Lusterity is an amazing local company headed by two wonderfully conscientious and innovative women, Marie Zemler Wu and Sierra Rothberg. Lusterity is small community oriented business that serves as a one stop brand for socially conscious celebrations. Marie and Sierra have been incredibly supportive of my career ambitions, and kindly invited me to be a part of their flagship "Make it Matter" event, an all day holiday festival hosting Lusterity's diverse network of small businesses, including children musicians, jewelers, florists and bakers! With the holidays fast approaching, I served as an on site photographer and shot mini portrait sessions for families.
The day itself was a blast, but had several challenges that i would need to quickly adapt to and learn from. The first, and most obvious, was that it was pretty nippy. Located at the Boston Winery in the Port Norfolk neighborhood of Dorchester, the trail along the water served as a wonderful path for our shoot. It had everything I love to shoot against: Beautiful leading lines, wonderful shapes in the distance, the Boston skyline, a Gazebo!! It was perfect. But it was also cold.
Our first clients had most chill one month old on the planet. Seriously, the baby was just cool! However with the blustering winds of the morning, a 45 minute session along the water wasn't going to work. Luckily, across the way from the Lusterity event at The Boston Winery is another local gem, Venezia. Venezia is one of Dorchester's long standing institutions. A beautiful space that offers everything from fine dining to breath taking weddings and events. Their General Manager, Brenda Bruno, very kindly allowed us to shoot our session inside the lobby of the restaurant, saving us the a need to reschedule.
An important lesson I took from this event, is that it will not always be this easy. I lucked up big time with Brenda's kindness and willingness to help. However, planning around small children and weather patterns is as essential to photography as knowing what shutter speed and f/stop to be at. Also essential, is knowing how and when to take control, and when to have fun. Families are expecting the photographer to take the lead on directions: poses, when to smile, how to position their hands, their bodies, etc. Unless you are working with trained actors, the absence of cues can lead to very stiff looking photos. When working with kids, I'm learning the importance of figuring out early what makes them laugh. As I am not a professional comic, parents a great starting point for these kinds of insights. However, with most four year-olds, I have learned that nothing is quite as funny as the phrase "poopy diapers." Seriously, it doesn't get old!
Another important lesson: get an assistant. They do not have to be a trained photographer either. But someone who can pay close attention to you and both give and take direction well. On this day, I was lucky enough to be assisted by the best sister on the planet. Because she knows me well, and because I trust her, the feedback she was able to provide about my communication, my pacing and my strengths was invaluable. As the day went on, I gained more confidence and comfort in what I was doing and eased into my style.
Lusterity's Make it Matter Event was a huge milestone not just for this year, but on my journey of finding my creative voice and passion. If you have an event coming up, please check out their website and services. Marie and Sierra are gems.