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Capturing authenticity


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POSTED: Monday, December 01, 2008

San Francisco photographer Tracy Wright Corvo shoots models, actors and musicians. Sounds like she moves in a glamorous world, but Corvo simply says, “;I work with people from all walks of life who need pictures of themselves for their work.”;

She lights up, however, when discussing her favorite subjects: children.

“;My heart is in photographing children,”; she says. “;I love the spirit of children. They're fun and and natural in front of the camera. Plus, I'm a big kid myself!”;

Corvo will be sharing her passion at two noncredit workshops Saturday and Sunday for University of Hawaii's Pacific New Media. “;Photographing Children”; runs Saturday and “;The Art of Portraiture”; is set for Sunday. Both classes require a working knowledge of photography and take place 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Yukiyoshi Room at UH's Krauss Hall. Fees are $120. Call 956-8400.

Corvo, a former Hawaii resident, began photography as a teen and loved it so much she raised funds to build a darkroom at her high school. She spent her early adulthood working in the field as an assistant and then as a commercial photographer.

But Corvo soon got bored (”;Art directors have all the say,”; she laments) and went back to school to become a teacher. After an enjoyable decade in the classroom, Corvo decided to return to photography as her own boss and opened a studio in the isles in 2004. Last year, she relocated to California but flies back several times a year for work.

CORVO'S child portraiture conveys a soulfulness rarely seen in children's photography. How does she capture the essence of her subjects so eloquently?

“;Whomever I'm photographing, I collaborate with them,”; Corvo says. “;I always treat children with the same respect I afford anybody. People are always telling them, 'Oh, you're a child. You should be happy.' The reality is, children have the whole range of emotions adults have.

“;I'm genuinely interested in who they are and what they have to say. They have my full attention. ... That connection results in images that are authentic. And unless I get that, I'm not satisfied. I won't stop until I get that,”; Corvo says. “;I want people to see the whole child.”;