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To be more specific . . .

I have always loved making portraits. As a young child I drew people constantly. I filled every scrap of paper I could find with studies of eyes, noses, mouths. Studies of anatomy, studies of line expression, all feeding my artists soul. My career took an abrupt turn when I went into graphic design and I put down my trusty graphite stick. Add in one more abrupt turn, when I switched to another form of communication arts: editorial photography. My management at USAA didn’t know there was a difference between editorial, product and portrait photography. So, I had to learn all different lighting scenarios/styles and technologies. (It was one of those situations of “other duties as assigned”.) I appreciated their patience as I learned, experimented, and learned some more. In 2004, I achieved a status that not many could: Certified Professional Photographer, Portraiture. I so enjoyed getting to know the subjects of my editorial portraiture, and really felt pride when so many of my colleagues complimented the work I was producing. The collaboration between subject and photographer was something I took very seriously and strived to bring the story being told to life.

I considered what my path was to that point and thought,

“well here I am again, making portraits. With a different tool set, but really, I am making portraits and supporting myself.”

When I left USAA, I struggled with the “supporting myself” AND sticking only to portraits. So, I took on other types of photography. Imagine my happiness when I started to develop contemporary beauty portraiture this past summer. Not only did I have a path again, doing work that inspired me everyday. The collaboration that I shared with each of my (limited) beauties was real, and exhilarating. I was creating custom fine art photographic portraiture that very few could. My artist soul was again being fed. The business of that style is a tough one, and not many understood that it is actually the original business model of portrait photography. In today’s immediate-gratification-digital world, this became a constant need for education and more communication. (For both myself and my clients.)
 
As some of you already know, SnowPro is slowing down purposefully. We have had some family obligations come up, as well as future plans that are not in the Alamo City. Both of these situations combined, have made me realize that I cannot continue to everything. I am winding down all portraiture, commercial & editorial work. I have a few more appointments “on the books” and will continue to service my current book of clients but will no longer be taking on new clients.
We will still offer fine art Placescapes, Landscapes and other types for your enjoyment. This is a more solitary type of work, but is just as fulfilling. Bryan is currently working on some incredible Fine Artscapes of Rome that he will be releasing soon. Be sure to check out our current offerings in our shop.
 

This doesn’t mean I am going away (yet).

Be sure to reach out, send me a note, a letter, an email. No really, I am asking you to remember me. It will make transitioning to this next chapter so much easier!

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The more things change, the more they stay the same

I’ve been considering what to do. When to do it.

Contemporary Beauty Portraiture
Contemporary Beauty Portraiture

I have such a passion for what I do (nearly) every day. I love making portraits. I love people’s faces. I love figuring the ways to light, to mold, to sculpt with light and shadow. The proper way to light someone is to light not only their “outsides” – but to enlighten their insides. People of all shapes, sizes and ages have all sat for me, and all have been astonished of the beauty we discovered. There is nothing like watching someone who doesn’t (has never?) feel wonderful about themselves discover how others see them. The astonishment grows slowly across their face, resulting many times in tears.

Through some outside forces to SnowPro, I started to concentrate less on commercial work and more on women’s beauty portraiture. Last year, we (my clients and I) created some beautiful images. I rediscovered my heart in photography through this endeavor. But, alas, I must put this aside. Family and life changes have become priority and other choices have been made. I’ve made them.

Personal Branding
Personal Branding

At this point, we have a few Commercial portrait sessions scheduled, but I will not be looking to book more after March. Going forward,  I will only be accepting very specific commissions based on the type of art I want to create.

We will still work with our small business partners who book us regularly for products and places, but I will be turning my focus to the home front this year.

20x30, framed., 612.00
In the shop!

I encourage you to look at our shop, right now, as we have a variety of landscapes, mission work and Italy. More images will be added everyday. If you need a different size, let me know. Future products will include stationary and note cards featuring our work and other cool items.

 

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Shelf life

My sister, mom and me.
My sister, mom and me.

Did you know portraits have a “shelf life”? Just like those shoulder pads! If you’ve not had a formal portrait done in over 3 years, its time!

I love this photo of my mom and my sister. I wish I remembered what we were doing, but we were certainly happy! Is it dated? Yes! But as a snap shot, it is a snippet of that day which I will cherish. If I tried to use a cropped version (of me) as an avatar for social media or Linked In, well, let’s just say that I would be unrecognizable. People would walk away, scratching their head. Don’t let that happen to you!

Just mosey on over to our Portrait Services page to see how we can help. It won’t cost as much as you think! We’ll put together a current portrait that will not only reflect who you are now, but won’t be as dated as this one is!

 

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{epitome} Contemporary Portraiture

We’ve come to a decision. After some consideration, writing and brainstorming with friends and family (because nothing happens in a vacuum) e-Sessions is becoming {epitome} Contemporary Portraiture.

Check out the new branding:

Epitome Contemporary Portraiture
Epitome Contemporary Portraiture New logo
epitlogoiconcolor
New signature and colors (although the yellow isn’t quite right…)

 

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Meet Katie Clark

Katie in her essence.. her indomitable grace and spirit just oozes!
Katie in her essence.. her indomitable grace and spirit just oozes!

Many times in our lives we meet people who are awesome. Just quietly awesome. They do not demand your attention. But, darn it, you end up thinking about them for a variety of reasons. I met just such a person last year. I was volunteering for a political organization and through my community organizer, I met Katie. Actually, she is the organizer’s wife. Don’t get me wrong, I feel that her husband is a force to be reckoned with – and will go FAR, but Katie matches his enthusiasm pound-for-pound with incredible quiet grace and commitment. She is a special education teacher, just finished with her time with the Teach for America program where she taught in the poorest and most overlooked neighborhoods. She is, in truth, a compassionate, strong young woman with a bright future.

Alex (her husband) called me this year (I did their family portraits last year) with an idea for their 3rd anniversary. I was in the midst of changing the way I create individual portraits from the cookie cutter, 3 light – set up to a simpler, more natural set up and I said “sure!   . . .  If I can shoot in this new style, as it involves a bit more ‘input” from the client and what we end up with are closer to fine art images. The final product, printed carefully on fine art paper is likened to a fine art print.” More pretty, less casual. More planned, less contrived.

So, she came over one Saturday after we planned her wardrobe and her style. She came armed with a couple of beautiful dresses, and clean face and hair. Since they had opted for the “full treatment” we hired a hair and make-up artist, Sierra Scerato,  from Hair Refinery Studio to come to create some different looks. We had a nice afternoon, Katie, Sierra and I, just being girls!! (Alex came after for some executive portraits and of course, the requisite couples portraits. We missed their black lab, Ann!)

Here is a short video I created of all my favorites:

If you would like to book a session with me, feel free to contact me!

If you would like more information on this type of photography and what I am offering, click here!

e-Session request

  • e-Sessions are a special session and can take a long time to plan, execute and to deliver. Please choose the first date for your planning meeting.
 

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e-Sessions by SnowPro Photography

As I said in a previous post: “bear with me”. I hope the wait was worth it.

I have taken a little time away, both from the work-a-day world and from SnowPro to catch my breath. Upon my return to this country, I embarked on a different path. This is the path to explore the feminine and the strength and soul found within. Here is what I’ve discovered so far.

Classic Lauren
Classic Lauren

What is “e”?

Elegant. Enchanting. Exquisite. Exclusive.

I am calling these sessions “e-Sessions by SnowPro” as a transitional identifying mark. What do I mean by e-Sessions? Its just a way to differentiate what I am creating today from my more commercial projects.  It may change in the future, or stay the same. (update: I have changed the name.) I don’t know yet.

Currently, I am a pretty laid back photographer – one to deliver proofing online for your viewing & ordering pleasure.  With this hands off approach, I never knew how my clients experienced the initial viewing. How the images were and are received and worst still, if they had any feedback (positive or negative) to offer. I was just a person to take their pictures. Sure, I tried to make the experience as pleasant as possible and to deliver prints at a level that delight. But at some point, the sessions were just fulfilling someone else’s ideas of quality. Not mine. Photography, and especially Portrait photography takes time and control which means planning. And this new style will take planning. And you, as my future client, will be very involved (see the ‘exclusive’ in the sub-title). By planning, we will create images that will not only capture your likeness at this time in your life, but also your being, especially if you bring someone else to experience this with you (husband, daughter, sibling, mother, partner or even your BFF).

The first meeting will be one where I get to meet you, to spend time with you discussing who and what you are. To see any “visual aids” you can think of to help me create for you. These can be a photo of your favorite dress, a page torn out of a magazine or even a pic on your phone. We will discuss the process and the expectations at length and leave with a schedule of the session day and the reveal day for you.

Each of the steps takes time.

Step 1. Estimate 1.5 hours for the planning session. This should be done at your place, so I can see your favorite dresses and we can really see what wardrobe we have to work with. I can offer ideas and get those creative juices flowing.

Step 2. Estimate 3-5 hours including Hair and Makeup.  This is done at the studio or another suitable place. The photography itself will take the least amount of time. But changing, talking,  . . .   well, the experience is more of a girls’ afternoon of snacks and dress-up. Remember those days? This can be as soon as the day after the planning meeting to as long as 2 weeks after the planning meeting.

Step 3. Reveal day! You (and your partner) will come to the studio to see the session favorites – completely retouched and finished. Printed and Matted. No more proofing online, no more submitting orders online wondering if the order went through. No more unanswered questions.

See? I’ve upped my game. I am promising to deliver portraits that defy the self image you hold. Images that you would be proud to hang on your wall, to pass down to your family and give to your friends.

Wow. That’s a lot. And I have a headache… but I am very excited. I will be reaching out to all those who have agreed to be my models in the next 2 weeks. I thought I would be ready to start the sessions this June, but it will have to be in July.

Download the e-Sessions Welcome pdf here. It contains a bit more information and details.

Thanks!

 

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“Something’s happening here …”

Texas Bluebonnet peeping
Texas Bluebonnet peeping

Call it following my heart. Call it changing focus. Call it the call of the wild. What ever you call it, SnowPro is changing. 

When Bryan and I take road trips, (and we have taken several in the past 3 years) we talk & talk. One of the reasons why we are still together after 30+ years. We always have something to say. During our trek to Yosemite, he mentioned that the spark was gone from my eye for photography. Apparently, I used to get so excited designing lighting or if I would be able to manipulate the existing light that would help illustrate a client’s concept. I thought hard about that statement and I agreed. He asked why? What would bring it back? We talked about the subjects that excite me. Traveling, flowers, spring time, strength and consistancy. We were working on our macro floral project at the time, and we talked at length about that since it was in the working stages and is exciting and frustrating at the same time. I realized that consistency of my own vision was gone because I was always concentrating of creating someone else’s vision!

So we talked about changing the direction of SnowPro. Not that I didn’t enjoy the work I received (I did) or that it wasn’t rewarding (it was). I just felt there might be something more. Something that I had forgotten in my press to make a living. I felt that “something” was a deeper connection to the photography I was creating. As a commercial photographer, I never had a dog in the fight. I brought the tools and the know how, my clients brought the spark of inspiration and concepts. Sometimes it was conceptual or illustrative,  sometimes I simply captured what was in front of me without added art direction. But in reality, I had no “dog in the fight”.

Examples where I captured great images for someone else’s vision.

One of the other things that I felt strongly about is the apparent (to me anyway) loss of strong and feminine archetypes. Not strength via the body building type and not uber passivity, but the strength illustrated in some of the ancient, yet iconic mythologies of women. You may love her or hate her; but Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent was perfect. Those characteristics of being nurturing, providing safety, but yet, don’t F– with me, all rolled into one.

I have always drawn women. I have found the curves that are inherent within a female form easier to draw than the more angular masculine. I think that may be because I never studies life drawing more than what was required for my Graphic Design degree. Men simply mystified me. (Shocking but true). A woman’s face, the openness and the softness, the depth of spirit are simply easier for me to understand. Unfortunately, I stopped drawing altogether when I became a mother 27 years ago. Stopping was not a bad thing as doing a finished graphite fine art portrait was an emotional journey for me, and I had to place my creative energy, life and soul into moulding and guiding a tiny life! (Altogether a very gratifying experience – one that doing a fine art portrait pales in comparison too!) Simply put, I don’t think I had the stamina to keep it up.

Now that small life is a secure, talented, amazing young adult, I can turn myself back to my first desires. To illustrate and to create portraits of strong, archetypal women who may or may not be REAL women. BUT, make no mistake, the “models” I want to use are real women; my neighbors, my past colleagues, my past clients; I want to create soft yet strong, soulful and heartfelt fine art portraits of my amazing family, friends and future clients.

I am using our upcoming “road-trip” as a break to reset my mind and soul. To renew and refresh myself and to gather inspiration from the sights in Venice, Florence and Rome, as its a new way of photographing people for me in general (aka: going back to the basics and accomplish a complete new mindset for me) and in May complete a minor retooling of the studio and equipment used to capture the components of each portrait. SnowPro will continue to create photography to support my current & future clients but I, personally, will be concentrating on creating these fine art portraits of women: mothers, daughters, friends, old and young throughout the summer. I hope to share some behind the scenes videos and share some works in progress as I continue to grow and stretch and learn.

And to be sure, Bryan has supported me, and continues to support me in these endeavors. While his focus has been and always will be astronomy, astrophotography and landscapes, he supports my renewed vision. He is and always has been an emotional rock and steadying hand when I needed one. Without him, this new chapter would not be possible. I ask that you bear with me, and accompany me on this journey.

If you would like to be one of my models (I need several more), contact me! 

Contact me

 

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A woman’s point of view

dawnport
my portrait, not smiling really big.

Last week, my company was tapped to help to create over 400 head shots. Kind of a cattle call situation. So, me and my second headed down to the convention center to set up for the two days. The first day, the four photogs worked side by side, with the queues lining up all around us. I wore my normal work clothes: a SnowPro shirt and slacks. Since I have to lug gear to and fro, handle the major set up, this is the safest and most practical. Safe to my modesty and practical because these things can be strenuous and sweaty.

The first day of shooting came and went. (Simply said, but I was exhausted.) The second day came. As I was choosing my clothes for the day, I thought I’d run an experiment. I wore a dress. Shocking for those of you who know me — but yes, I actually have legs! Anyway, something interesting happened. Midway through the second day shoot, I looked back at the queue and found mostly women. And then I started hearing women say: oh, look. A woman photographer! Let’s go to her. She’ll “KNOW.”

And indeed I do. Women of all ages need to have some special attention. I personally do NOT like to pose for photographs. “Oh, don’t smile that that!”  or  worse: “You look so pretty when you smile.” Well, maybe we don’t want to smile. Maybe, we are having a shitty day and it is not our job to make you feel better. Instead, it could be your “job” to share your smile with us to help us out. In addition to that tired old problem, a woman just knows what other women want to be featured and NOT featured. Hair smoothed, colors correct, all buttons closed, no gaps … Not all  “out there.”  You know what I mean.

 I did more women than men that day.  Just something I’ve been thinking about.