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Meet Barbara Perlick

Today we’d like to introduce you to Barbara Perlick.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Barbara. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
For as long as I can remember, I had a camera hanging from my shoulder. It was like another appendage. I wanted to document my children’s lives and where we were. We traveled extensively as a family, so I wanted to create images that could make me remember how I felt in that moment. I became a photographer for everything. Their sports teams, their schools, and to document the efforts of every charity I was on the board of. It was an endless undertaking. Once Shelley and Robert went off to college, I put my camera away for a while.

In 2017, Houston designer Frederick Smith (who always loved my work and encouraged me to make a career out of my hobby) asked me to come out of retirement. He commissioned me to create a series of photographs of “Behind the Scenes at Minute Maid Park” for Jim Crane’s upscale restaurant Potente. Fred always felt I had a unique perspective and wanted me to find ordinary objects and make them appear extraordinary. These were originally supposed to decorate a long hallway but when Jim Crane saw the photographs, he decided to have them adorn the restaurant. These oversized images are a permanent installation at Potente.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been a relatively smooth road. I have been very fortunate because most of my work has been from word of mouth. Additionally, my background is in sales and marketing, so that has been helpful as well. I feel it is very important to give back to the community. In the past my contributions were as a volunteer. Now I use my photography as a resource to help others. Sometimes it is challenging to divide my time for business and philanthropy.

Unfortunately for all businesses, both large and small, we are all being affected by this pandemic. I had so many projects that I was very excited about put temporarily on the back burner. For example, The Four Seasons Hotel was going to sell my photographs at their Houston location starting in March but understandably won’t need them for a few months. This has been the case with several of my clients. Even my volunteer projects have been put on hold.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am considered by most to be a unique photographer because I do not specialize in one area. My portfolio includes everything from people to street scenes and nature. Everything interests me. I can’t take a walk or drive without finding something that intrigues me. The comment that I hear over and over is that my perspective is different. Usually, my lens will be focused in the opposite direction of others. I also love the challenge of creating custom projects.

The thing that I am probably most proud of is a piece that I was asked to make for a live auction for Black Tie Boxing. The event was raising money to help the survivors of sex trafficking. I had met with an advocate, who educated me on the issues and then with a survivor. As a result of those meetings and with the contributions of the survivor, I created a piece that raised $35,000. It was a very emotional and rewarding experience.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I feel like I have had a very fortunate and lucky life, both personally and professionally. I also attribute two thoughts to that. The first is the harder you work, the luckier you get. Secondly, I am not afraid to put myself out there. If you stand at the plate and never take the bat off your shoulder, you have a zero percent chance of getting a hit. Sometimes you just have to swing for the fences. It has always worked for me. And the word no doesn’t always mean no. It can mean not now!

I have always told my children that I hope they never say, “I wish I would have _____ when I had the opportunity”. There is nothing worse. Just go for it!

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