In this series of blog posts we are introducing the folks who are team members and organizers for Inspire 2013. In 2008, Enna Grazier conceived of the Inspire conference and gathered a team together to help produce the first conference in 2009. Look where we are now!

Take Me To My Happy Place!

I've taken some non-wedding photography assignments recently, and through these I've had an interesting revelation about my photography. The revelation actually occurred in a precise moment, here:

I was commissioned by a chef to document the opening of his new restaurant. It was an awesome assignment - I got to be a fly on the wall during the kitchen prep, tastings and behind the scenes planning, making images of details of the food and ingredients, and documenting the first couple of seatings with diners. The moment photographed above was one hour before the very first seating in the chef's new restaurant - it was a quiet moment, during which he surveyed the kitchen, scanned the menus, checked the clock, and collected himself. During this moment I caught a glimpse of the scope of his accomplishment. This is a person doing his greatest work, pulling all his talents, passion, and past experience together in order to create something great.

Taking this photo gave me a tingle.

As I pondered that moment, I realized that I felt this same tingle years earlier when I took this image:

This is the face of one of Boston's most beloved ob-gyn doctors, as she observes a baby's head crowning. The rest of the room was abuzz with the rush of preparing to meet this baby - nurses and pediatrician rushed around to make sure that every person and piece of equipment in the room was in proper place - while this doctor became completely still and peaceful, completely one with the moment. I could tell that this was her happy place! The intensely personal work that went into having the skill to usher this moment, these people, everyone and everything in the room through the feat of birth with such grace was completely apparent to me here.

These two images separated by years, miles, and vastly different careers helped me realize a unifying factor in all of my images of people and events: I love to photograph accomplishments. Not someone standing at a podium and receiving an award, but rather, the moment of accomplishment itself. In retrospect, I realize that some of the most emotionally compelling moments at weddings for me, are the moments where I consider what a great accomplishment our couples have achieved, to be standing where they are getting married. I like to photograph people who are living and celebrating in the moment of their success.

This clarity is just what I needed as I go about compiling a portfolio of my best work to pursue commercial and editorial assignments beyond weddings - and it helps me focus my artistic vision at weddings too! So, what's your 'happy place" ? What images give you the greatest sense of accomplishment? What images give you that tingle that tells you the image has connected with your heart?

Here are a few more of my favorite images from my restaurant and food work:


Oh, and if you're looking for a REALLY exciting dining experience, make a reservation here.