What It’s All About

You know, maybe a photographer shouldn’t admit this on his own web site, but being a photographer is not so easy. Creating a portrait for someone involves so much: knowing the technical aspects of your camera, understanding and controlling light, and then you have the person themselves: How to pose them to bring out their best? How to draw just the right expression from them? And though few photographers would want to admit this but, try as you might, you can never know in advance what a person is going to like or not, so being a photographer is a chancy business: you can bring your A-game to the shoot, and they still may not like what you have created for them. And that isn’t even beginning to detail all of the headaches that come with managing the finances of your business, keeping up with your equipment, staying on top of your sales and, hardest of all, marketing your business to draw in new clients. Now, I’m sure you didn’t visit my web site to read about my pity-party. After all, your life has more than its share of challenges, too. So what keeps me going in photography? Well, taking Brook Walker’s portrait is the kind of thing that keeps me going. I took her portrait on Mother’s Day weekend at the Broadmoor in Tulsa. She was a regal lady, everything about her exuded style and class. I took superb portraits, she declared them the best she had ever had taken. She placed a generous order,  mentioning that it had been decades since her last portrait. Then, while I was processing her order the next week, I received a heart-stopping call from her son in Arizona: Brook had died suddenly. They had no picture for her obituary. Could I email them the one I had taken? Of course I could, grateful that I had been in Brook’s life, even if but for a brief moment, to take a lovely portrait by which her family could treasure her memory by. Rest in peace, Brook, you are a class act—for people like you, and the privilege of knowing them, I’m glad to be a photographer.

Tom Launius