THINGS TO KNOW IF YOU WERE MY BFF

  • I lived in Tokyo for 2 years teaching bellydance - and I was a professional bellydancer for 10 years.
  • I have an obsession for buying tea, carrots and pickles.
  • I like traditions, rituals and daily routine. 
  • I was a punk rocker as a teenager, it was my outward creative expressionism and a method to combat my shyness.
  • I collect journals. Every new journal is a chance at a new start, problem is.. I keep starting and then buying a shiny new one that attracts my attention. Now I have too many.
  • I wear my heart on my sleeve and I have always taken in every stray animal that crossed my path.
  • I love fairy tales and mythology. I spent most of my childhood wandering in the woods looking for elves - and wanting to be one!
  • I love marshmallow sundaes with chocolate ice cream.
  • OK. I STILL want to be an elf.........

DO YOU HATE BEING PHOTOGRAPHED?

A few years ago a couple was sitting in my studio making plans for their engagement session. The groom looked at me and said, "Kristin, I hate being photographed. I have never liked myself in photographs. Wait. There was one. I was FIVE." 

I smiled and assured him that I would take good care of him, and that I can change his opinion of himself.

The day arrived for their session and you could tell that he was only there because he loved his fiance. It was evident that there were other things he wished he could have been doing that day. By the end of the day however, they were laughing and enjoying themselves and they seemed so relaxed. They said they appreciated having time to just be together and not think about wedding planning.

Two weeks later their images were delivered and I received several compliments.

Their wedding day arrived very quickly after that. While we were discussing how the day would unfold photographically the groom stopped and looked at me very intently. I was expecting to hear how I would only be given 10 minutes to create portraits. The groom said, "Kristin, I have told everyone to listen to YOU. You go wherever you want, you do whatever you need to do. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I was with the photographs you took. You are the one vendor that I have complete confidence in on the wedding day."

I was so happy to hear that. It is what I strive for, to be one less thing you need to stress over. 

And I have a confession now. I dislike being photographed also. I rarely enjoy seeing myself in photographs. I do enjoy being on the other side! I like to think that it's my empathy to the situation that helps me to put others at ease in front of the camera. I have spent years paying attention to the techniques and tricks that have helped ME feel more relaxed in front of the camera. I have created my own magic formula, along with a compassionate and friendly personality to help my clients feel better and in so doing, to actually ENJOY the process. 

I haven't let anyone down yet. Even better, they have all LIKED their photos too!

And here is my secret for success on your wedding day: treat EVERYONE with the same empathy and nurturing compassion. When you, your family/bridal party and your guests are comfortable and happy, it translates into meaningful images that you will all feel good about.

I BELIEVE

  • I believe that less time on our hands means that we have fewer windows into a world of wonder. Take the time to look for those awe-inspiring moments whenever you can.
  • There is magic in the world if one can stop to look for it. If you cannot see the magic, make it. Even better, make it for someone else.
  • Your stories need to be told. Tell your story without the fear of who may hear it.
  • Fear and ignorance breed contempt. 
  • Having a fantasy world to escape into is often a refuge from the daily realities of living in New York City. 
  • Do what you love and do it your own way. Be true to yourself.
  • Creativity requires perseverance and training just like any athlete who strives to keep their body in top form.
  • I believe that photography holds great power and with power comes responsibility to use it wisely.
  • I believe there are often too many voices and not enough ears. Knowing that you have been heard is a great thing.
  • I want to live in a world where there is still uncharted territory to discover. Children should experience the excitement that comes from finding a fossil in the ground at their feet.

Daisy Dukes To An Orthodox Jewish Wedding?

In 2012 I found myself on a path I never would have expected. I found myself in a restaurant in Crown Heights, Brooklyn having tea across from a lovely young woman who happened to be Chassidic. What I thought was going to be a new experience of shooting religious weddings turned out to be a journey of discovery and serendipity, with the occasional miracle thrown in.

I wrote about my journey in a 5 part series on my blog. The series was shared from the US to Israel. I received so many wonderful comments and heard fabulous stories as a result of this series. 

One comment from a friend stood above all of them. The reason? Her comment addressed one of the exact reasons I chose to write so candidly about this journey

Her comment:

"I loved your piece on the Hasidic...besides learning a lot it changed a lot of my opinions that had been based on just one or two encounters. One of the things I always say to people who say they don't like "blacks" because they got mugged or somebody else they know got robbed, etc is that that's just anecdotal based on one or two experiences...I read your piece and felt embarrassed cause I realized I was guilty of the same thing."

In taking time to expand one's mind and to turn outward from the dark corners, we create the ability to brighten our world. The person you thought you didn't know suddenly becomes a fellow human being with similar ideas and desires that you recognize. 

And just like that, compassion and empathy can rise upwards.

You can read the series here:

Parts ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR and FIVE

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