One of the photo projects I am working on while we are traveling is my Portrait Project. I believe every person should have a beautiful portrait of themselves, that represents their spirit just as they are in this moment of their life. That’s what this portrait project is all about.
This project truly started just after I attended the memorial service for my dear friend’s father. This beautiful man’s life was commemorated in stunning portraits – one after another. I thought to myself, what a complete gift it is that this family now has so many lovely images of him to cherish from the different stages of his life. ‘Every person should be so lucky,’ I thought to myself.
Two things happened at this point.
1. I became increasingly aware of death. During this time, my beautiful dad was also ailing from brain cancer, and when he passed away, I was again struck by the array of portraits he had created during his life. For any of us who have lived most or all of our lives in the ‘age of the selfie,’ quick snapshots of ourselves are easy, but they often miss the essence of ourselves. What I realized as I sat in thought about the photos of my dad and my friend’s dad, is that they were living life, and realized that the moment was so good, so true, that they had to pause for a photo with an actual camera, loaded with film. It was an active choice to make a portrait of themselves, in that moment. Just as they were. My goal is to bring back creating photographs that truly honor the person as they are.
2. I became increasingly aware of what we leave behind. I spent many hours with my dad toward the end of his brain cancer journey, looking at old photographs, hearing his recollections – some for the first time, some I’ve heard before. Each time, the photographs brought back memories filled with stories, and feelings, and LIFE. When you look back at the portraits I create of you, I want you to be filled with that same feeling of what life is for you in that moment. And when you look at the portrait I’ve made and realize you’ve shifted into a new phase of life, then call me, and I’ll document you again, so that someday, long from now, you’ll look back on these images and know that YOUR LIFE has been seen and witnessed and celebrated in all of your many life stages.
I hope someday soon I will get to make a portrait of you. Please be in touch to make sure our paths cross.