Three random things:
Anything creative, inspiring, artistic...I've been drawn to. And sometimes kids provide a bit of that inspiration as their playfulness and conversations are usually super in the moment, so it seemed like a natural direction to head 10 years ago when starting my business.
My niece, nephew, and friend's kids, at some point adopted a nickname for me, Crazy Renee. Don't worry, it's a good thing, I think. I take it as a term of endearment. When I'm with them, we chat, we dance, we yoga, we do cartwheels, and if we have one around, we'll hoola-hoop. Basically, I enjoy their company.
I've been asked many times the story behind the name..."goochtoo". So, here's the not so "super secret" answer, I surveyed my friends at a cookout one afternoon, a good name for this new venture, already had goochphoto going on at the time, so they suggested goochtoo. And I went with it. Seemed playful and made sense in the moment...so it stuck.
Since I was a kid, I had a camera. It grabbed my attention as a chance to be a fly on the wall and later tell a story no one knew had happened or had forgotten.
Fast forward to the college years, my focus was always in the arts but never had a clear focus other than something related to photography, so I hustled during and after college, working in art galleries, an ad agency, managing photo studios, freelancing for anything and anyone, shooting weddings, etc. Then my brother had a few kids, and as one says, the rest is history. It just happened. 10 years ago. I took some pics of his kids, and his neighbors began to call.
My two favorite reasons to photograph children: first, kids are unapologetically honest in every way, which means there's no real formula, it's very organic and always super real and in the moment. Secondly, I love engaging and finding a connection with a child of any age, and then of course document with my camera. Once you get that connection, the photo taking all comes together super naturally.
Lastly, I'm super sentimental, so it is the photographs from my childhood that I can sit down with and sift through at hours on end. Secretly, I envision your kids doing the exact same thing 20 years from now.
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