Varitay Studios circle RGB FINALOur name “VARITAY” originates from the movie genre “cinema verite” (in French, “truthful cinema”). We consider it our mission to create a connection and capture the truth—the REAL you— during our sessions. We adjust and improvise until our subjects relax and forget that the camera is in front of them. That is the moment that they let their guard down and act naturally, revealing the truth in the image. The favorite part of our job is revealing amazing results. We spend time prior to our sessions listening to our clients and discovering how they would like us to portray their business brand in their images. It is very rewarding to see the excitement, satisfaction, and relief in our clients after they see that we did just that.


Why VARITAY? An essay by Cam

Before joining forces, our respective photographic ventures into photography were very personal and frankly, solo at times. When you are starting out in a new business, it is difficult to ask for help or work with anyone because you can’t share with others what you haven’t figured out for yourself. It’s a paradox, you need so much help, but you can’t figure out how to let people help you. As a consequence, running your own business can be a very lonely, difficult experience. But it also can be a very rewarding one. You personally own it all. Your successes and your failures. There is a lot of personal responsibility that has to be realized when you run your own business.

Developing that autonomy on our own and then being able to take those lessons and blend them together, filling in each others gaps was the impetus to the merger between Jeff and I, being able to pool together, expand and inspire more greatness in each other, and at the same time support each others weaknesses and areas that need improvement. 

The logo needed to represent that, so we decided make a complete shift with a new name and new brand to match our new, fabulous and inspiring studio in the renovated historic building and now creative hub at THE 410. We purposely wanted the new name and logo to be somewhat vague, because in asking the question of What is VARITAY? you begin to understand what our business and personal missions are all about. 

VARITAY, is our word, it is made up, a metaphor. It is our play off of the concept of:  Cinema Verite

Cinema Verite, roughly translates “truthful cinema.” (“Verite” used alone covers a genre of film, television, and radio programs that emphasize realism and naturalism.) At its core, the cinema verite philosophy challenges the cinematographer (or in our case, the photographer) to improvise with the subject until they at last can capture the “real truth,” or authentic essence, hidden behind reality.

When I was introduced to the concept of Verite by a friend, it gave me shivers. That moment of “Varitay” absolutely happens at some point in most every session I have ever shot. It is about getting into the zone, doing something that feels effortless.  At times it feels that you are actually not even doing it, it is doing itself. It is exciting when it happens, surreal even, and then it naturally spills onto the subject and presto!….they have found their “Varitay” — and you have gotten the shot.  To get deep, which anyone that knows me know I love to do, it is about letting down your guard, opening up yourself, and letting out that light, that sparkle.  We often time don’t get to see our OWN unique light, but our loved ones and partners, in business or family, recognize it in an instant, that’s why they love us, it’s intangible, a feeling, but it is powerful. Part of my mission is to help my subjects begin to see that in themselves.

thinker's circle graphic

What do those circles mean?

The circles in the logo represent another concept in photography, but can easily be transferred to the broader platform of life. The circles are known by two names The Creative Circle and The Thinker’s Circle. They are both based loosely on the philosophy of Hermeneutics.  Hermeneutics, biblically is considered the interpretation of the Bible, I am not tackling that here ;), but the broader definition is a method or principle of interpretation. It is the concept that life is made up of a series of movements through stages. It is taking a risk, having an experience, making a mistake, learning from the mistake, thinking about it, and then taking another risk.  We area all doing this all the time. Sometimes, though we get stuck in thinking too much, or dwelling on the mistake, or being afraid to take that next risk. The circles represent the fact no matter what, we need to keep moving. Keep working the circle. The mistakes never end, the risks/challenges will always present themselves, it’s how we think and move forward that makes the difference and urges us to grow.