The Power of Portraits
One of the most common questions I get is how I came to be a portrait photographer. It certainly has been an interesting journey that got me to where I am today, but the better question to answer is why I became a portrait photographer. Allow me to tell you about my journey so that you can understand why I photograph people for a living, and maybe you will see just how important it is to get photographed yourself.
After I graduated high school in Mesquite, I joined the Marine Corps. While serving, I met my wife, who is also a Marine, and we started our family together. When we had both finished our time of service, we moved back here to Mesquite so I could join my father in the family business. I sold life and health insurance for 10 years, all the while, my love for art and creativity was growing inside me. My free time became consumed with drawing, painting, and photography. I finally reached a point where I couldn’t let my creative spirit die away to the mundane life of filling out insurance applications. So, in 2016 I decided the time had come and I told my parents I wanted out of the business. That certainly was not easy, and I truly do miss working with them on a daily basis, but I finally felt that I was heading down the path of using the talents God has blessed me with.
At the time, I didn’t have a solid plan as to what I was going to do. Initially, I thought I would just take on whatever painting, drawing, graphic design, and photography commission work I could get, and pray that enough steady work could keep my family fed. Everything changed when I came across a woman who would eventually become my mentor, Sue Bryce. Sue is one of the top portrait photographers in the world, and an amazing teacher as well. You see, Sue is one of those charismatic people who draws you in with their authenticity and true passion for what they do. Sue has taught me so much that it’s hard to put into words. I’ve learned not only the technical aspects of my style of portraits, but she also taught me how to make a sustainable business model and showed me that it is possible to make a living in this industry. But the most important thing Sue has helped me realize is the importance of what I do.
People have differing reasons for getting their portrait taken. Some do it to commemorate a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary. Some will have their family’s portraits taken so they can have something to remember each stage of their lives. Others will take portraits so that they can leave a legacy to their loved ones. And some have their portraits taken as a way of discovering themselves, either for the first time, or as a way of reconnecting with the person they used to be. I see this often with mothers whose lives have been so centered around their family that they have forgotten just how beautiful and special they themselves are. Also, a lot of moms, my own included, realize that they have been behind the camera for all those family vacation photos and there is a period of their lives where they don’t exist in the photos.
Whatever your reason might be for having your portrait taken, the most important thing to remember is: Don’t Wait! Life is short. Ask any widow or widower what they cherish most, and they will almost certainly point to a photo of their spouse. You don’t know when the time will come for you or your loved ones to leave this earth. Don’t be left with regret, wishing that you had taken the time to get beautiful photos to remember them by. Leave your legacy for your loved ones to cherish long after you are gone.
So, now you can see that while leaving my family’s business was very difficult and took a lot of faith, it’s easy to see why I was compelled. I am honored to capture people for all time. Please allow me the privilege of giving you family portraits that will be treasured for generations. You can contact me by phone at (702) 706-3784, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through my website at ronbirdportraits.com. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram at ronbirdportraits.