I think I developed my "DO IT YOURSELF" nature from my Grandmother. She had that true Forty-Niner Spirit. Born in San Francisco in 1905, she experienced the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, two World Wars, and the Great Depression. She placed her two young daughters temporarily in a Catholic orphanage after the death of her husband and worked as a waitress at the Woolworth’s Soda Fountain to get on her feet. With a handful of husbands under her belt, she taught me one very important lesson . . . No ONE person will ever Save You! Your life, your experiences are all on you. Relationships are the frosting on our cake and maybe even the beautiful cherry, but we as individuals are responsible to Bake Our Own Cake!
I believe I have lived with that basic philosophy my whole life; but in addition, I am convinced Nothing, and I mean Nothing, replaces the gifts and or surprises Hard Work and a Never Quit attitude can give you.
When I began as a professional photographer it was not because I had this burning desire to create visual masterpieces. I had only one burning desire and that was to SURVIVE! My daughter’s Father and I had decided to go our separate ways — leaving me with a Photography Studio and no Photographer! Well being the bright woman I was . . . LOL! I hired a great Photographer, Mark Long. We continued on with business as usual; then one day Mark asked me why I wasn't the Photographer. Considering that I was doing all the Styling and Visual Set-up, it
just seemed natural to him that I should be creating the images. Now here is a point to remember . . . at that time Photography was a
THROUGH MY LENS
by Penelope Bent-Lippincott
I have been photographing women professionally all of my adult life. This year marks my Fortieth year in this industry; and needless to say, I am so very grateful for all the amazing women that I have shared this exciting experience with, and for all that I have learned.
My camera lens has been a very intimate and private doorway into the lives and the emotions of the women I have photographed; and I thank them all for trusting in this most intimate and creative process.
I began shooting in the late seventies and early eighties as a Boudoir Photographer and then on to Fashion as the years passed. Being one of the very few female shooters at the time allowed for a much more honest narrative and collaboration with my clients.
Through those early years, I learned how to angle and adjust my subject for that "Perfect Picture;" but more then that, I learned "Visual Design." I also learned about a woman's spirit, illusion, and light.
I learned the Art of a Woman's Individual Style and how her Style Transitions with age.
Here is what I learned Through My Lens.
male-dominated industry . . . but as he said “we are shooting Boudoir Photography and who better then a woman to be behind the camera.” Within 24 hours I was shooting. He taught me basic Strobe Lighting, the posing techniques were all mine to begin with, and with a little bit of "YOU CAN DO IT" I was on my way.
No, I never took a photography class in my life; however, I was blessed with many gifts — one a good eye for design and two I absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, LOVE PEOPLE! I really looked at each client individually and moved the pieces and parts to enhance their own personal style or image. That was my motivation. I wanted them to see what I saw!
I remember my Studio Manager telling me that I reminded her of a Golden Retriever . . . I wanted to please every one and lick them to death. Well maybe so and for the most part I guess that is just who I am.
I will share this however. Regardless of your dreams or goals, DREAM BIG, Lay it ALL OUT there on the field. And yes, you will definitely get a few bumps and bruises, but you will know YOU WERE IN THE GAME!