When I first got serious about photography many years ago I was into landscapes and architecture. Whenever I found the time I would go on a hunt for an image that meant something to me. I had a great time at it and had some minor success with my images by entering into exhibitions and even sold a few through an art dealer. I remember one day reading a quote on some photography blog that was something like "Everything that is worth photographing has already been photographed by someone". That concept really started to get to me in a surprisingly positive way. I started to look at the world and look for things that might not have been photographed by someone else and tried to make them interesting. That was fun for a while but then one day I stumbled upon this photographer named Danny Santos who photographed strangers at an outdoor mall and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Faces! Every single one of them are different. They all have a different story behind them. They are all interesting and fascinating. I started photographing people from that point on and I have never looked back.
Fast forward many years to last summer in June. I found myself face to face with the Ostranders, Julia and her mother Colette who was expecting another photographer, Jerry from whom my wife Jenni and I had recently acquired Blue Talon photography. Jerry had photographed another Ostrander in the past and we had failed to inform Colette of the change for one reason or another. Fortunately Mrs. Ostrander was a kind soul and decided to give me a shot with Julia but I was worried as we headed out. It turned out to be a day i will never forget. I spent the next 2 hours getting to know a wonderful young woman who was a bit shy in front of the camera but to me seemed so genuine and kind. As the time went on and she began to get a little more comfortable in front of the camera she all of the sudden give me something special. A look that would give the viewer just a peek at who she really was....
Now to the average viewer that shot might not mean much at first but if you look into her eyes for just a few moments you begin to get a sense of who she is.
True beauty isn't found in the body shape or the clothing or even the face. It's in the eyes and you have to really be looking for it and get around all of the other distractions. As people age most of the typical things that are attributed to beauty fade but the eyes, those windows to a persons soul stay virtually the same. If you were lucky enough to be able to look into Julia's eyes for a few moments say 60 years from now you will likely see the same beautiful person that gave me that look this past summer.
So the next time someone offers you a few moments to look into their eyes, take the time to look into them and you will see the true person behind them. I'm fortunate enough to be able to look into hundreds of windows a year. It's such a privilege, I never get tired of it and it's why I go to work every day!