Posts Tagged ‘Modern Portrait Photography’

Signing off

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Six hundred twenty-one thousand seven hundred minutes, that’s how long since my last post.  And this will be my last as Linda Crayton Photographer.

Earlier last year after I backed my way out of my Pop’s empty home for the last time, wiping away my footprints and tears with a cleaning rag, I found myself at the beach and lighthouse.  These places are etched in my soul.  For thirty-eight years I sat at Pop’s kitchen table looking out over this beach, water, and seascape. I knew this, all of it, wasn’t just the end of a chapter. It was something much bigger.  It felt like I was closing a book.  

Everything in the last few years, from moving to and making a home on Vashon to walking my Pop “home”, is the ending of my third book in the series of my life.  With Books I and II covering my childhood and college to career, Book III was about my family, the family I created as an adult.  And photography was a large part of that.  Photography really worked for me and my young family.

But change happens and it happened within my family and business. My girls morphed into young women while the business of being a photographer exploded, or was it imploded, around the internet then social media.  Regardless, I had to change what I was giving in my life.  I’ll change for my kids, but I am not for photography.  Instead I am going to watch and support the players on the field while holding a beer and popcorn on the sidelines.

I consider it a soft break up.  We still love each other.  I am keeping my cameras.  I’m just taking down the shingle. 

I’ll never forget what it gave to me.  I cherish all the places my camera took me. I stepped over welcome mats and into personal, sacred spaces. I stood on unmade beds and followed babbling babies and Fluffy into undone closets.  Hundreds of beautiful people shed their everything in front of me. I was able to tell so many stories through the gift of trust.   

Answering the “why are you leaving?” is so wide.  I found we live in the land of too much and too many.  We are buried in a sea of things, digital images included.  The value of skilled photography has been diminished and people want more for nothing.  I lost the desire chase the market down. But harder for me is that more and more people don’t like what they see, in themselves and their images.  I could choose to breathe into this space, and make it mine.  I could lean in really hard.  But I see so many photographers and activists working to promote better body image and focus on what really matters, and doing really good work, that I feel it isn’t my calling.  

I feel the pull, or maybe a push, elsewhere.  I am taking all of my years of experience in food service, as a CPA, in banking, non-profit work, bodywork, parenting (project management, right?), real estate management, and photography to make something new.  It’s the multipotentialite in me.

The girls are not sad.  They have already decided what to do with my cameras.  They can borrow them, but I’ll still going to do some photography, just not as Linda Crayton Photographer.  Personal and non-profit work will call and I’ll answer.

Before I sign off, I have a couple of things to ask as Linda Crayton Photographer.  

First, hire professional photographers sometimes.  Photographs are the record of your family traditions.  They tell your history.   I have pulled together many photos over the years for clients and for friends as they deal with grief and loss.  They mean so much.

Then, this is important, every year have a few special images printed.   Aside from a fire or flood, prints don’t go away as easily as digital media is.  Corrupt files are gone.  Backups fail.    Enjoy your prints.  Hang them.  Look at them.  Remember your history.

Lastly, be kind, to yourself and others, and give. You too just might just start to see the person looking back at you in the mirror or in that photograph as truly lovely.  Heart is undeniably beautiful. I am learning that I always have something to give, and I can find it by asking “What do I have, right now, to give.”  Sometimes the best thing may just be my silence.  Sometimes it is a lot more.  Listen to your heart, give, and be kind.  It’s a win-win, and much needed in our world.  

I am signing off with my most meaningful images from 2016. 

Moving on to  “Book IV—Renewal”  

In kindness and love,  Linda

This family…  They are everything wonderful and more.  I am so glad they are a part of our lives.  SeattleVashonPhotography

I loved, loved getting on the floor with kidsSeattleVashonPhotography

This family.  I met them in DC, when they had just welcomed their second child, and followed them to upstate NY.  I have watched their children grow.
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There was a Nutcracker Performance on Island.  I was inspired by Annie Leibowitz for this shot.
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Pete Droge and Elaine Summers welcomed me into their beautiful, art-filled home in preparation for their first live gig in many years.
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I knew him before he entered preschool.  Look at him now.
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Ronly.  I am finally taking my 40th birthday yoga retreat with Ronly, after my 49th birthday.  She is a beautiful soul.
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AIE–I love the diversity of this campus.  Makes me wonder what our young women will choose for their careers.
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Steph–Steph was a supporting role in 3 other weddings whose personality made her a standout. And when she called to ask about a referral, I came out of wedding retirement. I had to see her marry her guy, surrounded by the people she loved most. And I understood why she loved them–they are a stellar bunch of people!

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Elise. My Goddaughter. One of my favorite people. I’ve watched her grow and become a strong, confident young woman. She is dedicated and willing to work hard. It’s been wonderful to watch her open her wings and take flight.

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Editorial Photography: Vashon Sheepdog Trials

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

The Vashon Sheepdog Trials touch a soft spot in me. The human-dog interaction mixed in with the consuming desire for the sheepdog to herd is something to behold.

Love. It’s deep love all the way around.

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Pleasanton Portrait Photography: 1.2.3.4. !

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Maybe it isn’t so ironic the first official I have in California was a CA family I met during their very brief stay in Great Falls, VA.  Whatever it is, it is a great way to touch my toes in the water in CA.

I met Sally at the playground in Great Falls when only the very spirited Riley filled her world.  I remember her asking what it was like to have two at a time I felt exhausted with my 3 and 1 year olds.  Sally is now one of those Moms I talk about when I say, “Some people can handle babies with ease, and are smart about it–it’s a gift.”  She knows how to do it, and does is it all with grace and happiness.  There is a lightness in her mothering.  And Jeff is right there beside her, right in the middle of the fray.

3 girls and then Mac.  The girls are feminine girls, but don’t mess with them.  Each can stand up for themselves, and will.  Mac is the most tolerant, loved, handled, hugged, slobbered on boy around, and he is a dream.  He goes right along with it.

There are so many fun shots… Here are just a few:

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And a hug good-bye…

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Modern Family Photography: Zoe & Max are fun times two

Monday, July 18th, 2011

I first met this family in DC where I fell in love with these adorable kids. Both of them are so full of life, and fun. Zoe has those sun-shiny eyes when she smiles that melt my heart. Max is a boy x 3, off busy running, jumping & playing, but still young enough to come in for a quick snuggle and kiss for his family.

They relocated to NY, close to where our NY family lives. Now I get to see them in the summer, in NY. It’s so much fun:

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Modern Family Photography: So cheeky!

Monday, July 4th, 2011

June was a historic month for me. We did it… We sold our VA home in 40 days from on-the-market to closing. And we are homeless, until we find a place to land in the Bay Area. It’s unexpected to be out of our home so quickly, but are happy a great family will fill up the house with laughter. We will miss Great Falls and it’s people forever. It will always hold a special place in my heart.

And so will Penelope, Colin, Jennifer & Mike. This was my 6th session with them, and I can’t believe there won’t be more. Will you look at these kids? Bella thinks that Colin has Lisee beat in the cheeks department. She might be right. And Penelope is so much like our Nut–so independent at 2. I know she’ll grow up strong, proud, and sassy like our Nut.

Look at them go:

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Bella saw this picture as I was editing. “Mom. You need to print this picture for me so I can show it people. I know for sure that all I have to do is show them this face and I’ll get whatever I want. Who could resist that?” Good try Nut!

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Penelope.  Are you really only 2?

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And I think I know what Colin thinks of me moving:

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