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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.
Having been a Professional Photographer and Producer most of my life, I can really talk Events!
I could share some Wedding horror stories that would terrify any New Bride and definitely convince her parents to give her "The Cash" instead.
All kidding aside, I just love Events! I love Big! Even if I am having a quiet romantic dinner at home, I want it BIG! So let me clarify my BIG . . . I want it Relevant, Significant, Memorable. It's all in the details -- the setting of the stage, the mood, etc.
Events are important to our lives. Many signify a transition in life such as graduations or weddings. Others are events that we can create to fill our lives with grand experiences and cherished memories.
Whether you choose to create Big Events or Small Intimate ones, here are a few Tips & Tricks I have learned along the way.
1. Producing an Event is Always Personal. Remember that producing is a form of expression. It is very important to completely understand your reason for giving the Event. What tone or style feels right for you. Just that simple answer will drive your creative process and guide you along the way.
2. Who are the Players? Are you planning a Wedding Event for your daughter or is this a Graduation Party to launch your last bird out of the nest? If you are planning with others, communication is a MUST! You may be the
official hostess; however, and I know this is not an easy one, It's Not Your Party! Your job is to create a Perfect Fit, which is not always easy, but can be achieved flawlessly through great communication and asking the right questions.
3. Find your Perfect Venue. Venue is a real deal breaker for me. Does the venue match "the Feel" of the event? So much of my Production experience has been in the Fashion arena, which for the most part allowed the Dramatic & Daring. I learned very early on to study the work of the Fashion Designer I was featuring and then use my venue to drive home their Vision.
4. Keep it simple. Too many cooks in the kitchen can create havoc. Create your basic outline in your head and move from there. Gather data, ask opinions if necessary; but, when the idea is formulated DO NOT Deviate, stick to the plan. This will not only save you from frustrations but save you money in the long run.
5. Do your Make-up first! How funny is this, right? On the day of my daughter's wedding, professional model and my dear friend Frieda Dow insisted we shower, do our hair and make-up FIRST before we began the set-up and production process. I will tell you it is the best advice I have ever received.
Make it an Event Filled Summer!