i thought i would get personal this week and let you in on why it is i do what i do, why i love it so much and my journey in getting there.
my forever-and-always favorite thing about photography: composition
my latest obsession: color correcting
growing up, i went through a lot of phases, wanted to become a lot of things, had various role models and lots of ideas. imagination was my favorite, and whether my dance teacher knows it or not, i was obsessed with the dance studio and truly thrived every ballet and jazz class, 3 times a week.
the music, the poses, the movement, the emotion, the wide, open space with floor to ceiling mirrors and blasting music... mmm, i could get lost in it all like a glorious daydream!
it was early high school when i was convinced i wanted to be a music video director/choreographer, or an art director, something that told a story; that showed emotion; that tried to captivate an audience with what it was i was feeling when i was dancing. it was like story telling, but on a whole out-of-body-experience level.
a classmate of mine suggested i study video production offered at the tech high school next door, and i took him up on his offer. i became, just as, (if not more), obsessed with cameras, production & EDITING! final cut pro and i had a total love affair when i was 16, and i became addicted. it was the perfect outlet for story telling; cutting clips, images, music to evoke the perfect feeling; I would HATE when the bell rang to go home. i wanted to edit my life away.
i somehow discovered photography, and started experimenting in mixed media and became interested by this new medium of story telling. how beautiful (and challenging), that you have one, single, still frame, without audio to get your vision across to your audience. so i saved $500 of babysitting money to buy a canon rebel 35mm, a d.i.y. photography guide and experimented with any and all film types. different ISOs, infrared, black and white, slide film, you name it! i perfected self portraits, captured vermont summer sunsets, i brought it to the dance studio, out for ice cream, i made my family model for me in gregory crewdson zombie-emptiness-fashion (who i did have the amazing opportunity to work for in high school!)
advertising class, 2006, dont ask me how i got those on the subway without breaking..
portraiture and advertising homework, 2006, all wrapped into one! nailed it. (ha!)
i'd spent more money, developing film, printing, frames, i.was.hooked. i was always looking at music and fashion magazines and was swept off my feet with fashion editorials. i created stories and scenarios in my head to photograph. the images became like my visual diary. all of them so dear to me; i see something in my head, i have an idea, a vision, and i use this machine to show you what i see. (this is why i scream with excitement while on photo sessions for those of you who have experienced!)
the end of high school meant college. i fell in love with the school of visual arts in manhattan, new york, but was a little torn having to declare ONE major, photography OR video production. hrm.
i went with photography, and have never looked back. i learned how to develop my own film, print in darkrooms, critique the crap out of images; to which my workshop teacher became accustom to my narrative-thought-process and would just ask me, "ok, what's this story this week, colette?..." as we went around to each hanging print on the wall.
i changed photo schools to boston, where i had my heart set on studying specifically fashion photography. wouldn't you know, it was cancelled the year i transferred. i believe everything happens for a reason, so on i went to major in portraiture and graduate with portfolio honors and minor in advertising (with a focus in fashion, of course!)
on my way to work, boston, 2008, 120mm holga
last studio session for advertising class, 2007, camera phone
photographing weddings was something i never saw myself doing. i had assisted and 2nd shot a few before, but i quickly dismissed them as boring, stiff, event photography and that was so opposite then rocking out with a model in the studio, in my fantasy land of ballet poses, props and makeup.
(favorite image from) first wedding after graduating, 2007, canon 20d
well, well, the lesson of the story is, NEVER SAY NEVER! because now a days, weddings are ALL I WANT TO DO! i fell in love photographing weddings a few short years ago, when a dear friend asked me to be their wedding photographer. naturally, i said yes, and was on the biggest adrenaline rush of my life! i soon realized, a wedding is a (huge!) STORY, there's a whole narrative that unfolds before your eyes and then there are sub-stories within the day, and even more so in the smaller elements. photographing weddings are exhausting, a lot of hard work, so much editing, but i am just in the thrill of it all! i love, love, love how wedding photography has blossomed and transformed into a beautiful art form, an intellectual photojournalist vision, an editorial approach, a romantic fashion spread; there are so many elements in this one day, and there is so much creativity which is truly what i love about it.
some of my favorites from 2013 weddings:
my journey in photography will always continue to be a long and challenging road, but what artist has truly mastered their craft start to finish? i do it simply because i love it. the rush of viewing the images after a session, or editing to perfection just puts butterflies in my stomach! my heart skips a beat, i see LIFE frozen for that beautiful moment that will NEVER come back. but yet here it is in 35mm format for the rest of our lives to view, admire, and fall in love with.
i am not just in love with weddings, i adore portraits for the depth and complexity you have as the photographer. and from photo school, i took with me the love of advertising/table top, product..coughcough*cakesandcupcakes*coughcough photography. (ask anyone from photo school how many times a cupcake appeared in my self portraits...)
it's because of people like you, who appreciate the art of photography and continue to support the artists and their craft that make it all possible. i am truly grateful for all my amazing, larger than life clients who believe in my work, trust my vision and get just as excited as i do when viewing images for the first time! this is why i do it. XOXO