Archive for April, 2010
There are times in our lives when we need a little reassurance and then it suddenly appears at just the right moment.
Sitting on a bench, nervously contemplating one of my first speaking engagements at a major convention, I was beginning to doubt myself. Rather than hyping myself up, all I focused on was whether I was ready to be doing this. Was I qualified or even skilled enough to give other professionals tips? I was scared and had no idea what to expect when I stood in front of a huge crowd of people. Would I panic or would everything go by smoothly and effortlessly?
At the culmination of my self-induced panic, along came Tony. At the time I didn’t know Tony but sensing my distraught feelings he took the time to sit and talk with me. Tony helped me gain the confidence that carried me through the event and many years of speaking engagements afterwards. All it took was someone to believe in me for me to believe in myself. Experiences like this remind me how important it is to surround yourself with supportive people that bring out the best in you. Making a conscious choice like this will enhance your business and personal fulfillment in many ways. Those who believe in you will always help boost your confidence.
Image from the Viceroy, Anguilla website
I had just finished presenting at Wedding 360 and I was more than ready for lunch. Waiting impatiently for my food at the St. Regis buffet table, I secretly prayed that I would not have to engage in any form of conversation. I saw someone approaching me. I clung tightly to my plate, looked down and hoped for an escape. When I realized I was being approached by Virgil Napier of Viceroy Anguilla, the idea of talking to someone suddenly didn’t seem all that bad. The next thing I knew I was engaged in an interesting conversation. I put my plate down like it was no big deal– food didn’t even exist anymore.
I was familiar with Viceroy of course, but was not that familiar with their new flagship location in the Caribbean. As Virgil described the luxurious Anguilla property I was swept away by visions of a beautiful resort on the edge of endless white sand beaches flowing into crystal clear turquoise water. Virgil encouraged me to take a look at the resort and even consider a visit. He spoke about potentially placing me on their preferred vendors list to shoot there in the future.
Excited, I ran back to my computer to do my research! When I saw the resort my jaw just dropped. I was staring at a tropical paradise. Not only are the beaches gorgeous, but the breathtaking building is truly a work of art impeccably decorated by Kelly Wearstler. I was not surprised to learn that the resort was placed on the Conde Nast Traveller HOT LIST for 2010. I immediately emailed Virgil asking when I could come.
Now, having just arrived in Anguilla yesterday, my exceptionally high expectations have already been exceeded. Details to follow – I need a little pool time right now.
Photograph by Gene Higa Lighting Journal entry # 2 – one year ago…
Every girl loves to shop. And as a total tech geek it doesn’t get much better than this. I can’t wait to get to work with the great equipment I’ve chosen, all from industry leaders in the world of lighting technology. Here’s what I’m getting to launch my lighting learning:
Strobe – I was immediately drawn to Profoto because of their incredible reputation as a leader in the industry. Their products are consistent (with both color balance and burst power), durable and reliable. Most important for me: Profoto is known for shaping and creating absolutely gorgeous light.
Reflectors – My first exposure to California Sunbounce was at a Greg Gorman workshop in Mendocino – btw – his workshops are AWESOME. I have always admired Greg more than any other living photographer for his ability to manipulate and capture extraordinary light. At the workshop I saw that Greg really utilizes California Sunbounce to create his dramatic portraits. So, I decided to learn from the best and work with their products too. Plus, California Sunbounce offers tons of great options and is known for helping many leading photographers emphasize light to create the right effect in an image.
Lighting Supports – I choose these from Manfrotto for several reasons. Since I am constantly moving around quickly during shoots, I need stands that are reliable, durable, and easy to manipulate (I don’t want to lose my awesome, brand new equipment because of tripping over a stand!). Since these Manfrotto supports are incredibly well designed I know that they will be practical and easy to use during shoots.
Photography Support – I have owned a Gitzo since age 16 and have never looked back or even considered anything else. I have always depended on their cutting edge products and finally decided it was time to upgrade from the durable tripod I purchased in college ten years ago (am I dating myself?).
Continuous Light – I noticed that many professionals are using Lite Panels for both video and still photography. I have heard a lot of impressive things about their products and am really excited to take work with this fairly new technology. The Lite Panels products very well made, light weight (very important for me) and eco-friendly making them a perfect piece of equipment. Plus, they are also cable free, reducing the number of possible things to trip over at a shoot!
All of these products are made by great brands and I’m very excited to get started working with all this high quality equipment.
When I first met Alyssa and Brett I must say I was a bit taken aback. Alyssa looked stunning like she had just stepped off the runway. Together Brett and Alyssa make an incredibly handsome and sexy couple. I was excited to work with them because In 2008, photographing the wedding of their good friends Keisha & Troy still stands out as one of my favorite weddings. Their guests were a lot of fun so I knew I was in for a treat. I was very excited for the engagement shoot and really enjoyed working with this wonderful couple.
Enjoy the session slideshow.
Thank you Cay Lemon for coordinating the shoot. You are awesome!
I am very excited for their wedding! Stay tuned for an interesting post; all of their guests are wearing white!
So much of my passion and photographic style stems from my first encounter with Steve McCurry’s imagery. Seeing his work for the first time, I experienced a calming realization that I had encountered my ultimate inspiration. This connection defined a place of belonging, revealing stylistic interests that were not being stimulated by my more traditional photography education.
Steve’s work truly resonated with me. I felt a connection, an inexplicable understanding in a way I have never felt with any other artist. His worked allowed me to envision where I wanted to go and instilled confidence that pursuing a similarly inspired style was possible.
Motivated about photography and eager to find my true photographic passion, I set out for India on a six week trip of self-exploration with Steve’s Portraits book in hand. I spent evenings pouring over his work. His inspiration stirred something within me, and my style began to develop out of this desire to create imagery that like his profoundly impacts people in many ways.
I returned from India determined to pursue photography and moved to New York jobless, friendless and penniless. I did the inevitable, something I had to do if only to say I tried, and pursued a position with Steve McCurry. Astonished, I landed an internship position that influenced my photographic journey in intangible ways.
Working with such a talented photographer was absolutely extraordinary experience that opened the way for the flourishing career I have today. I learned to ask for the impossible and to follow your true sense of purpose. Steve was my teacher before we met and continues to be an invaluable inspiration and an extraordinary mentor to this day.