How It All Started
This was the photoshoot that changed my life.
I had a makeup artist ask if I would be willing to shoot a makeup portfolio of her work. The idea was she would bring me ten clients and do the makeup for free while I would photograph; then they would have the option to purchase their photographs. At the time weddings were 90% of our business, but I had photographed thousands of portrait sessions in the past and always loved them so I agreed. The first group of girls came in and I noticed one only brought shawl and a tank top. I asked her, “Where are your outfits?” She explained she only wanted photos from the shoulders up, was just here to help her friend, and didn't really want any part of it. I tried not to let my disappointment show thinking this was not going to be the profitable venture I originally agreed to. She waited for makeup and watched as I photographed the others. By the time I got to her she asked if I had anything else for her to wear. She started out pensive, but by the end of the shoot she was having so much fun that we were making outfits out of the fabrics I had at the studio so she could have more photos. When she came back to see her photos, her eyes welled up with tears. This was the first time I had ever had someone cry seeing a portrait of herself. I wasn't sure how to react. She explained that the night before her shoot she had been to the first party after having her baby and cried herself to sleep because she felt so fat and ugly. The photos she was now seeing gave her an indescribable feeling of beauty and self-worth. That was the day my job stopped being about making money and instead became a personal mission to show women their true beauty, to see themselves as beautiful and perfect as everyone they love has always seen them. A couple of weeks later the makeup room was built in the studio. The portrait of this woman hangs most prominently in that room today. Since then I have had countless similar experiences with other woman. The emotions, tears, and letters of how a photo-shoot can change a life has been beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I have been given an amazing gift, and I am so lucky to be able to share it with anyone who wants it.