Headshots Photographer vs being a Family Therapist

March 9, 2015

I moved to Vancouver in 1990 and found a new career working with Youth that lasted for about 15 years. I started as a security guard and ended as Senior Manager and Family Therapist.  I adapt technique’s learned from my previous career such as empathic listening and the confidence of working with people of all walks of life into my work aimed at capturing an illusive portrait for branding.

Parisian KidIn 1990, I worked for an outstanding treatment home helping a 13 years old who was recruited as a prostitute and was addicted to heroin, from living in the streets in Canada’s most vicious neighbourhood and industry…  As a result of my 5 years as a camp counsellor, five years of Aikido training and friendly disposition, I was the ideal candidate to protect the other children in the group home from ‘Nicky’ who was quite violent, had burned a unit in a mental institution and hurt a few of the children and staff in her home.

Olympic HeadshotsFollowing a full year of working with the most extreme teenagers, mainly as a security guard, I graduated to group home counsellor and then manager of a group home in Burnaby.  Pacific Coast Family Therapy Institute was a program ran by Dr. David Freeman who was also the Dean of UBC Social Work with a team of Professors from UBC and Simon Fraser teaching the Family of Origin Theory.

I remember watching my first video of my first session as a Family Therapist and wanting to have a paper bag over my head, realizing how little I listened…  Listening would be my goal to master and am still working on becoming a better listener.

Being a great listener is the secret of the most successful people in our society, its the trait that  separates the wise from the rest and it’s the best recipe for an outstanding headshot.

While I was working either as Youth Worker with the Vancouver School Board or a Manager of Group Homes with Browndale Care Society or as a Family Therapist with Caireen Family Services, I would often fantasize about helping people at the prime moments of their lives; be there just before someone made a great invention, become a ceo of a fortune 500 company or have spoken at a Ted X conference.  Little did I know that in my middle age years ( now ) I would be doing so.

luisdancingAs a photographer for Art of Headshots, I learn more about people and their wonderful journey and secrets than as a Family Therapist. Often, I wonder how I managed to be blessed with this incredible career.  Capturing portraits while really emphasizing in the intangible, the light and what is truly beautiful in every individual.

Thank you to all my clients and friends for choosing us for branding your greatest asset.

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