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Penelope Bent-Lippincott



One of the  biggest Influencers in my life has been my camera Viewfinder. I even find the name to be intriguing. From my View, what am I Finding?


As most of you, I am sure already know, the camera viewfinder is the small eyepiece in which you look through to discover the subject or object you wish to photograph. Depending on the size of the lens you are working with, you can take a look at something close-up or from a much more expanded and broad vantage point.


Regardless of my distance from the subject, my job as a Professional Photographer is to sum-up the final image within seconds. My eye has to travel around all the corners of the subject matter, within this very little box, and frame all of the pieces in my mind’s eye. Within seconds I have to notice whether a stop sign is growing out of a model’s head or if a piece of garment is turned incorrectly. Is the garment perfectly pressed, is each hair on the model’s head flowing properly, or do we have hair sticking to lipstick etc., etc., etc? And the list goes on and on! Oh and not to mention hands — what are they doing with their hands? Are they presenting relaxed grace, or do they have a clutch that appears to be desperate? All this must be analyzed within a matter of moments!


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.

After forty years with my Viewfinder, I have found the Joy of Life to be "In the Details." It is in those split second moments of laughter and tears that I have found my most Joy.


Joy is not always found in the big blustering stages of ones life. Often, intimacy is lost on big events. How often in this fast-paced culture are we missing the fine delicate details of our experience, the rise and fall of our babies chest when napping, or the way I love to hear the sound of my husband snoring . . . I know he is at peace, deep in sleep, and I feel safe within the rhythm of this familiar sound.


How we frame our lives and what each one of us finds through our own viewfinder is as varied as a new bag of marbles — all colorful and smooth, with hidden details only noticed by the reflection of light.


In this journey many will find only what they are looking for, while others will overlook all that is laid before them.


I am grateful for my Viewfinder and all that it has taught me. Today . . . I relish in each moment just a little bit longer and frame my world with a bit more care, knowing it's the seconds that count and the memories that matter.


Ann Taylor


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