There are few treats in life as precious as a photograph that communicates instantly with a viewer, and Annie Griffiths does this with every shot. One of the first women photographers to work for National Geographic, Griffiths has photographed in more than a hundred countries during her illustrious career.
Being ‘urban’ has it’s benefits, and yet one of the big drawbacks can mean that you and the kids spend more time in stores, watching screens or commuting than breathing fresh air without a care in the world. The family and I participated in ‘Take Me Outside’ on September 20th, where we were asked to spend an hour outdoors together.
I’m a lot of things, but I’ve never considered myself a model. It could be the height. Or the hips. Or just a fear of a huge camera in my face and never being able to imagine ‘making love’ to it. Then people quietly told me about this goddess of a photographer. I saw some of her shots, and convinced myself she must work only with models. The women were stunning. The lighting was breathtaking. I decided to take the plunge and go to a ‘Glamour Session’. Maybe one would turn out….one of my back! (Ha Ha…. Incidentally I just got some stats from the Dove Movement for Self-Esteem: “60% of our girls abstain from everyday activities because of self-doubt and only 4% of women all around the world consider themselves beautiful.” I think it’s time to change that. And if anyone can make someone feel beautiful, it’s Kyrani Kanavaros.
On the actual day of my shoot, I woke with glassy eyes. I felt sick as a dog. I trundled to East Vancouver, ascending the stairs of Studio B at Sugar Studios – nervous, dragging my feet with ringing ears and trepidation. Not even one would turn out. I could feel it. I looked like the bottom of a shoe. (And that was one of my more positive bit of self-talk). I began the ‘process’ and there was complete calm. Was it the champagne? Croissants? No. I think it had to do with the sunshine, the professionals in the room who had mastered their crafts, and the pure artistic fun that was created. Kyrani walked into the studio and I knew that I was in good hands. We hugged and chatted about kids. She found out my goals for the photos and learned about me.
First, to the makeup. Wow. Kendra Lovick from Beautymark made my skin glow! How – I don’t quite know but intend to find out. As we went along, she offered tips and tricks that I wish I’d made notes on. When you do this – record it. You’ll never need to run panicked to a department store makeup counter 5 minutes before date night again. (Not that I’ve ever done that). Kendra applied cutting-edge products as the other pros buzzed around, joking and taking coffee orders. It had the warm and fuzziness of a supportive knitting bee with an edge of NYC Greenwich Village-Vogue-style session thrown on top.
Next was styling with Helen Baker of Stylefinder. She had purchased several suits, dresses and high-fashion pieces that she mixed with shoes and funky jewellery. I loved the Jacqueline Conoir suit and dress. Total Mad Men. Not once did she smirk that a piece may be too tight. She studied me with eyes of a pro and the creativity of, well, a top stylist. Her hands flew over the racks and I was set with outfits. And she let me try things out of my comfort zone – see the green dress below. First up? A red dress with black stilettos. I’d never used a stylist for a shoot before and would never do another without. No shot was wasted because prior to Kyrani effortlessly clicking away, Helen was ‘on’ me fluffing, hiding straps and fixing my hair. How could I have functioned without this woman in my life for so many years? PS. Can you be my date-night shadow?
Kyrani is one of those photographers with a gift. Is it her 6th sense? Ability to make you feel beautiful? Mastery of the camera? Energy she feeds her subject? Effortless way of shooting in order to capture the essence of YOU? I have absolutely no idea. I can’t even figure out how not to keep photographing my thumb – let alone make magic out of an everyday woman. I just know that I’m going to book another session. And so is my husband. And I would give anything to enable those 96% of women everywhere who do not consider themselves beautiful to be touched by the Klik Photographic team.