As a Calgary Professional Photographer, I understand being camera shy. I developed the syndrome from my annual school photos that seemed to amplify every flaw, especially my teenage acne and certainly did nothing to bring out my beauty or personality. I learned the power of the camera from that experience and from the experience of being photographed by one of North America's top Portrait Photographers, the late Darton Drake. Darton had an ability to see light and to use it to enhance the features of those he photographed. He was also the first Master Photographer that I studied under and one of the last.
I understand the vulnerability that one feels in front of the lens. I know the power a photographer has and I take that power very seriously. I set aside time prior to my clients even committing to having a portrait taken to get to know them. I also limit the number of sessions I do to one per day. I never have someone nervously waiting for their sitting nor being hurried out the door with another client waiting.
I know that more happens in my camera room, or in the following case, outside under a tree, than just taking pictures. The following was an impromptu portrait that changed a life. This is Syl Vie and I saw a photo of her on facebook. She was wearing a bathing suit, standing in a pool & looking towards the camera, fully aware of being photographed and standing in her power. I commented on how proud I was to see her putting herself in front of the lens.
"Do you remember that day at Satyen's house -- dear Shelley Vandervelde, I had sheepishly asked you to take a photo of me and I put my faith in you. I hated my body and the thought of a picture of myself. I needed a head shot for my skype account --- you are so amazing and I immediately felt comfortable. No make up, no made up hair --- oh natural --- Was so wonderful !!! I felt my whole being had been captured. Thank you --- yes that day was definitely a pivotal moment for me. LOVE YOU sweet sister!!"