Families are beautiful things and come in many different shapes and sizes. Some families have a Mom and Dad, some have two Moms, some have two Dads, some have a Mom or a Dad but not both, some are just Grandparents, some have kids that look alike and some that don’t, some have babies that came from tummies and some have babies that came from the heart. It’s all beautiful to me and that beauty is something I love to capture, which is why I do what I do. I’m laid back and not the most traditional. When someone tells me that they want things to look picture perfect, I’m the first to tell them that there’s more beauty in the picture imperfect, if you will…and that’s precisely why I’m not in the business of photographing pageant kids. I’m not going to pose you all of the time, I don’t want everyone looking into my camera all of the time, and I have absolutely no issue climbing up into trees or crawling through the mud to get the shot I want.
That being said, my clients don’t just hire me for my photos. They hire me for the experience of using a boutique photographer. After many years of trial and error, I finally realized that it was more important for me to take on less clients per month and provide them with a fully personalized, couture experience. Be prepared to become a part of my family.
And the fun stuff…
Name: Gen, short for Genevieve. But my clients call me Miss Gen!
Age: 30-something going on about 6, depending upon the day.
I photograph: Belly bumps, newborns, kids of all ages and families. I don’t photograph weddings, events, boudoir or pets. Just kids. Kids are my specialty…they really like my silly monkey face.
I’ve been doing this for: 9 years!
What’s your favorite color: I can’t choose just one! Black, green, orange and blue.
I started out: On accident, actually. I had been behind the camera on a commercial/editorial level, when a friend of mine asked me to photograph her kids. One thing lead to another and I realized that my life was way more fun when I spent my days with giggling toddlers instead of cranky grown-ups.
Favorite Food: Hot dogs. But they have to be all beef because I think the other ones are gross.
Why do you do this: Because I love it. I really do. I’m one of the lucky ones who can actually say that I love my job. On top of that, I was the subject of some terrible portraits as a kid. I’d like to change that for future generations!
Who have been your biggest influences: Without a doubt, I’m one of Patrick Demarchelier’s biggest fans. He’s a fashion photographer and chances are, if you’ve ever flipped through the pages of Vogue, you’ve seen one of his spreads. I’m also a huge fan of David LaChapelle, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts and the extraordinarily talented Annie Leibovitz. Surprised? I could have my nose in one of their anthologies for hours and never get bored.
What’s your favorite TV show: As a grown-up I enjoy watching Castle and Scandal. As far as kids shows go, I’m a HUGE Yo Gabba Gabba fan…thanks to my toddler. Want proof? Enjoy this…
I don’t like: Photos with a lot of props, coconut, cilantro, bees, watching golf on TV, catching a cold, when my outdoors sessions get rained out, skinned knees, pleated khaki pants, mean people, big gigantic daisy bows and angel wings on babies, and littering.
I do like: Spontaneity, dark chocolate, brussel sprouts, cute dogs, running, music, making my clients laugh, playing with my son, Yo Gabba Gabba, the zoo, gym shoes, nice people and photography.
My favorite kids places in Chicago were: The Red Balloon, Little Beans Cafe, Bubbles Academy, taking my son on lunch dates to Whole Foods Lincoln Park, the Lincoln Park Zoo and Potbelly’s.
My favorite places in Los Angeles for kids are: The Zimmer Museum, PLAY, the Los Angeles Zoo, the Santa Monica Pier, Coldwater Canyon Park, The Grove and Farmers Market.