For quite some time, I had been in need of some head shots. Since I work both as an architectural designer and as a creativity expert, I did not want something that was run of the mill. I wanted something that conveyed the dynamic, interdependent, deeply mysterious nature of creativity that I attempt to illicit in my own work.
On advice from some friends of mine, I decide to check out the work of San Francisco based photographer Jonathan Mandel and his company, Checkerbox Photography. I could see from his portraits that Jonathan knew how to capture the emotions and experience of his subjects. Then I looked at his personal work sections, the shots he had taken out of his love for the craft of photography and was instantly captivated. There, in a grouping of photos entitled “Follow the Light”, I found what I was looking for: sparse, budding branches emerging from a mysterious orange light, sunlit fog overwhelming the colorful San Francisco skyline, elevated freeways with the sensual elegance of the divine feminine (the image pictured on this blog). Jonathan Mandel’s images nearly brought me to tears.
I composed a lengthy email to Jonathan, praising his work and highlighting the different audiences who would be receiving my message as a creativity expert. Jonathan called me and articulated some non conventional possibilities for my portraits.
Last Monday, we met at Jonathan’s studio and got to work. With a sense of mutual respect and collaboration, we worked seamlessly for the next four hours, Jonathan patiently orchestrating the process and listening to my needs and concerns. With both of us in a creative zone, four hours went by in no time. I walked out of there with some really amazing photos for my various audiences as well as striking front and back cover images for the next book I’m writing.
For both of us, it was a great collaborative experience. Moreover it was another great lesson: when two minds are aligned and in dialogue on a creative project, amazing things happen. Check out Jonathan’s work at www.checkerbox.com.
As for my head shots, I’ll be leaking those out over time. Stay tuned.