Every year technology presents the world with a new, improved generation of smartphones and digital cameras that take and make better pictures than before. Every person with the latest android or iPhone can take better pictures than they could the year before. It is almost guaranteed that one of your family or friends has a new camera that takes pictures with more sensors and megapixels. Almost anyone is capable of becoming a photographer. But when you visit the studio of Richard Williams, you can see the massive difference between a potential capability and a truly genius artistic photographer.
As Richard Williams has risen to prominence in the Glendale community as a professional photographer, the most significant competition he has faced has become the mistaken assumption that having a world-class capable camera can somehow make you a world-class photographer. He built his career doing corporate headshots and weddings and gradually became the go-to photographer for Glendale’s business elite. Mr. Williams has become trusted as the primary photographer for the City of Glendale, Glendale Police Department, Forest Lawn, Glendale Adventist Medical Center, and a long list of notables too long to list. Along the way, he became familiar with the news that “a family member has taken up photography”, which came with the fact that he had been temporarily replaced as the organization photographer. His replacement typically only lasts as long as it took to see the significant difference between his professional work and the pictures from the enthusiast with the new camera.
One service specialty that Richard Williams Photography provides is the nearly identical appearance of the different board members and employees of companies that he shoots. Mr. Williams has mastered a special technique that makes each individual’s photo look as if it was taken at the same time as all the others, even when there could be a 20-year difference in the times the photos were taken. The continuity and familiarity of each company member’s photo create an overall unity of corporate vision for the corporate entity.
Richard Williams has witnessed several technological revolutions beyond the never-ending superior iterations of smartphones and digital cameras. When he first moved into his present studio in 1995, Mr. Williams had a fully functioning darkroom on the premises, complete with the ability to develop and produce all his film negatives to black and white and full color photographic prints. With the advent of the digital camera, the darkroom became an expensive anachronism which a subsequent studio remodel deleted in approximately 2005.
Another significant technology shift came with digital retouching and Adobe Photoshop. Today, a talented photographer is extremely reticent to produce final photos without retouching because the pictures would stand out so imperfectly. Mr. Williams recounted a humorous story in which a corporate client told him, “Mr. Williams, I came here because I don’t want to look like me”. Indeed Mr. Williams was surprised when this client produced a list of photo alteration requests over several pages and was adamant that the retouching included all the listed modifications. Richard Williams stated that in almost every other instance, he is diligent to preserve a close resemblance of a final photo to the actual subject, except in such cases of extreme duress.
One of Richard William’s particularly amazing products is known as the “portrait mounted on canvas”. This large elegant, framed photo more closely resembles a highly accurate artistic painting than a framed photograph. The effect is achieved by mounting a large portrait on canvas with a mortarboard backing. The canvas texture of the portrait is only slightly discernable but contributes to the appearance of fine art and creates a family heirloom. A stroll through the Richard Williams gallery leaves one with the impression that the subject of each portrait looks authentic and spontaneous. No one looks like they are saying “cheese”. Richard Williams responded to this observation by noting that he starts every session with a consultation with the subject person of the session to get to know them. He stated that just as much as he understands photography, he also understands how to pose a subject in a background and help them get over their fear of being photographed. Mr. Williams said that often his greatest challenge is bringing his clients to a state of ease before their shoot. In so doing, he helps them preserve a beautiful moment that lasts more than a lifetime.
Richard Williams Photography
413 N. Glendale Ave
Glendale, CA 91206