in my line of work (you know, self-employed maker/designer/teacher/writer/farmer) i am often asked to provide a bio and photo to give a little background on who i am. the bio is no problem; i have one that i use as a base that i can tailor to suit the particular class, venue or article it accompanies. up until recently though, the photo was the trickier part. i’d sort through my files, looking for any random pic in which i wasn’t blinking, laughing so hard you could see up my nose and down my throat, or having a terrible hair day. hoping for a photo that actually encapsulated who i am and what i do was beyond the scope of possibility; i really just looked for the least embarrassing snapshot i could find. and once i settled on something and sent it off, i’d make a mental note to try to take some useful shots to avoid repeating the scenario. ahem.
enter thea coughlin. i met thea 2 years ago, at the place where i’ve met many of my most favorite creative souls: squam, of course! thea is a photographer who has built a career doing gorgeous portraits of families and children. and because she’s one of my squam sisters, i’ve seen her photographs of several lovely people i know, some who claim to have absolutely no ease in front of the camera. yet in these photos, they are shining. glowing. radiantly expressing their true, creative, confident selves. clearly, this photographer has a gift, i thought, that she can bring out the inner creative spirit we all have inside of us. so when thea told me she was developing a new style of portrait session, visiting artists and creative professionals in their own spaces and shooting them doing what they love, i knew this was the answer to my dreams! she calls them “spirit sessions”.
we had a fabulous time, and the hours felt like minutes. it was like having your best girlfriend over for a tea party, then playing beauty parlor and dress-up. i was worried that i’d feel nervous and awkward, but forgot about my fears the moment thea arrived. and i love the pictures. i feel like they look like ME. now, when asked for a photo, it’s a joy to select which one to send. and knowing that for many prospective students, readers, or clients, one of these photos will be part of their first impression of who i am, is so comforting.
if you are a creative business person, you know that shaping your visual presentation, your image, is all-important. i don’t think there’s any more i can say about how thrilled i am to have thea’s photos representing me. the pictures really say it all! read about thea’s account of our session and have a look at some of the other lovely souls and stories whose spirit she has captured. if you are coming to the Spring or Fall session of Squam this year, you’ll have the pleasure of meeting this talented woman yourself, and if you’re VERY lucky, you’re already enrolled in one of her sold-out workshops.
THANK YOU THEA!!!