This word has been a cornerstone of my mindset and philosophy lately. In my life and my work, I crave something real continuously. Real is beautiful in it’s own way- so much more deeply beautiful than surface-level pretty. I desire the genuinely beautiful things in life- even when they’re gritty and raw. Authenticity in how I interact on a daily basis and how I see people is so important to me. In a world where most people are not genuine and honest, where fronts are put on and perception and looks are held in the highest esteem, I believe that authenticity must begin in the heart of an individual. We can choose to be real and open and to live our lives this way, and people will notice because they simply aren’t used to it.

I wrote this week for Shutter Sisters about authenticity in photography, and connecting with the people I photograph in a real way. Allowing myself to be opening to those genuine connections with the people in front of my camera creates images with more substance that are a more real reflections of who they are. It also allows my relationship with that person to go beyond “client-photographer” to “friends”, and that is such a precious gift.

Being our real and open selves in all our interactions- not only photography- can spur something amazing in our lives. Seeing the value and humanness in each individual- allowing ourselves to see them as a person worth acknowledging- is so very beautiful. Some of the very best conversations I’ve ever had with strangers have come as a result of forcing myself out of my own self-focused little world and really seeing the person, and being open to a connection with them.

Somewhat unrelated- or maybe not- here's some personal work I shot this weekend, walking by the water on a gloriously overcast day. Even when I'm shooting inanimate things, I am always trying to open myself to seeing differently- to seeing what is real and so often missed.

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