When there is an opportunity to create something beautiful for someone special, I will absolutely jump on it! And this is exactly what happened. I’m not close friends with my recent client, but I do know her enough to see she has a kind soul, a gentle heart and a welcoming nature.
I introduce to you, Kelly Lamptey. A mother, a wife, a teacher and a woman whose journey through life is taking her on an unexpected path.
And despite the unfortunate turn of events her and her family are experiencing, she has an exceptionally positive outlook. After seeing each other at a farewell dinner for another military family, we got to talking about my recent self portraits. “I’ve always wanted to have pictures like that done,” she mentioned. I understood she was set to leave the country soon, due to her situation. And with this, I knew this opportunity would never come again. “Let’s do it.” I casually said. Her eyes got big, she looked as me and said, “You’re serious?!” “YES! Let’s make you glamorous.”
I mean…. LOOK AT THIS!
This portrait has strength, confidence, sass and a bit of mischief. I am so proud of this portrait for a number of reasons. One, the lighting is fantabulous. Two, the color is rich and cohesive. Three, and most importantly, the comfort between me and Kelly is evident in her eyes and posture.
Why is the comfort between the model and the photographer most important?
As a client, you see a camera with a lens in place of the photographer’s head. (This is how I’m explaining it, go with it.) You get distracted with the colors reflecting off the lens, the fingers of the photographer moving around the camera, zooming in, zooming out. The silence as the photographer observes the composition, the details, the settings. You see something moving in the distance and you want to look but afraid the photographer is about to snap the picture, so you don’t, making your eyes start to water. And with all this distraction, your mind starts to wander. Then, your face starts to crinkle. Your shoulders get tense, and before you know it, you’re Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights saying, “I’m not sure what to do with my hands.”
However, if a photographer can make a connection with you through their camera, you don’t just see a camera. You see a part of them. You see the photographer’s third eye. And just like any other eyeball out there, unless it’s wonky, it’s just a normal eye, albeit a very large black eye that takes up the whole face. (That’s neither here nor there.)
And through this comfort, you can be yourself. You can show the truth beneath the makeup and the clothes. In the portrait above, I see stability, despite the bend in her knee (which can represent the bend in the road for her and her family). I see a fulfilled expression, one that says life is plentiful and brings her exactly what she needs. I see femininity and delicacy.
I am proud of who I am. She is proud of who she is. And together, we made a good team.
Thank you, Kelly, for allowing me to photograph you and your beautiful nature! I wish you and yours the best.