Photography creates and strengthens connections.
Not only do I believe this but I know it and experience it daily. My experience of this in the first few months of my son's life was one of the major driving forces behind my desire to become a baby, child and family photographer, and it continues to fuel my passion to work with families to capture true moments and create artwork they will treasure for a lifetime.
Yes, I'm still thinking about Dr. Hallowell's keynote at the Mommybites Summit where he spoke of his belief that connection is one of the key childhood roots of adult happiness. To be honest, I had not explicitly thought of baby, child and family photography in that context but it rang so true!
How does photography connect?
Well first there's the experience of taking the photograph itself. The photographer (parent, relative, friend or professional) connects with those that they photograph, and those being photographed connect with each other. Those are two powerful connective experiences right there.
But take it further - a good photograph captures and embodies that connective power so it can continue to be experienced for a lifetime and beyond. There's a reason most people have a favorite photo of their family on their desk at work. There's a reason people have family and personal photos in their home. Seeing those photos make you feel good. Seeing those photos strengthens your feelings of connectedness. Seeing those photos help you see yourself at your very best, a boost we can all use from time to time.
I'm a big propononent of personal photography. My advice to parents, especially new parents, is (amongst other things) "take lots of photos!" Obviously, I'm a big proponent of professional photography too. In my ideal world, everyone would have the opportunity to work with a professional photographer who can really create beautiful artwork.
Help-Portrait is a community of photographers brought together to use their photography skills to give back to their local community by taking portraits of people in need. The process?
1. Find someone in need
2. Take their portrait
3. Print their portrait
4. Deliver them
Too see just how powerful this process is, view this short video of one of the early Help-Portrait events:
I've been thinking about doing something like this for almost as long as I've been thinking about being a photographer, but I missed the first Help-Portrait event, and the next one isn't until December.
So instead, I'm creating my own event - on June 19th, 2010, I will be photographing 12-15 Baby Basics NYC families at a picnic that is being planned for them and I need your help. I'd like to give the families prints and products of the same quality that my clients get. I am more than willing to donate my time and resources, but need some help covering some of the costs.
I've also been planning on ways to expand my services and offerings to reach beyond those in the NYC area, so, with these two things in mind, I am very excited to announce that I am now selling fine art prints and products, and all proceeds from your purchases in the month of June will go towards the Baby Basics NYC portrait event! I am starting out with the acfp spring series but will be unveiling a new series every week this month! You can choose to have your prints matted, framed or mounted on a beautiful bamboo plank. This is your chance to get a little taste of the acfp experience and support a great cause. Alternatively, you can also make a direct donation.
Visit the store to find out more and make your purchase now!
nyc baby, child and family photographer alethea cheng fitzpatrick is based in brooklyn and specializes in contemporary, natural light portraiture. view her portfolio of babies, children or families or send her an e-mail here!