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Wednesday 07 June
By Gregory Daniel Portrait
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There are really no words that truly capture the unique experience and bond that is formed when working with Gregory & Lesa Daniel.  For those of you reading this who have done portraits with them before, you know exactly what I’m talking about! And for those of you who are considering doing one, all I can tell you is that you will never regret it!!  Gregory and Lesa are a true team in every sense of the word who set the bar in excellence, professionalism and unbelievable talent.  It is very much a collaborative experience from start to finish with Lesa and Gregory who are not just merely listening to your ideas and what you have in mind, they have this rare and highly intuitive ability of grasping, feeling, and visualizing what you are looking for in your portrait.  They are able to tap into who you and your family are, your personalities and how you interact with one another and then draw it out in ways on that canvas that will literally reduce you to tears the first time you see it. (Note to self, have tissues in purse on that day!!)  This was the second time that we were doing a family portrait with the Daniels. The first time, the boys were 5 & 8 yrs old and having meltdowns over the shoes they were wearing or the color of the sky that day.  I had no idea what to expect.  I just remember being terrified when Lesa shooed my husband and I inside saying…”for the next hour, your kids are OUR’s, We’ve got this so go relax indoors!!” …And silently I was thinking, UmmHmm…Okay, Good luck with that one!! & smugly banking on one or both of them coming back to us in 10 minutes or less saying we need some help with these little monkeys!!  I could not have been more wrong.  The end result of that day proudly hangs in our Family Room visible from almost every other room in the house.  What they captured was this incredibly sweet and genuine moment between brothers that back then (and even now) is rarely seen!! To this day, I joke and say that portrait is what has kept my faith alive that some day these boys will be the best of friends instead of going out of their way to constantly annoy one another. And when there is nothing but chaos throughout the house, I look at that portrait, smile and remind myself that those sweet angels are still in there somewhere and should resurface at some point in the next 5-8 years give or take a few! :-)  I’m joking of course, but for those of you with teenagers, I know you can relate.  So with our first Daniels experience successfully tucked under our belts, collaborating on this second portrait taken last summer down in the Exumas was nothing but fun fun fun from start to finish!  The boys are now 12 and 15 and instead of throwing temper tantrums over their shoes, they were actually looking forward to it and helping me shop for their outfits.  Gregory and Lesa flew in at the tail end of our trip which gave us some time to stake out ideal shooting locations, but at the end of the day it was my oldest son Jack who landed the perfect spot as he and our youngest son, Michael were showing Gregory and Lesa around the property of the home we had rented. My husband and I were still inside getting ready to go to a beach location we chose, but in sharing their stories and adventures with Gregory and Lesa, the Daniels took that opportunity and kicked it into high gear with Gregory snapping away shots on his camera and Lesa instinctively keeping the conversation flowing as the boys were excitedly pointing out landmarks and points of interest to them.  And as with our first portrait, Gregory managed to capture a new genuinely sweet moment and that bond between these two brothers which not only instills my faith but reinforces that even with the daily chaos, our boys are growing into amazing young men with depth to their souls, a deep connection to these islands and a love and respect for each other that will forever be with them.   I am so thankful to have had the pleasure of Gregory and Lesa on this trip with us, as our bonds with them are forever solidified in these beautiful portraits and amazing moments captured that tell the 'story of us' over the years so beautifully!!  

Most Appreciative & Thankful for you both,
Cheryl & John Sottile  

2017 Portrait Guide