Tell us about yourself.
I am a wife to Mark, my hubby of 12 years, and mom to David (15), Christi (11), Ean (9), and Colin (7). This time of year you can usually find me after hours running to football games for Ean (he says he is going to play in the NFL!), or cheer practice (competitive cheerleading is a huge investment!) for Christi. Frankly, I love to be a homebody! Give me a good book, a fire in the fireplace and my ‘famous’ popcorn, and I am a happy lady. I love to cook, bake, and occasionally will be hit with a crafty notion, usually around the holidays. My friends describe me as an old soul – and that may be why we decided to buy our home/studio – an 1894 Victorian.
When did you decide to become a photographer? What does being a photographer mean for you?
I was the child who loved to use my moms camera, who took her friends out and took pictures of them, who poured over the yearbook and studied the senior portraits so much I could tell you which photographer they went to by the style of the image. I don’t think I decided, I think it was meant to be and just took me a while to realize it. Growing up, I loved the photo albums that my parents had and appreciated them so much. I think I had every page memorized and remember wishing I could have been there, wanting to know the rest of the story. If being a photographer means that someone else looks at the images I have captured and feels the same way, that that is what being a photographer means to me.
Describe a typical day.
Each day is different in it’s own ‘typical’ way. Usually I schedule most sessions on 2 days of the week, then use the other three days for other things like administration, bookkeeping, processing, etc. Here’s a general week: Monday – get in the groove day, cleaning, no sessions, finish processing of things that need to get out that week, marketing, miscellaneous. Tuesday – sessions during the day and one evening session. Wednesday- another day like Monday’s schedule, but more focus on administrative things, Thursday – this is the day I try to pack in with sessions & appointments, starting at 10, and through 2 or 3 pm. I will then photograph or have sales appointments in the evening also. Friday – possibly another sales appointment or two, but all before 2 pm. Saturday – usually you will find me with my family, though one Saturday a month I will schedule outdoor sessions, all to be done before noon.
Tell us your most memorable photoshoot.
Hmmm, there are a few I could share, but for different reasons. There was one shoot that I had a girl moon me by mistake trying to climb up on something and missing (her idea, not mine!). There was the one where I did a ‘promo’ shoot during a slow time and had a family come in that saw the info on Facebook, and 4 of the 5 were missing their front teeth. One of the most emotional, though, was a NILMDTS maternity family session where mom, dad, and I all knew why they came in for the session, but their 4 children didn’t. It was really hard to be upbeat for the kids, without going overboard and making it even harder for mom and dad. Stressful!
What are your favorite subjects to photograph? And how would you describe your style?
I personally like to photograph my fashion-oriented portraits, though don’t get to do it enough! It’s always been something I have enjoyed. My style is more classic with some dramatic elements – I use a lighting ratio that is stronger and more ‘moody’ because I love the dramatic feel to an image.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration has been an evolution over the last 6 years. At first, when I was still learning, I really looked to the work of many strong senior shooters as inspiration. Once I felt like I was at the point where I had the ability to do the same, my inspiration moved toward family photographers. Currently, I am enjoying art and painting, and commercial fashion as inspiration to keep the creativity flowing.
What’s your favorite image?
That changes with each week! The above image shows the most recent ones!
If you could buy anything for your studio, what would it be and why?
I would hire someone whose single most job would be to organize my templates, textures, and miscellaneous files. As much as I would like to think I am organized in that department, I am so much better at keeping everything NOT digital organized. Client files do not apply, thank goodness!
What are the biggest personal or professional challenges you face? Anything you’d do differently?
Biggest personal and professional challenge – staying motivated. If I could do anything differently, it would be not trying to jump the gun and do things before I was really ready.
I would love to branch into the commercial side of photography and explore work for publications.
Advice for other photographers?
1. Buying stuff (non-necessities) doesn’t make things better, it just brings you more to do. 2. Don’t reinvent the wheel. 3. What works for one doesn’t mean it will work for you. 4. You don’t get a ‘do over’ so do it right from the beginning.