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THROUGH MY LENS
by Penelope Bent-Lippincott
I have been photographing women professionally all of my adult life. This year marks my Fortieth year in this industry; and needless to say, I am so very grateful for all the amazing women that I have shared this exciting experience with, and for all that I have learned.
My camera lens has been a very intimate and private doorway into the lives and the emotions of the women I have photographed; and I thank them all for trusting in this most intimate and creative process.
I began shooting in the late seventies and early eighties as a Boudoir Photographer and then on to Fashion as the years passed. Being one of the very few female shooters at the time allowed for a much more honest narrative and collaboration with my clients.
Through those early years, I learned how to angle and adjust my subject for that "Perfect Picture;" but more then that, I learned "Visual Design." I also learned about a woman's spirit, illusion, and light.
I learned the Art of a Woman's Individual Style and how her Style Transitions with age.
Here is what I learned Through My Lens.
PART 17 The Adventure
Travel has certainly been an exciting element required in a photography business; however, the greatest adventure has been the Job itself.
I remember the very day I informed my Father that I wanted to leave the security of my medical position to go into business for myself. My husband and I wanted to open a Photography Studio. My Father was horrified and proceeded to give me a laundry list as to why this was an absolutely terrible idea. Remember, this was in the 70's and women were just beginning to find their own voice. Needless to say, my timing could not have been any worse — I was pregnant with my only child! My family made it quite clear that there would not be any financial help, and so we were on our own.
But there was such a sense of adventure, of freedom, and of making our own way for better or for worse. Was it the two of us against the world? Or maybe it was the two of us against my Father — who knows. I loved it all! All of the details, location, specialty, name, etc. I remember when we were discussing the name. I thought to myself, I want a name that will sound great 30 years from now. Apparently, I was in for the long haul!
Long it has been, haul NEVER! I don't think there has been a day I did not leap out of bed to go to my job. Every day was exciting, new, and a true adventure.
When I review the last 40+ years, my biggest take away is my decision to always explore new waters and roads I have never traveled — to expand my work and keep it new and exciting and to try new concepts or ideas even with the nay sayers at my heels.
Through my lens I learned of new paths to explore and people to meet.
Even when the times got tough and they did, I learned to re-adjust our offering or our purpose. Never once did I consider throwing in the towel.
Regardless of all the obstacles, I can honestly say becoming a Professional Photographer was the best decision I have ever made and one that allowed me to live an endless life of adventure.