gosh i think its about time for a second installment so here goes nothin’ peeps…
1. how do you go about finding locations?
or some variation of this question gets asked daily…so while i understand it needs to be addressed i have to jump on a soapbox for a moment….locations are a sticky subject for photographers especially when local photogs ask for location sites. a friend once said it so perfectly “in a day where every joe schmo with a camera is a “photographer” our locations are what make us each unique and thus are essentially our only real secret…” but dont think of this as a bad thing think of it as YOUR secret WEAPON!i am costantly driving around with my head on a swivel, one eye on the road and one eye on the surroundings, even on the way to the grocery store, ha. awesome locations are everywhere, EVERY-WHERE, but whats awesome to me and my style may not be awesome to you and your styl,e so a place you might pass right on by, may be a gold mine of a shoot for me. my take on private properties? DO NOT USE WITHOUT permission… my take on no trespassing signs? DO NOT TRESPASS… believe me there are so many options around ever corner of every town we all live in you just need to find them. As far as locations that every photographer uses? hey i use local places museums etc the majority of the time but i always try to use those location differently than the next guy. Your clients come to you because they want to, dont try to mimic how someone else used a local location or you arent beign true to yourself or your clients. TRUST YOURSELF!!
2. do you use flash? flash fill? how do you keep from getting ugly shadows on your clients faces?
no maam i do not! i am no joke when i say “natural light photographer”, haha. but seriously if you are shooting at optimal times than you do not need extra light. the best time to shoot IN MY OPINION and please take it for what its worth (which isnt really that much), is the evening right around sunset. Morning light is always nice but i prefer to be there when my own kids wake up in the morning and they are late risers aaaaaaand morning light tends to give a blue cast as opposed to the yellowy buttery cast evening light produces. The thing is to prevent those shadows you do not want to be shooting your clients when the sun is high in the sky and furthest from your subject, this will create those “ugly shadows” right across the face from the nose, brow line etc. if you must or want to shoot at this time of the day i recommend using a scrim to diffuse some of the light or reflector to add some fill light ( i have only used these things 2-3 times ever), or find some good shade. plus if you think about catchlights and the whole concept of light in eyes it makes sense that you should shoot when the light is even with the eyes of your subject, right?
3. okay another commonly asked q is about white balance, what setting do i use, do i ever use a grey card, blah blah blah?
are you ready for the secret answer???? oh im not sure you are ready, do you think so? okay i shoot on cloudy 99% of the time i shooting outdoors and auto white balance 80% of the time i am shooting indoors! i know gasp sputter eyes bugging out of your head because i just totally blew your mind right?! yeah no big secret but i will say white balance has been and off and on internal issue with me for a while now and a ton of other photogs i know as well. the point? if the whites arent blown and they are a little off fix them the best you know how. or you can get all technical and shoot with a grey card, i chose not to go that route, mmmkay good?!
4. where do you get your chairs, etc?
okay i will admit i am not a garage sale or thrift shop kinda girl, theres just something about strangers stuff that doesnt appeal to me…BUT i do know you can find some pretty fab stuff so thats a good place to start if you have some good patience or dont mind the smell of thrift stores, ha. Most of my props are things i found in relatives garages or in actual stores. plus i dont like furniture that has been who knows where, i am deathly afraid of the whole “bugs in the cushions” urban legend, hahahaha
5. how do you get such good sooc images?
i shoot using my meter
6. how did you decide what your specialty was?
well this one has evolved…from the very beginning i knew that i had such a love for wedding details but that i would not be shooting weddings, just a gut feeling i guess. when i first started i felt most comfortable and most successful when i was photographing a newborn, so it was an easy choice to focus on those types of shoots. these days i would say i have transitioned to more of a baby and child specialty shooter. i take limited number of newborns sessions these days and spend the majority of my time shooting kids and babies bc again its what i enjoy the most, what most of my ideas circle around and what i feel the most connected to right now. but what i have to say about this point is that i truly believe you cant be everything to everybody. FOCUS on what you like the most and be the best you can be at it.
7. i think i am ready to make photography more than a hobby and am considering quitting my job do you have any helpful tips for me?
oooohhhhh okay, without knowing anything about your photography now, i will shoot from the hip on this one and remind you of a few things. USE CAUTION WHEN STEPPING OVER THE EDGE! being in this business is way more than having a good camera and photo editing software. the business side of it takes up way more time than the shooting. first and foremost get a business license and BE LEGIT! if you dont think you are confident enough to hold your head up high and march your little self to the county clerk office/courthouse to get a business license than you are not ready to take the plunge. next get a good accountant or have a legit knowledge of accounting software. third price yourself INTO the business not OUT of the business. charging too little and paying taxes will have you working for chump change and you will get burned out faster than it took you to drive to get that business license in the first place. and last CHIN UP BECAUSE THE SKY IS THE LIMIT!!! this career choice can be very fullfilling and the choice to create can provide such a sense of pride. i will never forget the moment i realized that people actually had my images adorning their walls, images that i had created for their children, grandchildren and great gradnchildren to cherish years from now.
8. how do you balance your crazy workload with raising such beautiful littel girls?
(blush) awww thanks but the long and short of it i’m still trying to figure that part out myself. oh and i dont sleep much from august through decemeber.