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Frequently Asked 5


1. Have you ever considered teaching a class or workshop to teach others how to take good pictures or use their cameras?

When I initially got this email, I think I smiled to myself at my desk, flattered that anyone thought I had anything worth sharing with others. I don't know if it's that I'm humble or still insecure about my work at times, but I still feel like I have so much to learn that I'm not yet ready to branch out and teach others. A lot of photographers that I network with think you should be in business for 5+ years before you even consider teaching others, and while I've been shooting for as long as I can remember, according to the IRS I've only been in business for about 3 years.

Teaching is something I'm passionate about, and it's definitely something I would like to do in the future or get involved in with other photographers.

2. Do you ever entertain trades for your services?

Sure. I've only found a deal worth trading for a handful of times. It really has to work best for both parties in order for a deal to be fair and have it not feel as if anyone is being taken advantage of.

3. What inspired you to make the change from your previous style of newborn photography to a more lifestyle perspective?

"Prop" newborn photography as I call it, just wasn't for me. In order to do it correctly and how I would really want to do it (a bit of a perfectionist here... sorta), I would have to invest in a lot of props, blankets, lighting setups, beanbags, etc. I don't have studio space in my home, so all of these items would have to be stuffed into the trunk of my car. This type of photography is incredibly difficult as most of the shots rely on the baby sleeping and I am just not a baby whisperer! I admire and love looking at the work of photographers who do this type of photography well, but it just wasn't an area I wanted to pursue since I specialize in family photography.

The reason I'm drawn to lifestyle photography is because it's natural. It's clean looking. I think it really captures a baby's first few days at home and the excitement of new parents or new big brothers or sisters. There isn't as much down time while we rearrange backdrops and props, and we don't have to have the baby sleeping in order to get amazing shots. My most favorite images of my kids at home at the ones that are more candid, spur of the moment shots that really focused on just a normal day at home. I think that preference in my own pictures comes out in the work I want to capture for clients.

4. What makes you cringe when you look back at your previous work?

The tilt.

A lot of new photographers do this. I did. I thought it made my pictures look more "artsy". When in reality, I think it just made me look drunk or like I was dizzy while on the job. It wasn't until I finished and delivered one wedding and was mid-shooting another one (for the same family) that the Dad asked that not as many pictures be "crooked".

At first, that really rattled me. It flustered me, I was embarrassed, I was defensive (I'm being artsy!!!) but after about 10 minutes I realized, holy crap, he's right. I had to stop myself from tilting my camera the rest of the wedding and when I went back and looked at the event they were talking about, he was totally right. It was ridiculous how much I was tilting, and how I was relying on that to make my pictures look "artsy" instead of finding more creative compositions.



That constructive criticism has made me a better photographer and I'm so thankful to this person for pointing it out to me.

They - not sure who "they" are - always say that you should never look at another photographers work and start to judge or feel down about your own work. Instead, you should look back at your own work and see how you've grown and developed as a photographer. I look back to some of my very first sessions as I was portfolio building, and even just from a year ago, and see how much I've improved in my technique, editing, and even working with and directing clients. Yes, I may cringe and laugh at my old work, but all that practice is what helped me get to where I am today.

5. What kinds of filters do you use on your lenses?

I don't use filters...

*Waits for other photographers to throw trash at me*

When I first bought my fancy smancy camera, I read all about filters and which ones did what... I bought some, and decided they weren't for me. They just seem to collect dust and every time I've used one, they made my images look horrible. It wasn't until a few months ago when I read an article where the writer had the exact same feels as me, that I felt better about this decision. I know filters have saved the lives of many lenses if they've dropped, but I guess I'm a bit of a gambler!
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