I took my first photograph with a Kodak Instamatic when I was five years old.
My family was at an airport in Florida sitting on the grass eating a lunch my mother packed for us waiting for a flight back to Detroit. I insisted upon taking the photograph because I realized - a five year-old's epiphany - that standing behind a camera I could make people smile.
After my second year of art school, my photography mentor, Jane Alden Stevens, arranged for me to assist at a wedding shoot the summer of 1996 and I knew then - a twenty year old's epiphany - that this was something I wanted to pursue. I began gathering my own clients while still in college, formed my own company in Cincinnati (Rachael Waring Photography) and spent the next ten years documenting weddings and events there and in Los Angeles, St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands), San Francisco, Sun Valley, Denver, Chicago, Detroit, Nashville, and New York.
Prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2007, I was one of twelve national photographers selected to document the annual Allen & Company event in Sun Valley, Idaho attended by 300 distinguished families from around the world. Three of the 300 guests were Warren Buffett, Rupert Murdoch and Tom Hanks. I photographed early morning business meetings, afternoon activities, outdoor expeditions and pool side dinners, then wrapped the week by fulfilling a request from Tom Brokaw to document a family photo session with Tom. It was during my experience with Allen & Company - a thirty year old's epiphany - that my vision for a client's photography experience began to take shape.
During my two years in Los Angeles I photographed private events for Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Chanel, Guess, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the United Nations Women's Guild, Cedars-Sinai, and filmmaker Brett Ratner. Los Angeles being what it is, I also found my self meeting and respectfully photographing Deepak Chopra, Quincy Jones, Serena Williams, Donna Karan, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, Sidney Poitier, Diane von Furstenberg, Jamie Lee Curtis, Barbra Streisand, David Beckham, Will I Am, Amy Adams, Robert Downey, Jr, Demi Moore, Matthew McConaughey, Ben Stiller, and Gordon Ramsay. And I got them all to smile.
As much as I loved the coastal life of Santa Monica - flip-flops and client portraits on the beach - I'm pleased to be living in Massachusetts doing what I love with family and friends I love. Another epiphany.