Recently I was contacted by a photography student that need to interview a photographer for a project she was working on! I was happy to help her and it was fun for me to answer the questions! I thought I’d share with you all on my blog!
How did you get interested in photography? My love for photography started as a child. I have always loved looking at photographs. I’m a very sentimental person and I love that photographs capture a moment in time. I took photography classes in middle and high school where I learned to shoot and develop my own film. After high school I didn’t pursue photography (besides taking my own personal photography’s with disposable! and point and shoot cameras) until my son was born in 2008. That is when I had my first DSLR, a D80 and I began learning more about the techniques behind good photography. In 2010 I decided that I wanted to pursue photography professionally and really dove into reading as much as I could about the art and techniques of photography. In 2011 when I began building my portfolio for my business, I bought my Nikon D700 and have been going strong shooting my full frame camera manually ever since.
Are there any photographers (or others) that influenced or inspired you in the beginning? I was first inspired by Sally Mann and Annie Leibovitz. I love their unique style. I love that they aren’t afraid to be different.
Who or what are your influences or inspirations now? Now that I have my own business I am inspired by Tara Whitney, Jasmine Star, Rachel Vanoven and Sarah Cornish. The thing that all four of these photographers have in common is that they put a lot of themselves into their photography and into their business. By being a fan of theirs I feel like I know them. They are true to themselves and it reflects in their images. They inspire me!
What type of education do you have? (photography or other) Besides the few photography classes I took in middle & high school I am a self taught photographer. I graduated from high school and have taken some college level courses for graphic design and photography. I put my college education on hold to pursue my photography business as well as to raise my son.
How do you educate yourself now? I am constantly trying to gain new skills as an artist. I research a lot about photography online and practice a lot with my camera. I also learn a lot from studying other photographers work.
What type of education should students have today? I think everyone is different. I don’t think there is one way to be successful. You have to stay true to yourself and do what works for you. I do see a lot of value in formal education but I don’t believe it’s the only way to become successful.
How did you get started? Did you assist, work on staff, or open your own business? When I decided that I wanted to make photography my career I began building my portfolio by taking pictures of my friends and their kids. Once I felt confident in my skill level as aphotographer I opened my own business. I am currently a natural light on location custom portrait photographer. I hope to have my own studio within the next year!
What was your biggest break or turning point? Learning how to shoot manually was the big turning point for me with photography. This of course happened in the very beginning of building my portfolio but this made a huge difference in my images. I love having control over my camera. I also saw a big change in my images when I got rid of the kit lens and began shooting with prime lenses.
Do you have a favorite technique? I shoot with prime lenses only and I mostly shoot wide open! I also select and lock my focus and then recompose my shots.
What are your favorite subjects or photo shoots? I love to capture connections whether its between a family, a couple or even band members playing on a stage. My favorite images are those that convey a feeling.
Do you do any personal photography projects? What are they? I am always trying to capture beautiful images of my family. I am currently working on a 52 week photography project where I capture a timeless image of my family and our life once a week. For this project I am processing the image manually in black and white. I look forward to the end of the year when I can display all 52 images, one from each week of the year 2013.
What is the best part of being a photographer? The best part about being a photographer is that I truly love what I do. My heart is in every part of my work and my business. It is very rewarding to be able to do something that I love and to have others value it.
What is the worst part of being a photographer? The worst part about being a photographer is the self doubt. It’s easy to get stuck in a place of always comparing yourself to other photographers. It’s important to remember that as artists we are all on our own journey. It’s a never ending learning process.
What do you look for in an assistant? Key characteristics in an assistant would be someone who pays close attention to detail, is self motivated, has a love for the art of photography and knowledge on the technique of photography.
What advice can you give someone looking to work as your assistant? Believe in yourself!
What business advice can you give to an emerging photographer? I personally think that being a good business person is just as important (if not more important) as being a talented photographer. Business skills are SO important. I spend a lot of time constantly learning about business just as I do in regards to learning photography techniques! If one thing doesn’t work; keep trying. Don’t give up!