While many creatives are thought to be simply ‘blessed’ or ‘lucky’ to have the ability to hone into that artistic gene, a little known fact about us is that behind the brush, pencil, or lens and deeply pitted behind the scenes is a constant feed of education. Surprised?
Certainly education comes in all forms (thank goodness) and while the internet, combined with social media, has provided incredible avenues to easily and affordably access a way to learn, being side by side another professional in the field is invaluable on many levels.
I greatly miss the days of being in the SCAD classrooms, listening to a wide range of perspectives on how to improve, feeling the energy of a small room barely able to contain so much artistic energy from a handful of people, and being continuously challenged to push my skills to a higher level.
In June I had an incredible opportunity to personally mentor next to a Photographer who has inspired, educated, and pushed me over the internet the last several years, Julia Kelleher of Jewel Images, Inc. A jam packed 36 hours in Bend, Oregon with Julia, Beth, and Belinda (the lovely ladies behind the newborn and maternity images adored by many) proved to be even more valued than I had hoped.
Each and every step I take when working with my sweet clients, especially their newest bundle of joy, is a dance I’m constantly working to perfect between creativity, skill, and professionalism. While I understand why there may be a misconception with Photographers that there isn’t much more to simply picking up the best camera within arms reach and simply clicking the shutter, I take pride in sharing with my clients through their experience with me that I’m trained to do so much more than that.
Over many moves and many workplaces (#MilitaryLife), I’ve been so fortunate to have picked up part of my skills with ‘on the job training’ from being a makeup artist for mannequins to working at the headquarters of Careerbuilder, all in addition to my formal education. I know with every job, there was an aspect of others outside of the position not always knowing the ins and outs of what truly when into a days work (have you ever been asked, ‘Honey, what do you do all day?’).
I certainly don’t expect - or even want - you to know the fine details and training that go into your time with me. What I want is to feel confident that I am providing you the greatest service and product I can. More important than that, I want you to feel that I cared so much more about preserving your memories than just picking up a camera and clicking the shutter.
Thank you again to the women behind Jewel Images for being another important piece to my development and allowing me to create the heirlooms of your memories. I look forward to showing you what I have gained from this experience with Julia Keller in many sessions to come.
Teresa Robertson is a Photography-degree, award-winning, published Photographer specializing in all things women & birth. Maternity, Birth, Newborn, Children, or Family, she proudly serves multiple locations, including D.C., Atlanta, Michigan, Orlando, and Oahu. Her Fine Art series ‘Mele Ma’i: Procreation Chants’ can be found here. For information on Bereavement Photography, please visit Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep