I’ve been a professional photographer for over 15 years and I feel like even though my work is always changing and evolving, I have found my “photographic voice.” There is a recognizable consistency and style to my portrait work that differentiates me from other photographers. However, Lately I have been longing to find and express my “artistic voice.” The road to the next level, so to speak.
So, a few months ago, I treated myself to a workshop with an artist who’s work I greatly admire. Her style is different than mine but I really loved the overall feel of her work and felt I could incorporate it into my own artistic journey. It turned out to be one of the best workshops I’ve ever attended and it has truly changed my heart and my art. As soon as I got home I started scheduling people for practice sessions. I can’t explain how much I enjoyed each of these sessions. I was pushing myself to take what I’ve learned over the years and transform it into something…more. And as an added bonus I was getting to spend a little extra time with each person, getting to know them better along the way. It was so much fun to just play and experiment.
But the real journey started when I would choose a few favorite images from each session and begin the next level of the process. Since I wanted plenty of time with each image I decided to take them home and work on them in the evenings and on weekends. Keep in mind, my “big mac” where I do all of my retouching is at the studio, at home I have a 2006 17” Mac Book Pro. You can almost hear the poor thing saying “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…” with each new command. The only reason it works is because I’m not very fast yet with these new techniques. So I was chanting “I think I can…” right along with my old mac. The first pieces were very slow to emerge, but I have loved every minute of the learning process. Each image takes me somewhere new. I don’t necessarily have an end in mind when I start each piece. I just let the subject and my heart guide me. I think that’s why these have become so special to me. They are artistic interpretations of my beautiful friends. And yes, they have all become dear friends. I think it’s safe to say that a special bond has been formed with each of them.
From these adventures the Luxe Series was born. What is the Luxe Series, you ask? It is an artistic experience featuring photographic portraiture blended with painterly techniques to enhance my subjects’ natural beauty. Some are soft and ethereal. Some are bold and vibrant. Some look like paintings while others have an illustrative quality. We begin each session with a design consultation where we discuss possibilities and set forth an artistic vision. Hair styling, make-up and wardrobe pieces are also available to achieve the desired look. Each session is an artistic project unto itself, designed to be completely unique.
Now that I have a few of them under my belt I plan to start posting these pieces regularly. I truly love creating them. Each one speaks to me. And, like any artist, I really hope they touch your heart as well.
These first pieces are from a session I like to call the Enchanted Engagement. When I asked Rob and Natalie if they would be willing to let me try something new they were both as excited as I was. They rounded up the perfect wardrobe and came with a great attitude. I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful couple for this theme. Joey Simmons of Twisted Scissors provided stunning hair and makeup for our fairytale.
Stay tuned for more Luxe Series Art Portraits in the near future. I have a lot of beautiful pieces to share! And give me a call if you’d like to schedule an adventure of your own.