Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"The Client Experience - In her words" | Rebecca Lewis, Women's portrait photographer, Campbell, New York

We've known each other for over 40 years. Our mothers were girlfriends. Actually, roommates who lived together in Corning, New York before they met their spouses and each started their own families. 

Each of us are the oldest in our families. We often laugh joking we must have been switched and sent home with the wrong mother because I sometimes act more like hers and she like mine. She is "wickedly" inappropriate at the best of times. Loving and supportive at the worst of times. But most of all she is beautiful and I am so happy were friends. 

What joy and comfort it gives to say that simple phrase "we have been friends for what seems like forever".

Late last year I was finally able to convince her it was her time to come into the studio. After reviewing schedules, it was decided December 14th would be the day. To share the experience with you I asked her to be my guest and write about her thoughts and feelings about the day. 

I give you "The Client Experience. In her words" 

"I had viewed Rebecca’s photos on Facebook, but when she approached me to have mine done my immediate reaction was “God no”.  I take a terrible picture.  I have wrinkles, grey hair, am over weight.  I didn’t want all that photographed!  You can’t cover up arm fat or a double chin! I had had a terrible year and it showed on my face. The last thing I wanted was to see myself in a photograph!  She actually wore me down in her loving way, and one Monday morning I showed up at her studio. Willing to be photographed, but wicked nervous.

Everything was so gorgeous to look at, that at first I couldn’t stop looking around.  One wall is covered with Rebecca’s work, and the photos are just breathtaking.  The studio itself is warm, womanly, and cozy.  Martha, the makeup artist showed up shortly after and we began.  I had met Martha before as well and her warm personality put me at ease quickly. I’ve had many makeup artists work on me because of the work I do, and Martha was the gentlest one I’ve ever had. 

I was told to bring about 5 outfits, so it was wicked cool to see what Rebecca thought of my choices. I was asked to bring my favorite jewelry. I think it’s always fun to peer in a friend’s closet, and this reminded me of that. Being at a girlfriend’s house and seeing her clothes and jewelry.  Before I knew it I was swept up in the fun of makeup and getting dressed, and jewelry.  I was still somewhat nervous about the photos.  I got in front of that camera and honestly felt like, this is going to suck.  She takes all these gorgeous photos of these women, and I’ll be the one that looks awful.  I do not know how to smile without looking just a bit foolish. 

Next thing I know Rebecca is on, huge camera in hand, telling me how to move my neck and head to make my neck look long. Relax my eyes, smile, relax my eyes, and turn this way, all while clicking away on her camera! Martha is holding up this huge white thing to catch the light and I’m just trying to not look stupid, or crazy eyed, or smile too much, and actually I have no idea what I’m doing.  But they get me laughing, and I relax and suddenly she’s got something and she shows me and my breath is taken away, because that is me!  I cannot believe that’s me! How did she do that?  It made me want more pictures of me like that!

I started thinking about who I’d want to give these pictures to.  Before the shoot, I thought I’d never give a photo of myself to anyone.  Now, suddenly, I wanted my sons to have a beautiful photograph of their mother.  I wanted my boyfriend to have one, my parents. 

When it was over, we sat at the table, drank some delicious wine and had some warm soup that Rebecca made and just chatted and talked.  It was a perfect ending.  After I came home I kept going over my day. I was amazed at the change in myself. I felt beautiful. I’m so grateful that Rebecca was determined to get me in there. I needed this.  I think every woman at some point needs this experience.  I also believe that everyone should have a beautiful photograph of themselves. It reminds us, we are beautiful, strong, brave, and bold."