Inspiration from a friend:
I recently had the pleasure of spending a beautiful day in Connecticut photographing my dear friend Laurie Klein’s son’s wedding. If I am known as the “King of Infrared” photography, I would certainly give the title “Queen of Infrared,” to Laurie. Her work is amazing and several of her images are some of my all-time favorites. Her new book Photographing The Female Form With Digital Infrared just came out last week, you can find it for sale here.
As we arrived at the hotel early that morning, Laurie handed me a wrapped present. Upon opening, I was thrilled to see an image that won first place in the Departures Photography Contest that I judged! I did not know it was her image until the award was given.
Art Imitates Art:
While making maternity images the day after I opened the gift, I decided to do a little R & D…not research and development, rip off and duplicate! After a few studio portraits we ended up in the garage, where many of my best portraits are made.
We laid the framed portrait next to the sofa that the subject was resting on to create the image titled, “Tummy Time.”
One of my new favorite toys is the Westcott EyeLighter, it’s like 4 reflectors in one, wrapping the light completely around the subject.
The portrait works so well as it has an uncluttered simplicity that I strive for in much of my work.
The next image was equally special with the subject looking toward the daylight in a soft, confident manor. Everything that we do in classical portraiture is encompassed in this striking image. She is positioned in the feminine pose. Notice her right shoulder is lower than her left and she is turning and tipping her head to the higher shoulder. The camera position is just between profile and 2/3 view of the face on purpose, as the profile on many Asian faces is not as flattering as the 2/3view in my opinion. The image is vignetted to draw the viewer the tummy, as well as the beauty of the women anticipating the birth of her first child.
One glance at the link above and you will see that Susan Swartz is a very special person. Susan is one of the most talented artists in the country, with her abstract landscape paintings gaining praise from some of the most admired critiques in the business. Her work is in museums across the country and abroad. Susan’s new work is simple, pure, and makes powerful statements of a spiritual nature.
This portrait is one of my favorites from our session. It is a one light high key technique that I have perfected, with an accent light added to camera left giving me the edge I needed. This technique is usually reserved for fashion or editorial images but towards the end of our session I knew it was the perfect one to use. I know this was a move from the Holy Spirit. Susan and I have always had a spiritual connection and this portrait speaks volumes of that connection. Susan signs every painting with GTG just under her name..Glory to God.
I was the chosen photographer for Susan’s beautiful daughter’s Karen and Kristin’s wedding nuptials, the first in Princeton, N.J. and the second on the mountain top in Upper Deer Valley, Park City Utah. We have crossed paths with our trips to Utah, so we were thrilled to get the call when Susan had her solo exhibition, Seasons of the Soul, at the Metropolitan Museum of the Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.
A Night at the Museum
Susan and her biggest fan and husband Jim Swartz.
These are a few of the featured paintings from the Seasons of the Soul event in Washington, D.C. Susan paints from studios in Park City, Utah and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Her exhibition BREATH OF NATURE at Belgravia Gallery in Mayfair, London ran from October 22 to November 24, 2012. She will be showing for the third year in Palm Beach at the American International Fine Arts Fair, February 6-10, 2013. Her other great passion is to spend time with her husband, their three children and nine grandchildren.