When I first met Rena Fruchter at my synagogue in D.C. she had a big smile on her face and she went in straight for hug without even asking. I knew we would be friends. She was unabashed and straightforward and loving. She knew how to communicate to others in a deep and thoughtful way without ever having to go through the social dance of small talk communication. I knew we would be instant friends because we also were both artists.
But see Rena wore her art and her emotion on her sleeve. I envied her for her emotional sharing and I loved her outpouring of simcha (joy) and love. She was the kind of mom that gave you plenty of love but knew when to take her leave and give some space.
She also had a mission. She wanted to change the tribe of Israel, a group of D.C. Jews into a unified whole. She wanted to take the broken pieces of our hearts and meld them together. She was already doing that with her mosaic art at schools, at our ritual bath (mikvah) and one-on-one with bar and bat mitzvah students.
At our synagogue she and her husband Chaim were being honored and I knew I needed to take their portraits.
But Rena was nervous about how she would look on camera. Who isn’t?
That weekend we did the session. I cant begin to describe how wonderful it was to capture moments between Rena and Chaim that were wedding-like moments. The first moment he saw her coming out of her pampering makeover session. The first moment I asked them to hold hands.. It was their 40th year wedding anniversary and they were reconnecting in a whole new way.
After I captured individual shots of Chaim, and couple shots of them together, I focused on Rena. By the end of the session Rena was crying saying “I haven’t had this kind of attention in so long…it is like you are peeling back the layers of time with a little makeover and I feel great!”
I always say its not the makeup, its not the posing, its the confidence many women feel after they have been pampered and “seen” in a personal way by their photographer that are the ingredients to a powerful and beautiful portrait. It is the self-love that is cultivated and nurtured during the session that creates the most beautiful and powerful portraits.
My same day transformation is not just of the body but it is of the soul. It is the inner beauty that is revealed during my sessions. It is the experience of being “seen” by a professional photographer and then “seeing” yourself through their eyes when your portraits are revealed!
It is truly a magical experience and I am truly honored.