I began my photography career by taking pictures of everything I saw, but portraits quickly became my favorite subject. However, being an introverted person, this became an interesting challenge.  I began to realize that I enjoy watching people and documenting them seemed to come naturally, but it wasn’t any of the “safe” subjects that I was use to photographing.  Portraits made me vulnerable and forced me to interact with the people around me, creating a path that would not only make me grow as an artist, but also as a person.

When photographing, I prefer to avoid posing my models and instead capture the essence of who the person truly is by being patient and waiting for a natural pose. When I do take formal portraits, I encourage people to relax and be themselves.  I aim to create portraits that are natural representations of the person in the picture. When I show someone a portrait that I took of him for the first time, I pay attention to his reaction.  It is important to me that my models feel as if I represented them accurately within my work, but I also use their reaction as feedback to learn from my mistakes.

When one of my models puts their portrait on display for his family and friends to see, I am filled with an unexplainable sense of pride. That is the moment when I realize my passion has made a difference in the world.  It doesn’t matter if I make money from my photographs. If I can share memories that will eventually be passed down for generations then I know that I have found a joy that so many people are searching for.

Caitlyn Lunsford