The Beauty Collector

 (Twyla Lapointe)

After years of struggling with slow, unappealing, and unintuitive Flash galleries, I finally broke down. I don’t even know how many hours of my life I spent on all that jazz, but I swear I could have read four Dickens novels in that time. Maybe even a Tolstoy to boot. So instead, I’ll be spending a modest amount a month on a place I discovered that thousands of other photographers know and love – and it gives me amazing flexibility and the ability to share my work much better with both prospective and current clients. It’s time to keep growing, because my business is!

Please enjoy a broad spectrum of my favourite portfolio photos in the new gallery:

Speaking of clients, my husband and I had a bit of a discussion today about the way companies and professionals throw around words like “customer” and “client.” I’ve been calling the lovely folks I deal with clients for years. To me this means offering a higher standard and treating people with respect. Wal-Marts have customers. Malls have customers. Some of them even call us “valued” customers. Valued by the thickness of our wallets and our level of gullible sales pitch acceptance, I’d say. The kind of businesses who consider those who invest with them “clientele” tend to be in the upper echelons for services, and that doesn’t necessarily mean higher price, but it does mean a few things. Good communication for one. Places with clients usually answer the phone without a computer voice. They’re usually local. They’re usually people-based. And that’s how I envision Admire Studios. Not some mill where I churn people through, but a way to interact with and – oddly enough – love people. I’d like to love them by doing what I do best. Collecting beauty – their beauty, in this case – in a lens.

Just as I was sliding into a minor depression (as artists are wont to do) several months ago “in the bleak mid-winter,” I told a dear friend of mine that sometimes I didn’t feel like I knew myself as well as I used to. Partly, I blame this on blogging, as I used to figure myself out by writing about things, and I haven’t done much of that lately. Well, her response was very wise and struck me so hard that I’ve been rolling that idea around in my head for months now. She said, “I know one thing about you. You’re a collector of beauty. You collect beautiful people, beautiful pictures, beautiful things.” And all of a sudden I realized just how true that was, and that I hadn’t been collecting anything for nearly a month. I set to work. Since that day, I’ve been creating and collecting beautiful things. I’ve made a couple of photobooks relating to my wedding (one book for our engagement process, for which my now-husband went all out three weekends in a row and one for our PEI honeymoon), assembled our Wedding Guestbook that I had people scrapbook pages for nearly a year ago now, and shot and edited as much as I could. I stopped and looked out my 19th storey window onto the lights of nighttime Edmonton for several minutes at a time. I called up friends and chatted with them more often. I admired beautiful people that I saw on the street. And suddenly, the low that I’d been sliding into vanished.I owe a debt of thanks to my friend for reminding me of something I’d forgotten – for me, beauty and creativity are like food, and if I ignore them, I can starve myself sick. Now I feel happy and fulfilled, and spring is here in all its shining glory to remind me that life is good.

So if you want to know what Admire is about at its very heart, it’s about collecting beauty. May I collect yours?

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