Don’t EVER, EVER, EVER give up on your dreams!
January 29, 1986 will always be one of the (many) best days of my life. Two long time dreams were realized.
When I first saw the Concorde fly into JFK in 1977 I fell in love with it… it was so sleek and so beautiful and so fast.. supersonic fast… it was the most beautiful plane I had ever seen in the sky. I lived near JFK airport, and would hear it come and go, and would always run to see it.
I hoped that one day I would fly on it.. it was a crazy dream.
I was working in retail sales at the time, in a big beautiful store with great natural light. I often found myself “photographing” people in my mind.. I wanted to be a photographer, but when I used a camera, I knew I needed to learn so much.
I quit my job, and began school for photography in 1977 hoping to one day, become a photographer… It had been a dream for years, and if you saw the first print I ever made in the darkroom, you would understand why it was a crazy dream.
After a few years of studying , lighting, darkroom, and everything photography, I knew I only wanted to photograph people, but I had a dilemma, I loved portraits in natural light, but not the studio. I didn’t like the way people looked when they were posed and sitting in one place, they didn’t look as “real” as they did in person.. Portaits were “supposed” to be done in the studio.
I had a huge dilemma when I finished school.
I didn’t know what to do, so I put my cameras away, and went to work for New York Airlines, and then Club Med. I lived in Mexico, Martinique and Haiti and had a great life full of people, stunning sunset and beautiful beaches.
In Haiti, I was invited into people’s homes, with my cameras. It was magnificent to see where my new friends lived, see what they were most proud of, meet their families, hear their dreams. I loved photographing “people”… capturing the joy, the life, the curiosity in everyone, using only the camera and the natural light of the day.
I knew it was time to pick up the camera again, and I left for New York City a few months later to become a portrait photographer.
I started photographing people the way I saw them… not the way I was taught, or the way everyone else was doing it… I wanted to capture “the person” in front of me.
Jerry Silverhardt was a fabulous manager in NYC at the time, and loved my work. I photographed an actor often, who was his client, and his words of encouragement, made me want to photograph actors.
On January 29th, 1986 my first ad came out in Backstage to photograph actors.
29 Years ago today… 29 fabulous years watching so many other peoples dreams come true!
I still thank Jerry Silverhardt every day… his encouragement was all I needed to photograph people the way I saw them. Jerry had a great eye for talent, his clients were brilliant actors that were quickly becoming stars, and he recommended me to his clients, and they recommended me to their friends… even today, when I am photographing someone, the road often leads back to Jerry!
Today I photographed Chris Fischer. I first photographed Chris about 10 years ago. Chris is still using the photographs we shot, they are timeless, they represent who he is!
What a honor to hear Chris tell me that, especially today!!
I often photograph people I first photographed 29 years ago, and over the years since. They are more beautiful and fabulous every time I see them, and I am honored when they tell me “I captured them”. I have met and photographed a few thousand people, and every person has made my life and career what it is..
Yes… I love photographing people as much today as I did in 1986… my dream came true!
back to the Concorde …
The universe just happened to give me another dream come true that day… I was in London, and I flew home on the Concorde the day my first ad came out in Backstage!
Today, I realized both dreams began in 1977… and were realized in 1986..
9 years later… on the very same day… Jan 29, 1986 2 “impossible” dreams came true,
don’t EVER, EVER, EVER give up on your dreams!
(and even if you say it quietly, up to the sky, Thank everyone that you meet along the way)
Thank you Jerry Silverhardt, Thank you HL, and Thank you Universe, for giving me both dreams on the same day, and giving me a great story to share, when people are doubting their dreams!)