing and attitude with females for senior portraits. I made a conscious decision doing senior photography (that is high school portraits not senior citizens). I wanted to have their inner beauty shine, their confidence, their love for life and family to be present. I wanted these portraits to be timeless, not trendy. Classic not avant-garde. I didn't want it to be about how sexy they could look but to be about their kindness and their journey in the world. I started the "Appreciation Hug" because I saw the love and emotion that came out of having the senior and parent hug at the session and capturing that brought a lot of emotions to us all. I will be honest to say that I have watered up quite a bit seeing the love these parents have for their son or daughter entering their last year of school before their tertiary education. In a parents' eye, it sneaks up on them in a snap and they feel very emotional about that time being gone and missing the days of bedtime stories and super heroes. I wanted to honor that and as a gift, I decided to give them that image. I draw clients that have that have respectful children.
Clients and friends have asked me how I stood the test of time with photography. I have been doing this now for 18 years. I think the average portrait photographer stays in business about 5 years. I have watched the trends come and go. I stayed true to myself and in the art that I want to give back. I see the beauty and spark in each person's soul and just capture that with beautiful lighting. If people want that, they come to me. I have amazing clients that appreciate fine photography and know the difference. They want a heirloom wall portrait for the generations.