Leora Siegelman Sowell, owner of Moments of Now Photography, has been taking pictures for as long as she can remember. She laughs when asked of her picture-taking start-date, claiming, “I took pictures whenever I could get my hands on a camera!”
While she is adept at posed portrait shots, she is becoming well-known for her ‘catch the right moment’ candids, which are meant to be photographs that, in themselves, tell a story – -ideal for weddings, birthdays, and other simchas.
One of her favorite pictures she has taken was when she snapped an 18-month old child’s first encounter with a live horse. The setting of the unconventional photo shoot was her idea, and she personally arranged the boy-meets-horse visit, which took place on the property of a friend in North Georgia. She had the idea for arranging the meeting, in which both boy and horse got acquainted, by thinking out-of-the-box, thereby capturing an unanticipated, fleeting moment that the family now treasures.
Thinking outside-of-the-box has become Sowell’s signature style ever since, upon the urging of friends who had benefitted from her unique picture-taking technique. She turned a beloved hobby into a business a few years ago. Purchasing expensive professional photography equipment was a necessary big step, and engaging clients through social media came next. Her web page garners first-time clients, yet most of her work has come from satisfied clients who want to share their positive experiences.
“I try to capture special unplanned moments and settings they might have missed,” Sowell notes, alluding to her clever juxtapositions of subject and setting. A unique portrait of a happy one-year old playing in mud, seconds before the mother could whisk the baby away for a bath, is priceless. Other caught candids of people and animals are featured on the reverse sides of her business cards, reflecting the diversity of her subjects.
In addition to posed portraits, candid pictures, and video production, Sowell produces “art pieces” of scenes she comes upon on her frequent three-to-five-mile walks with her husband, Kevin, and their two dogs. These beautiful scenic photos are a testimony to her keen eye and desire to showcase flora and fauna in their natural beauty.
Sowell is currently completing her student teaching in a first-grade class at the Atlanta Jewish Academy, in fulfillment of a Bachelor of Science in elementary education and special education. The teacher-in-training previously received a degree in applied science from Gwinnett Technical College, and she plans to manage two co-existing, fulfilling careers of teaching children and growing her photography business.
Using her photographic skills philanthropically, Sowell has developed a self-funded photo project that honors service women and men, including police officers, military personnel and EMTs. She takes their individual pictures and records, and videos of them telling their story. For every group of eight to12 interviewees, she has a keepsake book of these photos and stories published as a gift, along with the personal video, for every participant.
Sowell and her siblings studied circus arts when they were young, and Sowell and her brother, Levi, got together with their former coach and performed an original routine at their sister, Rina’s, wedding reception. Who knows if her acrobatic acumen will come in handy in a future classroom or help her to get an especially difficult, but meaningful, shot as a photographer?
Sowell can be reached at 404-969-9973 or www.momentsofwowphotography.com.