Fashion and Beauty Inspired Portraiture
A lot of my clients want to shoot in public parks, but those aren't always the best option. Even though it can be hard to find green areas here in the Phoenix area, the green areas can tend to just become boring and flat in the background. Don't get me wrong, sometimes they are perfect for the look that you want, but I usually prefer something with architectural interest (some geometric lines) and textures in the background. Downtown can be a great area in certain places. Old, dilapidated buildings are my favorites (inside and out), but it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to gain access to them (everyone is afraid of the liability issues). Desert and mountain scenes can sometimes work for a certain look. A lot of places can work, but a lot of places just don't work. Always looking.
In the Images: Rachel Logan and Tye Starr
by Ron Brewer Images
This shot of Katie was recently made outdoors on a beautiful, sunny day, up in north Phoenix.
It's fun to head out with only a camera, one lens and someone to photograph. Sometimes I use flash outdoors to get a specific look, but it's great to travel lite like this. Arizona has very hot summers, so it's almost impossible to get good outdoor shots in the summer. Your subject gets sweaty very quickly, and that rarely is a look that I want. But for about 9 months of the year, we have great weather for outdoor shoots. And, nice weather can either mean a sunny day or a cloudy day. They each can give you a different kind of light to play with.
Model: Katie Marie
Yet, maybe it's not as fleeting as it is simply changing. You can find your beauty at any age. The fastest growing market in beauty and boudoir photography is the 50+ demographic. Yeah, 50+ years of age. If you feel like you are losing your beauty, then it's time to find it again.
I have photographed women that think they are unattractive as well as women that see themselves as beautiful. Interestingly, even the women that see themselves as beautiful usually have something about themselves that they don't like.
I find it even more interesting that the rest of the world usually doesn't see us in the same way that we see ourselves. We are convinced that everyone sees what we think are our flaws. We are usually much harder on ourselves than the rest of the world. Yet, we would never believe that. We are convinced. We think that everyone thinks our nose is too large, our ears stick out too much or _______ (insert here the thing that you don't like about yourself). But, it's rare if someone else even notices such things.
What freedom we would gain if we weren't so hard on ourselves. If we would stand back and get a realistic look at ourselves. But that's very hard to do. Often, it takes someone else to help us see that. I'm lucky enough to be in a position to help women do just that. Through beauty inspired portraiture, I help "everyday women" see themselves as beautiful. I help them start to believe in themselves. You can see the moment it happens. It's a wonderful transformation to witness.
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I've found that every client I have always has something about themselves that they don't like.
It's even more interesting that, if that one thing shows in an image, it's the ONLY thing they can tend to see in the image. They see that one thing first and last, and fail to see the whole package of who they are. The small thing has heavily tainted their self-perspective.
But it gets more interesting. Almost universally, that one thing that they dislike about themselves is something that the rest of the world never even notices. The client never believes that others do not see it, but, oh, it is very true.
So if you think your nose is too large, be sure to tell me about it. And we will create images that make you forget about it.
There are a lot of different ways to take maternity images, and so many of them create wonderful images for mom and baby. My approach is to create beauty inspired images, where the focus is on how beautiful a woman is at this special time of carrying her child. Often women don't feel very beautiful during pregnancy, but the beauty is there and can be captured in timeless images. When you are going through bodily changes and the day-to-day issues of pregnancy, it's just hard to feel beautiful. You just have to pause and let someone help you find it.
I captured this image of Sharlene about two weeks ago, and her little boy is due to meet the family in mid September. But, of course, mom already knows him well. This was their first portrait together.
Most people don't like how their face looks. At least that's what I often hear as a portrait photographer. They tell me that they don't like their nose, ears, lips, chin, roundness or whatever. So they want me to make that part of their face look better.
What I find interesting, is that the very thing that people don't like about their face is not a problem for anyone else that's looking at them. Others just can't see it. Everything looks good.
Psychologist Anna Rowley says that we are a fault-based society. We are taught from an early age to look for our faults to make them better. I agree with her. But so many people go to extremes when it comes to accepting how they look. They are overly self-critical.
You would be surprised at how even women that are physically stunning, still have issues with their looks. I've often asked such women when it was in their history that they realized they were beautiful, or did they just always believe it as such. I often hear that they believed they were literally ugly until some point in their lives. But many still had issues with specific things about how they look.
Perhaps my favorite part of portrait photography is being able to help people feel good about how they look. I"ll never forget the day when, after seeing her images, the young teenage girl said "Mom, I AM beautiful."
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