A few days ago I was contacted by Cure magazine to start shooting for them in my local area. My first shoot will be in a week or two. Cure is a national publication for cancer patients and their families. I'm excited to start working with them not just because I will be published nationally, but because this is why I started to do what I do. I didn't decided to become a photographer because I thought it would be easy money, because it's not. I also didn't go out and buy a camera and say, 'wow, I take nice photos of my kids, I think I'll be a photographer.' I didn't choose photography, in a very cliché way, it choose me. After about 10 years of a hobby, and then 3 more years of it being a part-time gig, photography became my full-time job, but not because I wanted it to be. My nice, easy 9-5 job was sent to India, and I just knew that I needed to make Aesthetic Life full-time. When I started A Life, I thought a lot about what I wanted for my business, and why I wanted to do it. I also put a lot of thought into our name, Aesthetic Life Studio. I could have easily made it 'Rodney Cool Photography' or 'Cool Photography' (that one, not so much), or any variation of my name, but I didn't want to limit what we did or who was doing it. I also wanted a name to express our companies purpose. Our mission is to 'Capture the Beauty of Life' (and yes, that is trademarked) :) and to create art out of natural beauty. Our philosophy is that every life is a precious and beautiful gift, and should be photographed in a way that not only preserves what someone looks like, but captures who they are. Their spirit, personality, and individual beauty. This is one of the reasons why we do not over process our images to the point the subject looks plastic. We believe they are beautiful how they are, and the retouching done is to enhance the beauty already there, not make them look like someone their not.
So, why is this relevant to the CURE shoot? My point is that assignments like this are why I chose to be a photographer, or I should say, why I feel called to be a photographer. I do this not for money, or art, or to make a name for myself. I do this for people. I want to help them, and I feel photography is my outlet to do so. By photographing for this magazine, I will be helping to tell the stories of cancer survivors to give hope, or by telling the stories of the dying to give them a voice, dignity, and honor. Or even by telling the stories of those who lost loved ones who are telling their story to give comfort and hope to people facing loss. This is the reason I do what I do. Capture fleeting moments in an artistic way, to express beauty and life. By doing so, it is my hope that love is shared, and in the good and bad times memories are shared, cherished, and provide comfort.