I’ve always admired artists that can capture the dance of light. Although some have come to see them as bourgeois, the Impressionist artists Monet, Degas, and Renoir shared the gift of being able to capture light in a remarkable way that still astounds us to this day. I once visited an exhibition of the “Haystacks” series by Monet. These pieces were something so ordinary and simple - a haystack - and yet the whole magic of the series moved me so much. The yellows, blues, greens, oranges, and full array of color and light was reflecting back at me as if I was standing in the deep heat of the sun. There was even a haystack in snow, bright white and glittering off the canvas - I could almost feel the cold dust of snowfall as I peered into Monet’s world.
It is always a blessing when a photographer is able to capture the glimmer of light, allowing us into a moment through our imagination and the artist’s vision. I had the pleasure of meeting such a soul in Lynzie Hazan. Lynzie’s gift is her ability to capture the soft, velvety plushness of a flower petal, the magic mischievousness in a puppy’s eye, and the vivid sparkle of love between two people. Her art has a deeper meaning when you get to know the why behind Lynzie’s work, and the how on where she got herself today. Lynzie’s story reminds me that with big risks come big rewards, in life and in art. Meet an artist of light, Lynzie Hazan.
What is the mission of and vision for Bonphotage?
Before starting Bonphotage, I practiced international corporate law at large firms around the world (Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Brazil). I don’t regret having attended law school as it has proven very useful in my photography venture, but at the end of the day, my heart kept going back to photography. It is where my passion and dedication lies. They say that when you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life. To me, that is photography.
Bonphotage photography is based in Chicago and Los Angeles, but we love to travel and have photographed weddings and engagements all over the world! As the founder and lead photographer, I take great pride in making sure that Bonphotage meets and exceeds the bride and groom’s expectations. Before booking, I make sure to talk to the bride and make sure I understand her style and desires to capture her wedding in the most beautiful way possible. We also love capturing families, pets, and portraits when we are not busy shooting weddings. We professionally edit every image that is delivered to the couple and thus far, we have received nothing but praise from our couples! In addition to photography, we also provide videography services as we have found it to be economically effective for the couple to book both services with one vendor rather than hiring two separate companies.
What and who inspires you? Why?
My parents have inspired me greatly. Both are immigrants to the USA and have worked hard their entire lives to create a nice life for my brother and I. They raised us to appreciate other cultures and ways of life, to stay humble in knowing that you are only a small part of a great big world and to find beauty in others. Difference should be embraced, not shunned. In the difficult and trying world stage today, their message is especially relevant.
How has community contributed to your success? How do you nurture a sense of community in your life?
As a practicing attorney, I often felt unnerved by the competitive and aggressive environment. Since embarking on photography full time, I have been overjoyed by the number of groups and supportive associations I have been fortunate to be a part of. I am blown away by the talented individuals I’ve had the opportunity to work with (from artists to florists to bakers). It is truly a blessing to watch small business owners who are passionate about their craft become successful!
I am a huge believer in lifting those up around you. I have witnessed first hand the benefits of positivity and helping others. You never know when you'll be the one needing the helping hand and people tend to remember your kindness.
How do you incorporate playfulness in your life?
Yoga is a big part of my life. I look forward to the time I spend on my mat with no judgment of myself or those around me. It helps keep me sane and reminds me that life shouldn't be taken too seriously. It is a journey and laughter is the greatest medicine.
What have you witnessed that has strengthened your faith in humanity? How did this change you?
At a young age, my passion for photography and capturing human moments inspired me to travel. I have traveled to 54 countries so far, camera in hand. The beauty and generosity I have witnessed from those far less fortunate than me have forever changed me. One trip, in particular, strengthened by faith in humanity. In 2013, I spent several months backpacking through India on my own. India is a very poor country and some of the images of homeless and sick people are forever etched in my memory. Nevertheless, even on the outskirts of the Himalayas, there were doctors from all over the world setting up health stations with limited resources to vaccinate and treat those less fortunate. Donating their time and money, their kind deeds forever changed me.
When have you felt the most vulnerable? What do you do to release fear?
Making the decision to leave a steady paycheck as an attorney to pursue my dream of being a photographer wasn't easy. I often felt vulnerable and was met with skepticism from others when I mentioned my plan. "But after all the time, money and education you invested," they would often ask. I second guessed myself for a while, but I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Sometimes, seeking answers of yourself to questions raised by others helps you to overcome your own vulnerability.
What rituals are a key part of your day/week and contribute your well-being?
I exercise regularly, I do yoga, I listen to music and I play with my adorable french bulldog, Max.
What does #ClimbYourOwnLadder mean to you?
To #climbyourownladder means to build your dream, the way you see it, not the way society wants you to. Even if the path isn't always clear cut or the end goal not always visible, create your own path. It means to empower those around you to succeed and remind yourself that everyone struggles at times and could use encouragement. It means constantly pushing yourself to become better at what you do.