Meant to share this with you sooner. Either way, here's an interview that was recently posted to the White or Ivory blog to help local photographers select THE wedding photographer for them based on personality and shooting style. For the full post and interviews with other photographers, visit White or Ivory.
Name: Lauren Richwine
Check her out: on Facebook, or on the Portrait of a Lady website.
Focus: Female portraiture and women's issues photography
Addicted to: Burt's Bees Toffee Lip Shimmer
Movies that inspire you: The Fountain, Jane Eyre (2011 version), Finding Neverland, Peaceful Warrior
The world needs more: Authenticity
Photographers who inspire you: Anne Brigman and Brenda Stumpf (among others)
Words you would use to describe your work: earthy, passionate, resplendent
How do you define a fantastic photograph? Movement and stillness. A quiet image can be profoundly moving and an image full of movement has the potential to settle something in our hearts. I love a bit of wildness (or a lot of it!) and bringing out the ethereal beauty that we all, as women, innately possess.
What can clients expect from your wedding photography? I believe that committing your life to another human being is one of the most sacred decisions we can make with the time we're given. If ever there were a day to have amazing photos taken it's definitely your wedding day! At every wedding I not only photograph the big and small moments, but work with the couple to create images of lasting romance and devotion. I'll cover the traditional family shots and your girlfriends getting crazy on the dance floor all day long, but it's the "fine art" shots that my heart is after. I'll know your style and the unique nature of your love story well before the wedding day (each of my wedding packages includes an engagement session) which means your photos will reflect more of you and your essence as a couple.
Advice for brides? Know yourself. What really makes photographs communicate on a deeper level is what you yourself carry within. I've worked with women in less than ideal settings for 20-30 minutes and come away with amazing images, but spent 2-3 hours with a woman in a perfect setting only to have the images feel like they lacked something. That something is authenticity and a beautiful spirit. Don't overwork yourself trying to be "original." None of us is truly original. We're each a combination of other people and things that have influenced us. Be grateful for those influences, acknowledge them, then celebrate yourself. Like the bride I photographed who danced with her love barefoot on a rainy beach, let yourself go. I'll take care of the rest.
Wow... considering that I have a 10 month old baby sleeping at the moment it's probably too late for me to be writing about something this, well, deep. (I know, I know, 10:30 is LATE for us hardworking, baby raising parents) I'm gonna do it anyway.
Do you remember The Passion of the Christ? I can't figure out how this got by me but it smacked me in the face the other day when I was having a simple conversation. In the film Satan is portrayed as a woman. Granted she is an androgynous woman with a masculine voice but none the less, there it is. Satan as female. How about The Shack? Did you read that? In case you didn't, I'll get you up to speed. Suffice it to say that God is portrayed as a large black woman who loves music and spends large amounts of time in the kitchen cooking. The Holy Spirit is also portrayed as a female, more specifically of the slender, Asian, watercolor variety. Pastors and theologians were in an uproar over this thing and denounced the book cover to cover based on the concept of God as a woman.
Where were these passionate naysayers when the ultimate symbol of evil was cast in the same form? There are plenty of blogs and articles discussing it, but I can't find anyone who brought to light the imbalance. How can it be acceptable to portray ultimate evil as feminine and not ultimate good? I believe that the Creator is beyond gender but that we do ourselves a disservice when we limit our understanding of that creator to masculine labels and concepts.
Sue Monk Kidd, author (and one of my greatest personal sources of inspiration) of several books including The Secret Life of Bees wrote at length in The Dance of the Dissident Daughter about our cultural/spiritual tendency to associate woman with the earth and flesh. In her own words: "Women with their incessant menstruation, conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and lactation have been too visceral for patriarchal religion. As celibacy became the spiritual ideal in Christianity, men were cast as spiritual and women as sexual. Women were seen as the temptress, the femme fatale, who lured "good" men into the evils of the flesh."
As theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether stated, "Christianity became a body-fleeing, world negating spirituality that projected upon the female all its abhorrence, hostility, and fear of the bodily powers." Case in point: you get looks and glances (and sometimes outright confrontation) when you breastfeed in public here. Breastfeed publicly in a less "spiritualized" third world country and you might be in the minority if you cover your breasts at all when you are done! People groups around the world are much more comfortable with their flesh than we Westerners are. Part of our challenge is not losing that deep connection even as we spend so much energy on the development of spiritual and mental processes.
In closing, I think it's fascinating that Mel Gibson chose to depict Satan this way. It's certainly chilling in a way that no other portrayal manages to match. I'd love to see our culture embrace the same open mind when it comes to understanding the nature of God though. Off to bed with me now, I've got a baby to chase in the morning!
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