It is rare that I would make a testimonial public. However, there are moments when you have discovered a talent so special that is worthy of greater recognition. Thus is TJ Devadatta Best.
For a while now, I thought it was time to invest in a professional photo shoot. However, if I ever were to do it, I knew it would be with TJ. His portraits are, to my eye, so very different from the standard commercial shots you see everywhere. He not only makes his subjects look good, he magically captures their spirit and portrays a sensual reality that few professional photographers, no matter how sleek their results, can emulate.
The only hurdle was that he lives in Southern California and me in New York. However, as I had a week-long residency approaching at Concordia University in Irvine, I knew the time was right. The experience of the shoot surpassed my expectations. TJ’s generous warmth makes you comfortable immediately. Even for those who are congenitally camera shy, I would think, would find his professional embrace an opening to become a supermodel. Together you explore the ideas, sentiments, and spirit of what you want to express. Once the shoot begins, TJ is an artist at work, bubbling in delight over the mutual creativity. As a musician, I would call it chamber music, the give and take of two artists working together to create beautiful art.
The result is just bearing fruit, and I marvel how he achieves such transformations – taking frogs and turning them into princes and princesses.
TJ is from the Netherlands. As he speaks of his heritage, you realize that he is part of that legacy of the great Dutch masters - continuing explorations of both Light and Art."
— Stuart Diamond, Composer, NYC, NY
"Pema Chodron writes… “Life is a work in progress, a process of uncovering our natural openness, uncovering our natural intelligence and warmth. I have discovered, just as my teachers always told me, that we already have what we need. The wisdom, the strength, the confidence, the awakened heart and mind are always accessible, here, now, always.” T.J. Best embodies this truth, reminding us through his work that all of the above and more are always accessible, here and now. He not only allows for this to blossom in his clients, but he captures it on film. T.J. allows for his clients to experience their own Divine being-ness shining through. Aside from the many amazing photos T.J. captured today of me, expert in light, style, position, color and flow… T.J. saw me. It is such a beautiful experience to be fully seen and celebrated and then shown back to yourself. The process of defining my essence in three words, sharing my story with his patient and open space-holding, and then opening with meditation allowed me to delve into my heart; let me express back out my most essential essence over and over again with relative ease; brought me to humble, grateful, blessed tears, and allowed me to fully delight in the experience of showing myself and what I have to offer the world. I am just basking in the experience. So blessed!
Thank you T.J. It is an honor to know you and work with you."
Amy E Chadwick, ND, FACEMIP
Soaring Crane Natural Health Center
Lights, Camera, Fun! What an experience! My photo session with TJ was remarkably easy on my nerves and body-mind. I do not model for a living, so working with a photographer who has the gift of capturing my essence without me having to DO or BE something I am not was a beautiful, joy-filled and relaxing experience. TJ has a magical gift and quality of really seeing you — this means he sees your core-self, capturing the life in your eyes. Personally I had a very tough few days prior to the shoot, and his very important homework seemed almost impossible to do, but I found a place inside me to be at peace and he captured that. He is a masterful artist with light. TJ’s whimsy and playfulness is just enough to breakdown any crystallized thoughts and rigidity being held in your psyche and body. What an experience — Thank You TJ!
Rev. Tiffany Barsotti ~ HEAL and THRIVE
"Though I have the privilege of a somewhat public persona, I have always been camera shy. And in the many times I have allowed myself to be photographed, I have paid just as much attention to the person behind the camera as they have paid to me. It is fascinating to see when true collaboration is made visible and what is produced in the final results. TJ Devadatta is a guided light and a brilliant artist. His pure dedication and sacred intentionality were palpable-visceral, genuine and profoundly moving. I could actually relax and just BE. Our work together was indeed transformative. It is an honor to be seen and celebrated as my true self and to have that truth reflected back to me.:)) Thank you TJ Devadatta!"
Artist, Activist, Founder & CEO, Move The Crowd
How cool is it to meet and work with a master! TJ was such a joy to work with...and, most importantly, we accomplished our objective of creating so many useful photos for my website and promotional campaigns. I would recommend TJ with ease and comfort knowing that he will deliver quality shots that are staged, captured and edited in the most professional and creative manner. I'm really pleased, grateful and blown away. Thanks TJ.
It was incredibly special to work with TJ Devadatta in this dynamic of a young woman on a quest of language, with a brilliant human being that has done his work to fill every breath with love, who connects with her heart, and then captures it all with a lens.
In the seat of retrospect and gratitude covered observation- I see that our time together was a big catalyst in my rights of passage work the past several years.
To go on the journey of identifying the essence and intention of the woman I am today and what I stand for was so very powerful. Even more significant was the environment of authenticity and compassion TJ provoked by meeting me where I was in the moment and consequently I found an environment of authenticity and compassion inside myself and that showed up in the photos- but more importantly was a taste of how that feels to create an environment that is conducive to being the highest calling…
an environment that is not polluted by self judgement or ridicule but supports the journey of knowing the self and LOVING the self and caring for the self.
If there is anyone who can capture that thought in a photo it is the beautiful Deva- I am very grateful.
Lileana Fangz, poet
My photo shoot with TJ Devadatta Best was a phenomenal experience in every way. This was my first time being photographed professionally and I was nervous in the beginning. However, TJ's grace, professionalism, poise, patience and great spirit transcended my nervousness to a place of calm and confidence. The shoot was fun, successful, and just simply FANTASTIC. TJ's intuition and sensitivity has taken my first cd recording project to a completely different level. As for the three words that best describe me (& my singing) that TJ recommended that I meditate on prior to the shoot, well, let the photographs speak for themselves through their warmth, invigoration and enchantment. Thank you TJ for capturing my light through your gift of light.
Aloha, Robin Rose
Having TJ photograph you is an experience unlike any other! He understands that what shows up on a photo comes from inside you. His work begins there, with letting what’s inside of you out and then capturing that. I’ve never met another photographer (and I worked with many during my years in the advertising business) who understood this so completely. As a result the photos he takes are something completely other than the usual portrait. They are reflections of who you are inside as well as out.
Your portrait work is of a high degree. It's not easy to get this level of technique with art and insight with expression! Well done mate!
Ashesha Shane Conroy
TJ Devadatta has a way of getting you centered in your heart so that the beauty of who you are shines through in your photos.
Kayla Ny, Songwriter, NY, New York
If I were still in the business and younger I would travel to China (literally) to have TJ Devadatta Best do my resume shots. He's JUST THAT GOOD! Some way he has of getting his subjects to vulnerably reveal their inner beauty and strength which results in photos IMPOSSIBLE to ignore!
Shanti Deloris Gaskins, former actress
“The best photographer in San Diego.”
Adriana Tomazelli, Top Model, San Diego
Being photographed by TJ was an amazing and ecstatic experience. After 20 years modeling and later acting I’ve worked with many photographers around the world. All they cared about was how I looked on the outside, and no interest whatsoever on the inner Self. With TJ Devadatta, he asked me before the shoot to have an intention and pick what qualities of my soul I wanted to express. After a sweet meditation we began the shoot. He kept encouraging me to let my inner beauty shine through my eyes, to let the Goddess within be Present! They were the most beautiful, centered, real, charismatic, blissful pictures ever taken of me. I love TJ’s style and talent! He is a master behind the camera and a true professional.
TJ Devadatta’s brilliance as a portrait photographer is that he sees the essence of each person in all of its facets, and is able to call that forth with very easeful directions, and then translate that essence into a stunning physical image. I have had the great pleasure of having been photographed by him many times, and I find that I learn more about myself with each portrait he’s taken. The process of having my portrait taken and also of returning to the pictures afterwards always reconnects me with myself. And this is where his mastery as a portrait artist lies - that he gives to me not just beautiful self-images, but a deeper connection to my true self.
Whether a portrait, object or sea/landscape, TJ Devadatta illuminates the essence of his subject by capturing its beauty in one extraordinary frame. Simply gorgeous.
I arrived at TJ Devadatta’s studio frantically aware of how late I was, bursting with hyper anticipation of what might occur and carrying a disheveled mess of props and costume changes. His childlike nature - so gentle and enthusiastic, I immediately relaxed into present time and opened to his lens like a flower. He gave me the freedom to and intuitively nudged me to go deeper when I felt stuck. By the end of the photo session, I was crying oceans of love; beautiful, uninhibited, soul full of love. What I experienced working with TJ was much more than a common photo shoot. His comfort with himself and trust in the creative process allowed me to trust myself completely. In that place of trust I felt myself drop away from what I think I am, and reflect what I truly am - a universe of light and love. The most truthful pictures any one has ever captured of me. Thank you TJ!
In our photo shoot you were able to capture the essence of my soul in time of deep prayer and devotion. You are a master in your craft. With your loving-kindness you guided me to ascend. My heart is filled with gratitude.
Rabbi Miriam E. Hamrell
I have been a fan for years. TJ Devadatta’s photographs of nature are amazing. The macro shots of water droplets reveal the depth of his vision and his portraits not only are beautifully artistic, but convey a connection with his subjects on a metaphysical level.
Our photography session yesterday took me to a world beyond physicality. It was fascinating to how your attention to the world, bought out the best of my look! Your dexterity to play every note of the music of camera made my experience of being photographed, a journey to the symphony of my diversity. From communicating to my potential clients, to coming out of meditation land where there is love for all, you captured every move, every mood, and the true essence of that who is me. I thank you for bringing mindfulness to the art of photography. You are now the official photographer of the heart, where everyone is beautiful regardless of their look! I am thrilled with these photos, and grateful for your work. Words fail me when I attempt to communicate my gratitude.
There are photographers and then there are photographic artists. TJ Devadatta not only paints gorgeous images using light and lens, he forms a spiritual connection with his human subjects and effortlessly records a person’s essence. Generally, I’m not crazy about having my picture taken, but TJ was able to put me completely at ease and almost immediately establish a sense of trust. He’s truly a talented artist.
TJ Devadatta’s attention to detail is extraordinary. He makes any visual sing with beauty and integrity. His work ethic, timing and professionalism are all grade A. I highly recommend TJ for any photography needs you may have.
Asha Tyska McLaughlin
TJ Devadatta is one of those rare artists who has merged with his medium -its as if he didn’t need the camera at all. His photographs radiate his unique and luminous inner world. We see the world as he does and it is so very beautiful and heart-opening!
TJ Devadatta’s fine art photography is in a class by itself. His discerning eye combined with his use of form and light instills a sense of beauty and magic in the viewer. At the same time, he elegantly reveals the inner beauty and mystery of those he photographs. A rare and brilliant creative spirit!
I keep following the evolution of your photography. In a world where we all take thousands of photos, your work stands out light years beyond the rest - mastery and genius - a study in what is true art, when compared to the mass of everything else that the rest of us do with the same medium…the same equipment... the same pair of eyes.
TJ Devadatta Best is one of the most brilliant and gifted photographers I know. His eye is perfect and his vision is inspired. His photograph’s take your breath away...they are so amazing.
When I first saw TJ Devadatta’s photography, I was immediately captivated by his great sensitivity to minute details which initially spoke to me of the school of Dutch still life painters. However, unlike the Dutch masters, TJ’s images, whether the subject is floral, crystal, water, wildlife, landscape or portrait, has a certain quality of light that simply glows from the inside. I knew immediately that I had to use TJ’s light inspired photography as a metaphor and example of the inner transformation and glow I see working as a healer and personal coach with my clients when they have the epiphany of a big moment. When I see them make an inner break through that had previously held them hostage for years and the light bulb goes off, accompanied by a lifting of past heaviness, this is the same Divine awakening that TJ Devadatta captures in his photography. I feel honored and blessed to have met TJ Devadatta and to now be able to collaborate with him, offering my clients Inner Light Inspired Portraits, to capture in photography the inner transformation we achieve working together.
TJ Devadatta’s photography is visually arresting, utterly beautiful, and always thought provoking. The playfulness and exquisite eye he brings to his photographs of the natural world translate masterfully in his portraiture. He’s a joy to work with and bound to bring out unique gifts in his subject.
TJ Devadatta’s photography is exquisite because of his incredibly deep understanding of light and timing. His studies in meditation have made him acutely sensitive to light energy and he has a powerful intuition that guides him to capture the most fleeting moments. His portraits reflect his total empathy with his subjects and his wildlife photography can only come from one who deeply loves Nature. TJ Devadatta’s understanding of technique is immediately evident in his unique macro work.
Photography That Captures the Spirit
There is a sublime spiritual quality in his work, no matter the subject, that comes across and moves my soul. Whatever the subject is he captures the energy, the essence! Therefore, calling his photography Light Inspired Art is perfect. It is light and feels divinely inspired.
TJ Devadatta Best is one of the best international photographers I have known. He has a excellent eye for beauty. He captures in his portrait- photos the real character, the essence of the person behind it. All his photos are full of depth and light. They are in my eyes of the best quality.
To meet and know TJ Devadatta, will fill your heart with blessings and grace . . . to know and enter such a person’s world through his artistic gesture of photography and word, is an opportunity to touch the sublime and peek at the Cosmos.
Brenda J. MacMillan
I have observed the talented and skilled TJ Devadatta for over 20 years. His quiet presence exemplifies the microcosm and the macrocosm of humanity, which he conveys into magnificent artistry manifested in his photography. After viewing even one of his photographs, you will desire more as the ethereal beauty is beyond imagination. It is as if the angels reach down and touch his creations. Experiencing TJ Devadatta’s photography will enhance and augment your life in countless ways.
TJ Devadatta’s photography clearly springs from a deep connection with a transcendent purity and a feeling of devotion for each form. The translucent light-filled images draw the perceiver into the realm of unsurpassing beauty. TJ Devadatta is a unique photographer who has the ability to capture that which is beyond the eye. He tunes into the essence of a person, of nature, and of spiritual truths and expresses them in a way that is arrestingly beautiful and fresh. Several of his images grace our walls and I have discovered that his work holds the energy of inspiration and communicates it anew each day