My boys were the inspiration for me when it came to photography - I wanted a better portrait than what I could get at the mall or whatever, but more than that I wanted something unique that truly represented who my children were at various times in their life. I've always been interested in photography. When I did the backpack thing through Europe (thank you Mama for trusting me and letting me try out my wings) I always sought out portrait galleries and photo exhibits. On my 23rd birthday in London I chose to visit a Robert Maplethorpe exhibit and his work took my breath away. I continued to seek out photography exhibits throughout my travels and well into my years in Seattle as well. Something about the "real-ness" of it has always drawn me in, more so than any other artistic medium.
When my husband and I were planning our wedding we were definitely on a tight budget, as most young couples are when shelling out the dough for such a big event. But no matter what else we may have chosen to skimp on, photography was not an option. We went big. Very big. Our photographer - Jessica Young Photography (now almost exclusively doing commercial photography so no website for me to link to) - were amazing. Young captured every nuance of our day and we treasure these portraits because they are what is the lasting reminder of such a beautiful touching day in our lives. The day we became the Stephens'. I can't look at our album without getting a wee big misty-eyed!
Then comes baby in the baby carriage... This is when I first began experimenting with my simple point and shoot, trying to find a perfectly lit window to capture my newborn son for his birth announcement. I also had the good fortune of having a former colleague-turned-photographer take pictures of our eldest son when he was about 6 months old. His portraits were stunning and and created a lasting memory for us of our son at such a perfect little age. My friend was fairly new to the biz back then but I could see that he was going places. Now, 6 years later, he IS something big, one of the very best photographers in Hawaii -- check out his work at www.derekwongphotography.com. For me that was one of the biggest catylyst for learning to create a better portrait of my children.
When our youngest son was about a year old Shawn surprised me with a crem-de-la-crem camera that knocked my socks off. I was beyond intimidated by it, but I was also determined. At last I felt I had the tools to pursue something that I knew all along I was passionate about. I dove in. I read my manual (yes, you really do have to read those things!). I studied photography via books and online tutorials and photographers I admired. I then carried that camera with me everywhere I went. When I downloaded the images onto my computer I studied every nuance - what worked, what didn't work, what angles and lighting made the image jump off the page, etc. Evntually I started asking friends if I could take their portraits for them to practice, as my own children were growing very weary of the constant lens in their face. Soon friends of friends were asking for me. And soon thereafter crib tales photography was born! It took me completely by suprirse that I could create a business out of somethign I loved. But there you have it. My boutique photography business was born out of inspiration. I use my background in marketing and technology to build the business and market it, and it seems the portraits speak for themsleves.
If you have hired me to take your portraits (and rehired me as is the case with several clients) I thank you for entrusting me to capture the beauty of your children and your families. I'm always honored when someone welcomes me in their family for the afternoon to capture them as they are. I am continually inspired by other photographers, the families I work with, and of course, my own darling boys who are still my favorite subjects to photograph.
2004 photo of my son by Derek Wong Photography -
An inspiration for what was to come...
So...what inspires you and brings you passion and joy and fulfillment?