Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What do you 'Major' in?

Do you remember when you were finishing high school and the whole world seemed open to you?  I remember feeling such power and excitement with the tremendous opportunities that I knew were out there waiting for me!  I also remember feeling utter fear and anxiety knowing how many opportunities were out there, waiting for me.  How does a person know what the right path is?  How can you know, deep in your soul, that you have a calling to do one, very specific thing?  Truth is I think the majority can relate to my experience and a very lucky few know exactly what they want.

I’ve always known that I wanted to be in a service oriented role…that is the schooling I pursued, and every job I’ve ever had has centered around it.  I’ve enjoyed every employ I’ve had, but they’ve never felt like ‘me’.  I never was passionate about admin, or HR, or sound masking.  I liked my roles but they didn’t fulfill me on a deeper level.

Photography has been a love of mine for nearly my entire life; it was such an early interest that my pop, whom also loved taking pictures, gifted me with an Ansco Kadet camera when I was 6 or 7.  I’ve always been drawn to photography but I lacked the confidence, in myself and in my creativity, to truly pursue it.

After I’d had my two children, I slowly started to care less about failing and more about pursuing my interests and dreams.  My husband surprised me with my first digital SLR in October of 2007, and I knew it was time to get serious about learning the art and technical aspects of good photography.  I had cute babies to practice on and a yearning to find something of my own, amidst the chaos of motherhood and homemaking.

In 2009 I started Bella Faccia Photography (‘Bella Faccia’ is ‘Beautiful Face’ in Italian) and, with my stomach in knots, I told people that I was going to pursue photography professionally.  GULP.  Over the past four years I have completed my Certificate of Photography at SAIT, I’ve attended multiple workshops, seminars, lectures, and I’ve shot almost every type of portraiture job you can imagine.  It has been an amazing three years and I feel utterly blessed! 

As amazing as the past few years have been; I did feel a little lost.  Each client and job presented new challenges, which is great, but I tended to feel a little behind the eight ball.  I spent hours (days probably) agonizing over where to shoot the engagement pics, how to light the newborn, or how to eliminate the specular highlights on a ceramic apple…it’s been fun and I’ve learned A LOT, but I also felt like I was becoming a jack of all trades and master of none.  This isn’t to say that a person can’t be good at multiple genres, of course there are people who blow me away…but I have come to realize that I like feeling really well prepared.  I couldn’t put my finger on it but, in hindsight, I was ready to get out of General Studies and start Majoring in something.

In October of 2010, I shot a job that I then referred to as a ‘form shoot’ – it wasn’t boudoir, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it should be called.  I really enjoyed the process of working with one person, a woman, with whom I could direct, collaborate, laugh, joke, encourage…it was an amazing experience and what really solidified things for me was how happy my client was.  She ended up purchasing a 30x40 acrylic-mounted piece for her home…AWESOME!  I went on to shoot a few nude/nearly nude maternity sessions and was even more drawn to this genre, and this clientele.

In the fall of 2011 I began the process of building a home studio.  I wanted to have my own space: to shoot in, to practice in, to have a little gallery in, etc.  During this same time I really started to think seriously about shooting more women and then, recently, it dawned on me: I don’t have to be a generalist, I can pursue what I feel the most connected to.  I love every aspect of working one on one with women.  I love collaborating and I love the excitement in the room.  I love that there is music playing. I love that my client is feeling her most glamorous with her hair and makeup done.  I love that she is as committed as I am to getting GREAT shots.  I love that she has invested in herself for that day – no laundry, no fighting kids, just HER looking beautiful, playing 'cover girl' for the day! I just love the whole thing! 

I’ve blogged about my own experience posing for a nude shoot and how incredibly empowering the experience was – not just that day, but in a profound, life altering way.  I simply can’t imagine a better, more uplifting experience for a woman than to invest in herself…to beautify (spray tans are a pain in the ass but MAN do they make you feel like a million bucks), to feel encouraged to drink a little more water, to treat her skin a little better, to hold her shoulders back a little more and her head a little higher, to recognize that it’s a good thing to celebrate the ‘here and now’, and to know that the day, the experience, and the result are all about her innate beauty and strength.   Ladies, I am speaking to you and it ain’t about my own marketing…this is a tremendous gift to yourself and, whether it’s with me or another, you should do this for yourself, right now.

 HMUA: Jyoti Purba, BLUSH                          Copyright Bella Faccia Inc. 2012

This past Friday was my inaugural shoot in the studio.  It was a thrill for me on so many levels but this blog post is already long enough!  Sufficed to say that I was elated, this morning, to receive this text from my studio’s inaugural client after she’d viewed her private, on-line gallery:

…Who is that girl?  Those pictures are awesome!!!  Thank you for making me look ‘hot’.  There are so many that shocked me (in a good way!).  I’ll have a hard time picking.  The poses were awesome, the lighting was perfect and the fan had high impact.  You are very talented.  I’m so thankful you were there with me during the entire process from idea inception to the shoot.  I’m so glad I did it!

So, here we are…I have officially announced my ‘Major’ and I couldn’t feel any more delighted.

Life is beautiful!



  1. Great post Lori!Glad that you found your passion in photographing woman and congrats on your new studio,it is pretty and so you!

  2. Congratulations Lori!!! It feels like we have had the pleasure of taking this journey with you. From your first photographs to your latest, they have all been amazing. Good luck and have fun!!!

  3. Thank you, Kyla and Marlee! It HAS been a journey and you have both been party to it throughout...I can't express how much your support and encouragement means, I am a lucky girl, in very large part due to the people in my life. xox L.

  4. I am so happy for you! Remember, whenever you need somebody to read an owner's manual for you, here I am. LOL.
    Who needs that technical info when you have Lori's talent?

  5. Oh, Oz, you always leave me smiling! Thank you for the well wishes, I sincerely appreciate it! I will always count on you for manual reading and spreadsheets (how else WOULD a person choose between filters, hahaha!)! Thanks, buddy!