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Next Level Portraits: Making Your Photography Session an Experience Instead of a Task

"Wow, that was actually so much fun!  I'm usually pretty uncomfortable in front of a camera but  you really made me feel like I could relax and enjoy myself."

This is something I hear pretty much every time I end a session with clients.  Especially with new clients who have had a string of photographic experiences ranging from awkward to traumatic.

Let's face it, whether it was our parents impatiently ordering us to smile for photos at family events, or school portraits that left us socially scarred for life, or simply the awkward angle of a cell phone photo gone awry...a lot of us have had a love/hate relationship with photos of ourselves.  I know I have.

That's why I consider it a huge responsibility as a visual artist to transform the photographic experience from something dreaded, to something cherished.  It's a healing process.

I actually went to school for Photography- I have a BA in Photography from Academy of Art in San Francisco.  And when I graduated I was almost certain I would go into fashion.  However, it was an unexpected internship with a Wedding Photographer that surprisingly sent me in a completely different direction.  And I never looked back.

There is a profound joy that arises in me when working with my clients.  From the moment I meet them, to getting to know them, and planning their shoot, to the actual shoot, to the final moment of delivering's a magical process of learning, creativity and adventure that unfolds.

And since each client is different, I never get bored.  There is always some new facet of each person to explore and capture in the images.  And because I make the whole process so personal, each one of my clients walks away from the experience really feeling 'Seen'.  And in this world of social media likes and constant seeing of information, now more than ever people really want to be seen for the beauty that is inside of them.

So really, I am a photographer, but more than that I consider myself a friend.  I make friends with my clients and do my best to capture their love in the most authentic and natural way possible.  It is always a gift when I hear back from clients who tell me- "That is SO me!" Then I know I'm doing what I'm here to do.

I want my clients to look back on these images for years to come, to cherish not only the physical image but the memory of the shoot associated with it.  I like to leave each session with not only a smile on my face, but a smile on theirs.

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