Internationally recognized portrait specialist Lucille Khornak graces this week’s Dan’s Papers cover with a photo encapsulating the East End in the fall. The Hamptons gallery owner shares how she captured the cover photo, what makes Hamptons portraiture unique and more.
When and how was this charming shot taken?
I am fascinated with the graphic feeling of hay bales in a field. It was taken 10 years ago in the fall and remains a favorite to me. This is currently on display in my gallery. From a photo session, many clients will choose an image that we custom make into a piece of art. This is one.
Was this shot semi-candid or posed, and which do you prefer to utilize in your portraiture?
It is semi-staged because I placed the child on top, however, I let the child do what she wanted to do. In my paid portraiture work, most clients want a staged posed shot. I start with what the parents typically want and then I capture what I see in the session and start capturing energetic, whimsical and soulful images.
What makes this photograph such an ideal fit for a fall Dan’s Papers cover?
Hay bales are harvested by the farmers in the fall.
What skills or techniques have you honed that set you apart from amateur and phone photographers?
I have a trained eye for details. I photographed ads for fashion and beauty before digital. Retouching was expensive so your eye was trained to look for small things that end up making a big difference in a photograph. I am really an artist/photographer as I work on my photographs keeping the subjects natural and mastering the color and black and white of digital. I am about quality and beauty.
What is something you find unique or special about photographing families in the Hamptons as opposed to anywhere else?
Shooting at the variety of amazing homes, the beaches and the farm stands and the beautiful light of the Hamptons. I find the families are much more relaxed and 90% of our clients want a beach session.
I am also a fan of Slim Aarons who photographed important people in their stately homes and surroundings. I enjoy doing the same.
Outside of your portrait photography business, what things inspire you to stop and take a photo?
Fortunately for me, I see art everywhere. I shoot street photography, which I find very exciting, and I love graffiti. Children are a personal favorite to capture for my personal work as they are authentic.
What artistic/career accomplishments are you most proud of?
I have three published books, I have been on over 80 radio and TV talk shows, and I have had a museum exhibition at the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon Portugal.
What do you find most personally rewarding about your career as a photographer?
I have been able to sustain myself working as a photographer. I set my own schedule, and I love photography. I adore photographing children because I do not have any. When I work with children, I feel like they are all my children. This is the journey I was meant to have.
Where can your photography be seen in the coming weeks, both online and in-person?
It can be seen on my website lucillekhornak.com, on Instagram @lucillekhornakphotography and at my gallery in Bridgehampton (2400 Montauk Highway). Currently in my gallery, I have an exhibit of my photos of important fashion designers, which are a limited edition series for sale including Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld and Givenchy.
Would you like to share any closing thoughts?
In a world filled with so much noise, parents should realize the importance of quality photography for their walls. It makes a home warm, interesting and inviting. Having a customized and uniquely designed wall showcasing your children makes them feel important. Seeing photographs of themselves bonding with siblings and parents is positive reenforcement for their emotional wellbeing.
Life is moving so fast that making family time should be a priority. It is a must to schedule in a yearly photography session. The actual photography session has become an annual event for so many of our Hamptons families, as they make this event something to look forward to.
Your family photography done the right way becomes part of your art. The printed books and custom prints are what will be passed on from generation to generation. We feel privileged to be part of creating a visual legacy. Look past your everyday iPhone photographs and create something special. Feel free to chat with me about scheduling your session by emailing [email protected].