Personal Works


The importance of shooting for yourself with personal works and projects

By 2010, I had been shooting digital for about 6 years and found myself longing for the art of analog photographs again. I had been out of college for 6 years and was now working as a full time professional. It was then that I realized my work was no longer my own but for hire.

I wouldn't say I felt like I 'sold' myself short but I felt, deep down, that I wasn't shooting with the intention I originally had in mind as a young art student. I was more so producing work that people wanted.. so to pacify my need to create how I see portrait work, I started back with film.

I finally grasped the concept of the environmental portrait and focused most of my personal work with this concept at the time. The concept that I discovered from my journalism classes years prior intrigued me and I wanted to revisit this approach.

Through my teachings and practices, I learned that portrait photography shouldn't just be a pretty, up close, zoomed in image with shallow depth of field with nice makeup and outfits in unnatural poses but the true essence of a strong and timeless image would represent the individual's personality and living space.

It will show strangers a part of someone's life that will give insight to who the individual is. A strong portrait is an image that can tie someone together, connect them and find them relatable. All my years of portrait photography I've never heard anyone say that they found connection and understanding in a heavily, photo-shopped and polished portrait.. but rather, most people can relate to a certain form of reality and realism.

This is what I want in my images, to bring people into another individual's world. So I found a perfect balance as I focused on portrait perfection with clients, while continuing to shoot deeper and meaningful work for myself.. which kept me balanced and inspired for many years.