I had the pleasure of photographing little Sofia and her mom a few days ago in their home in Vaughn. They were referred to me by my wonderful client, Shazeen (see a few posts ago, she’s the one who could teach a course on what to wear for your family portraits).
Sofia has the most gorgeous big brown eyes, and a shock of thick black hair. I know you can’t help but notice the hemangioma birthmark over her right eye, but honestly after a few minutes with her, and in editing the photos, I don’t notice it anymore. This birthmark should fade and disappear as Sofia grows up so the question is, do we photoshop it out as if it never existed or leave it be? My personal philosophy is that photoshop should not change history, only enhance your memory of it. So for example, I wouldn’t photoshop an ex-boyfriend out of a group photo, but I would happily fade out stretch marks on an expectant mom’s belly after a maternity shoot. Anyhow, I’m getting off-topic, but it does lead to an interesting debate right?
I was inspired from the previous week’s wedding so asked Sofia’s mom to bring out some of her saris and scarves to use as backdrops. Sofia told us quickly that she didn’t enjoy the prickly sequins on the beautiful fuschia scarf so we improvised quickly and draped it around her instead. Here are just a few from the shoot. Enjoy!
It was touch and go with the weather last week wasn’t it? One day I was bragging about walking the dogs in sandals and the next I was looking for my socks again. Today’s weather reminds me about the lovely baby Sydney, who I had the pleasure of shooting recently. Here she is in a lovely spring frock from her grandma. I love a smiling baby as much as anyone else but I’m usually most charmed by the more inquisitive expressions where you can really see them thinking.
Pre-amble: These photos have absolutely nothing to do with my blog entry below. Even though they are over three years old (and by extension, demonstrating my skill-set as a photographer three years ago), they are some of the most popular and still garner a great response. With the website make-over I just want to make sure they survives the migration. By the way, that baby is about to turn four in a few short months. Anyways…
I shot an award ceremony luncheon today at the University of Toronto and was struck by the wistful way the staff was talking about getting outside to take a walk at the expense of interupting a particularly productive work groove; or taking vacation time at the ‘right’ time of year to avoid the stress of playing catch up upon their return. (Today is March 18, 2010 and Toronto has been enjoying a week of sun and warmth – you know, the kind that prompts you to dig out your sandals and tank tops).
I felt like I was observing from a different universe. As a self-employed person I have, for the most part, the luxury to control my schedule. I get to spend time with my daughter and pets at home. I can choose to sit outside while answering emails, or take that walk and explore our neighbourhood. And when I work (especially for weddings), it’s intense work-mode with the bonus of getting to know and photograph fabulous clients. I have the best job in the world.
This weekend I will be attending a two day workshop for photographers. It was something I heard about and thought, in that same wistful tone of an office worker, oh if only I could go/I should be saving my pennies for that new piece of equipment/I should spend time with my husband/I should etc etc. All valid reasons but nonetheless excuses. But then, like a fairy-godmother (only in the wish-granting department) my fellow photographer Bryan Caporicci (who will be speaking at the workshop with another photographer I admire greatly, Robert Nowell), granted me a complementary pass to the workshop! Thank you!
So, to pay it forward, I am also going to grant a wish. I don’t want the message to be lost in what has become a very long write-up so look out for an upcoming blog post on the subject. In order to tell the story properly I will also need to get permission from someone involved in a past deed.
Post-amble: I noticed while proof-reading that I used a lot of commas and was reminded of the humorous reaction to excessive comma usage by one of the protagonists in “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” by Muriel Barbery. I recommend that book if you are in the mood for some often droll philosophical ramblings and social observations. There is a plot but it takes a while to get going.
As a photographer I get the best seats in the house for some of the most important moments in people’s lives. It is a privileged point of view which I get to share, preserved in images that later become part of the collective memory of the events. I think one of the best compliments I’ve received was from an expectant dad who upon review of their maternity shots told me that the photos made things look way better than what he saw in real life.
This same expectant dad is now really a dad and today I got to visit them at the hospital. Baby Owen was barely 18 hours old when I photographed him! Mom and dad were both beaming with pride.
Congratulations! And thank you for letting me in on these first few hours of Owen’s life.
The Olympics are over and suddenly there is nothing worth watching on TV… guess it’s time to get back on the computer! Here is my favourite model, a proud Canadian!