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I recently taught at a portraiture class. When one of the students asked me how I work with people, here is what I said:

“To me a portrait is not just a picture. It is an exploration of (and with) the person who sits before my camera. My approach, which has evolved over 30 years, is to understand whom I am working with, how they see themselves and what they want to convey. It is a deep art which I half-jokingly call photo-therapy.”

The portraits above were all taken over a period of a few weeks: an opera singer, a pianist/composer, a writer, a young woman I have known since birth, the poet laureate of Washington, a cancer patient, an anniversary portrait, a mother and daughter, among others. Each photo has a story and a connection.

When I present the portraits, it gives me great joy when people get a little emotional or excited at being properly “seen.” When that happens, I know I have done my job of of photographing . . . and listening.

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