In high school I thought I might become a writer. I read books, kept up a journal, and had a small paper fortress of collected quotes on my dresser; this never-forgotten quote lingers, “Selection depends upon purpose.”
As a photographer trained originally as a photojournalist, I have experience in rushing back from an assignment, and preparing images on deadline. However, my newspaper work now is like a dear neighbor that I have moved away from years ago. I’ve moved towards portraiture, weddings, hospitals, non-profits, the arts, magazine work, and food/still lifes. I've self-assigned personal documentary projects on #StrongWomen #livingthelifeofriley. And I've never stopped pushing myself in search of what I felt was missing in my work. I can only describe it as a need to get closer, inspire and connect people with my photographs in a more meaningful way (does this sound familiar? INSPIRE and CONNECT are the very two words in our mission statement). Photography affords the light-writer the chance to select for a specific purpose: technique, composition, perspective, and the list continues. But perhaps, most of all, it allows a person to show up to every assignment "heartfully aware" in anticipation of engaging the viewer’s senses. This is precisely how photography has changed for me for it means more than simply conveying what a piece of cake looks like in a visually creative way, but rather how a slice of chocolate cake might taste, or how "that couple’s" laughter sounds in the moment, or how smooth a piece of clothing might be to touch. Sounds easy, but this is no small task: to move the viewer so they can be inspired to act, to linger, to share, or to appreciate an image. That's a tall order I don't mention to even my students---too much information. :)
For many years, I've had to make peace with the bumpiness of what was missing. Glimpses of this started coming to me over 15 years ago, and you can see some of my earlier visual thinking here. About 5 years ago, I seriously committed to creating macro images at every assignment. I received very positive feedback, and developed a mini "stock photography collection" of details including both abstract and straight-forward images. What that exercise did for me over time was to help get my visual thinking to where it is now. I've simply added in the idea that I photograph deliberately how something tastes, feels, or sounds up close using feeling, texture, exposure techniques, light, focus, etc.... A good example of this might be in this picture I shot where you can see "steam from the steak." Can you taste it? The images also on thephotomakery details page are also a small sampling to show how simple objects can inspire the viewer to purchase, to dream, to linger.
Here is an experiment with dried roses; they have that “built-in” texture and color. I shot them loose, tight, with the light over my shoulder, and cross-lit. My objective: to see if I could create a a poetic thought about the trash-like bunching of the rose leaves. Let me know what you think? This is my purpose: to shoot details as they have the power to transport, to engage, and to clarify. This is photomakery style.
"My husband and I can not give enough praise to Weddings by Lyons Photography! Not only were the pictures taken for our wedding unbelievably beautiful, but they make having your picture taken enjoyable as well! Cathy and Mark make an incredible team."
"Cathy and Mark Lyons were the perfect photographers at our wedding. Not only did they take artistic and beautiful photographs, they also worked closely with my mother to accommodate her wishes. They were discreet at the ceremony, and during the group pictures afterwards, they had such a knack for working with the entire family to enjoy themselves as they efficiently shot many amazing photos. Their work ethic is exemplary!"