A little more than 30 years ago I got bit by the camera bug. Bad. I took pictures of everything that moved and some things that didn't. Back then there wasn't much in the Bullhead area, and there certainly wasn't a quality professional portrait studio to create beautiful images of our local families. We grew together. And over the years we entered the homes of hundreds and hundreds of people, as families all over Mohave County hung their work on their walls, passed out portraits of friends. and gave portraits to relatives.
I still remember the first time I walked into a client's home and saw a portrait I had created for them proudly displayed on their wall...WOW!!! i learned my first real lesson in professional photography: the gratification that comes from a client's appreciating and cherishing your work.
And the more I worked at creating these cherished images, the more I realized something kind of odd about the portrait process: that my portrait subjects had no idea what the images I was creating of them looked like as I snapped them! They stood or sat in front of my camera, trusting me and placing themselves in my hands, confident that I knew what I was doing and would give them something they loved. The nervousness and unease almost everyone feels in front of a camera is natural. You're handing over your soul to a total stranger and saying, "Here, make me look great!" I came to cherish that trust and faith that people put in me. It was a powerful realization, and one that inspires my work to this day. It was my second real lesson in photography.
My third lesson was a life-lesson also, as I saw I could not do everything by myself and still stay fresh and creative. Luckily I found Jan, who is perfectly in tune and creative herself. She has become the heart and soul of Camera Works Photography. Her love of people, especially children, shines in everything she does, and it's one of the things that makes our studio REALLY special.
Today everyone has a camera. And so everyone thinks they are a photographer. More than 30 years of experience has taught me better. It takes more than a camera to be a photographer.....