I asked her to tell me her favorite. I ask this question often. I ask this because I am genuinely curious. Which one did they like...no LOVE? Is it the same one that struck me? Is it a completely different one for a reason I hadn't yet realized? The answer isn't what I'm looking for. I really want to know the why. Why did they pick this one? The answer is always different as each session and each client are unique but I never tire of hearing the answer and I always, ALWAYS love the why.
When I photograph a family or an individual, an event or the natural wonder of our world, I always feel a connection with the place, the moment, the client and the experience. I'll admit that to this day, when I deliver a completed gallery I have butterflies in my stomach. Part of me is so excited to share my work and their photographs and yet another little bit is the flutter feeling of melancholy. Throughout the process of creating, planning and bringing an idea to life, I build friendships and relationships with clients that to me is worth gold. I love the back and forth sharing of ideas, visions, locations, weather reports (always the weather) the actual session and then the countless hours of editing, perfecting and re-editing until I know in my heart and with my eyes that your gallery is ready. As I click send on that email to notify you that your gallery is complete, I often hear Boyz II Men singing It's So Hard to Say Goodbye...in the moonlight outside my window.
For a majority of us (over the age of 5) it is challenging to answer the question, "Which photograph of yourself do you love the most?" Many of us squirm at the thought of having that camera lens pointed at us, let alone choose one that we like...of ourselves. Gasp! So when Heather responded with multiple choices for different reasons, I was not only thrilled but in awe. She is one of the bravest, wisest, strongest, most honest, beautiful, talented and hilariously smart women I've ever known and getting to hear her speak her truth with grace and honesty is inspiring.
Heather is a jack of all trades and a master of ALL. Seriously. This is not a joke. There is no fake news on the Heather Network. She can and has done it all. The first time I met her I felt intimidated because she is one of those people that when you meet her you know she knows what she is talking about. And then when you see that she is there to help you and is nice about it, you are stunned. It's like when you get to the Grand Canyon and look over and are like OMG! The Grand Canyon! It's so...GRAND! She's not all pomp and circumstance. She is every woman. Beyoncé will step aside and let her by. It hasn't happened yet but I know if she sees her, Beyoncé will.
So when Heather asked me to help her with some new headshots and branding portraits I was eager but intimidated yet again. Could I live up to her standards? Could I help her see how much she shines? I tried my best. She brought out the best in me and I can only hope that she knows that whichever portraits are her favorites they are because of her and who she is. She shines. Shine on Heather keep shinin' on.