John Mansfield, local photographer and owner of All Heart Photography isn’t just one of those ‘behind the camera’ kind of photographers. As the name of his business suggests, for him, it’s all about emotion. And we don’t mean it’s “emotional,” as in, ooey gooey romantic wedding photography.
We mean All Heart is a business centered on people. Its focal point is creating moments where clients feel comfortable and can show their true selves. Which, after all, is what really transports the average, technically skilled photograph into the realm of art.
As a way to fulfill All Heart’s people-centered purpose, John is using his craft for a great cause: hosting Mini Photo Sessions to support Black Visions Collective, a Minnesota organization focused on dismantling systems of oppression and violence and creating systems for transformative, long-term change. In light of current events, John and his wife chose to benefit Black Visions Collective with the mini sessions because of seeing “the injustice for our BIPOC friends, and knew we needed to raise funds to give to an organization that would help them.”
The 30 minute sessions will be held at Wolf Pen Creek in College Station on Sunday, Sept. 13 between 2:30 – 7 p.m. Once you reserve a time, the fitting fee of $100 will be invoiced, with 15% going to BVC. After the session, you’ll receive all the edited, web-optimized images, be able to order any prints, canvases, or albums, as well as a printing release and high-res images to print on your own.
The shorter “mini” session length and the outdoor setting makes it easy on kids. It’s also a chance to document this unique time in the life of your family in a way that’s safe and yet designed to capture candid shots that are meaningful. “When I’m photographing a family,” John says, “I’m looking at the relationships between each family member, and then trying to capture real moments between them, rather than the typical staged 1, 2, 3, cheese! family photos. That one still looks good,” John continues, “but it’s not as real as a child’s laughter or hug attacks for mom.”
We’ve all had to face change in these last months, some unfortunately more than others. While the pandemic has presented its challenges to local businesses, John is handling it in stride, pivoting All Heart into concentrating on video as well as printing albums and art for clients’ homes. You obviously had a fantastic interview with him, so literally everything he said was totally going in, but that makes it hard to organize.You obviously had a fantastic interview with him, so literally everything he said was totally going in, but that makes it hard to organize. In dealing with all the emotions of the last year, photography has taken on a new role in the Mansfield home as the family has found the value in printed photos rather than the digital version. “We’ve printed so many photos over the past 5 months,” John says. “I love that almost daily, my daughter will point at a photo of my mother on the wall and say, “Hi, Sweetpea,” (her grandmother’s name), especially since we haven’t been able to see them much since this started.”
John has also experimented with video live streaming in order to provide couples with a way to share their wedding day with their family and friends. Despite the pandemic, John is still focusing on the most important aspect of photography to him: relationships. For All Heart Photography, this means that 15% of ALL photoshoots is donated to deserving causes. “I’m very passionate about charity,” John says. “I’m a Christian and the Bible teaches to care for those in need. When my wife and I started this business, we were barely making enough to pay rent, but we saw so many others who were in need.” The Mansfields set charitable giving as part of their business model so they would be able to give to those who need it. All Heart “loves sharing stories from the organizations we’ve partnered with so that our clients can see that they had a part in changing people’s lives and making the world a better place, simply by getting their photos taken.”
In addition to his own photography, John is also passionate about helping other photographers improve their skills. John and his photographer bestie Rachel Driskill (Rachel Driskill Photography) are virtually hosting their Light + Dark Photography Workshop over the course of two weeks from Sept. 14-24. They will focus a lot on client relationships, organizing the business end of photography, and learning how to read light better to provide the best photos for your clients. “When we both started our photography businesses,” John says, “there wasn’t a lot of education on the business side. We remember those days, and we wanted to create somewhere that photographers could grow in their business skills in order to take the passion of photography and turn it into a full time job.” Sign up for the Light + Dark Workshop here.
Register for All Heart’s Mini Photo Sessions on Sept. 13 to support a business that is giving back to the community in more ways than one. John will be socially distancing himself with the help of his zoom lens and will also be wearing a mask to ensure safety for you and your loved ones.
John Mansfield (email interview)
Throughout the last few months of navigating a new version of life, John has come to see what some of the most important things in life really are – personally and professionally. “Spending time with those you love is the most powerful and wonderful time spent. It’s been hard during the pandemic to not be able to see people who are regularly around,” John says.
John and his wife live in College Station with their two children, and he can often be found going on new adventures or brewing a fresh cup of coffee. He started All Heart Photography seven and a half years ago and now photographs families, couples, and of course, weddings.
For the last seven years and a half years, the and that’s been central to All Heart’s vision, John says. “Giving to charities and organizations who benefit those in need has been a staple in our business since day one.”