I’ve never been comfortable in front of a camera. In the early years of my career, I needed promo shots and went to a studio. I’d do the best I could with my hair and make-up and wear something other than my habitual jeans and sweater. The shots were staged with the usual background, poses standard and far from natural. I smiled, but never felt comfortable. And it showed!
Then I met Elaina Burdo at church. When I found out she was a photographer, I thought it would be less painful to work with a woman I liked than a man I barely knew. I didn’t expect the session to be so much fun!
It’s been fascinating working with Elaina over the last fifteen years. For one thing, she doesn’t sit me inside a studio. We’re outside in the open air, sometimes in a garage. Yes, the garage, Rick’s man cave, with a nice backdrop. She has given me tips on make-up (something more than lipstick and eyebrow pencil) and makes sure my hair isn’t blowing in the wind. She even helps me pick out what to wear. Always something with color! Who knew that outfit was in my closet? I never thought to put those two garments together! Looks nice!
We’ve done “shoots” at her home and mine. Casual, different, always looking for the exact right light. I might be walking among pine trees, standing by an old wagon, sitting in front of a barn wall, picking apples or pears, or removing “laterals” from grapevines. Elaina likes movement. Last time she was over, she spotted the varied greens in the willow tree in the open space, a nifty looking rusty barbed wire fence and some tall thistles for background. So, Rick and I took a little hike with her. The sessions aren’t just about pictures. We’re talking and laughing the whole time about what’s been happening in our lives, the world we live in and our faith in Jesus.
You can see Elaina’s work on my website under Life with Francine. (There are also pictures of my husband, Rick, and our wild, ADHD German Shepherd, Ranger as a flop-ear puppy. He’s bigger now.)
The great news flash is Elaina has been chosen to display her work at the USA Exhibition at the Chiba City Museum of Art in Japan! Oh, how I wish I could make the trip and see the exhibit!
We’re proud of you, Elaina!