A Day in the Life of Storey Wilkins
Do you ever stop to think about how you have changed over time? Photographs of our lives are amazing time capsules. They can show us how our lives have changed over time. This article will help you get to know a little bit about me and my life as a photographer.
Storey with her daughters in 2007 and 2019Where does time go?
As children, a day can seem to take a lifetime. As we age, time seems to speed up and we find ourselves wondering, "Where did the day go?" Time passes and then we get to a point where we find ourselves wondering, "Where did that decade go?"
I recently experienced this when, during a random Google search, I came across an article in the Etobicoke Camera Club's Viewfinder: their on-line member magazine. It was written in 2007, so 13 years earlier as of this writing. Two of their members had taken the time to summarize a presentation I had given to their members.
I have re-posted the article below.
Some things change while others stay exactly the same
When you read the article, you will notice that I brought my two young daughters (ages 7 and 5 at the time) to the presentation. Seriously who does that? Who gets invited to be a guest lecturer and plops their kids in the front row before starting? Full disclosure, my babysitter cancelled last minute. Granted the girls behaved beautifully and my eldest Margaret even put up her hand to clarify one of my points at some stage.
Clearly the girls are older now, as am I, and perhaps I don't fit the description of the "young and pretty lady" as much, but hey, I still feel that way inside. Also, my camera and printing gear has evolved with the times, as have the style of albums I offer.
Yet, when I read about the way I spoke of my passion for photographing people, that has not changed. Perhaps it has even increased over the years. I still have an intense commitment for using empathy to notice real emotion and real expression, and to create a story for my clients, in memory, and not merely have a set of literal pictures.
I am so grateful for Joe Vitale and Brian Miller, the gentlemen who wrote this review, and for discovering it 13 years later. The time capsule is welcome, as is every day I get to spend in this amazing life.
Etobicoke Camera Club VIEWFINDER Vol 47 No 3 November 2007
PRESENTATION "A Day in The Life" by Storey Wilkins
Comments by Joe Vitale:
So, there I was Monday evening 6:30 PM setting up the sound system along with Ian.
In walks this young and very pretty lady along with her two cute little girls (Margaret, and Ava, both very well behaved I might add). She approached me and offered her hand and said “hi I’m Storey Wilkins”. She sure didn’t fit the image one has of a professional wedding photographer.
She then proceeded to lay out some very impressive wedding photo albums which ranged from tiny little thank you albums to large coffee table, and larger story telling albums, nicely bound with pictures on the covers. I couldn’t help noticing the black velvet she laid on the table first. Nice touch!
Then Storey takes centre stage and begins to speak to us about her approach to her photography. Every word was carefully thought out and so full of feeling, and I could swear there were times when I could see her eyes tear up.
She brought along several small shows on DVDs showing samples of her Wedding, and her Day in a life images. She truly knows her stuff when it comes to capturing emotion, action, and the moment that matters the most in a picture.
Being a part time wedding photographer myself, this young and pretty lady has moved me and inspired me in a way that makes me feel that my next shoot is going to be my best work yet. I’m sure she made everyone in the club feel the same way.
I now am convinced that in Storey’s own words “We are the keepers of the spirit of people”. Joe Vitale
Comments by Brian Miller:
Storey Wilkins is a professional photographer. She used to be a management consultant who told companies how to manage information systems. She became involved with photography by photographing details of her daughter’s activities. She noticed that she really enjoyed photographing people. This love of photographing people is the main force that helped her to improve her photographic skills. As her skills grew, they formed 2 special areas: Day in the Life photography, and Wedding Photography. Even though they are allied in approach, they are distinct from one another, and it is sometimes difficult to juggle the 2 of them. However, both involve portraiture of people.
She pointed out that you have to empathize with the people whom you’re photographing. This ability to be empathetic will allow you to take detailed photographs that allow clients to reimmerse themselves in the experience of the day when the portrait was done. For example, in the course of 8-hour long wedding festivities, many of the finer details happen subtly and quickly. Timing is everything. If you love to capture the details of the look on a bride’s face, or a humourous portrait of a flower girl, then re-immersion into the wedding is possible and rekindling of memories years after the fact are both possible. And this is what people are really looking for when they hire her to photograph them. The camera is merely a tool – a great one – to achieve an end, which is the place where memories are defined. You must create a story, in memory, and not merely have a set of pictures. Again: In this situation, Timing is Everything. The tools don’t matter much. The people create the magic.
In particular, she uses Fuji Finepix and Canon 5Ds with 70-200mm zoom lenses to optically extract details from a wedding party in a crowded, busy room, after the guests with their point-and-shoots have finished their shooting. She uses a few wirelessly actuated strobes called Speedlites that can be situated near a wall to provide unobtrusive lighting. Reflectors for natural light may be used. Keep it simple.....
She points out that colour-managed printing is not trivial and requires dedication. Get lab support. Printing images yourself is a big commitment that may best be delegated to one of the many fine labs around. She thoughtfully prepared and distributed some copies of lab and photographic resources that she likes....
Some people like to have the digital imagery as well, and she will sell clients the digital files for added cost. As a photographer, she works 3 times as hard and makes 1/3 as much as she did when she was a management consultant. She has to turn away work because she is too busy. In 18 years when she retires she just wants to relax. She notes that, as a professional photographer, you must have integrated business cards, stationery, and a professionally managed website to give people confidence in your abilities. You don’t necessarily need a business plan.
She loves her work as a professional photographer.
Bio of Storey Wilkins: A Day in the Life:
Truly great photographs make you feel something while simultaneously telling a story. As photographers we are the keepers of the spirit of people. My specialty is capturing the spirit of a family with natural, thoughtful, and emotional photographs
Storey's moving picture shows from her thriving business of wedding and family photography set the tone for thinking with your heart. Knowing how to present "day in the life" story involves creating wonderful family history books and fine art prints. Storey's selection of albums and art books are a neat way to help "tell the story."
My website is www.storeywilkins.com