Q: Why did you decide to become a photographer? There's a love for the art, and plenty of business involved. Many artists struggle to accept the business reality of practicing their art. What was it that helped you decide that "the time is right now to start my business"?
A: Let me tell you, it is an everyday struggle to be pursuing your art as a business and a lot of artists have a bad case of imposter syndrome, myself included. It’s hard to share something you love so much with the world, but at the same time extremely rewarding. There’s nothing like showing someone a picture of themselves and seeing the shock and admiration in their face. I opened my studio at the beginning of covid and I thought “Am I crazy?”. The answer to that is obviously yes, haha. In all seriousness though it was my need to fulfill my creative desires that made the final decision for me. My kids were pretty sick of being my models. Haha!
Q: How long have you been a photographer?
A: Professionally 5 years, but as a hobby more like 23 years. I started really pursuing photography in high school. I had an old film camera and would develop my film and photos in a dark room. My old camera is hanging on the wall in my studio office.
Q: What do you enjoy photographing most and why?
A: People! Nature and stuff like that is beautiful and can tell a story, but each person definitely has their own story and I love capturing that. Fine art portraiture and maternity are probably my favorite.
Q: What inspires you? Do you have any go-to activities or music that you use to tap into your creativity?
A: This is so funny to me because inspiration can be a tricky thing. Sometimes it’s other artists, a building, a color, etc. I listen to music when I am editing. I love indie rock, alternative and classic rock. Just depends what shoot I’m working on.
Q: In your opinion, what makes a good photograph?
A: Seeing something that other people don’t. Good technique. Taking a picture is not just pointing a camera and pushing a button. It’s an art form.
Q: What is your biggest challenge as a photographer?
A: Honestly? It’s an oversaturated market and can be filled with people who devalue what true artistry is. A lot of us are truly artists, this wasn’t something we started doing to make money. On the other end of that though those of us who are doing this for a living struggle to make a name for ourselves in a market where people can charge pennies for what should or could be hours of work. It really is a “you get what you pay for” type of thing. I hand edit every single picture and add a little bit of magic. Along with special requests, this is hours and hours of work. I think people forget about that part of the business.
Q: It seems that photography has been changed a lot by the use of digital tools. What programs, functions, settings etc. do you like to use?
A: As someone who started in film I can say this is absolutely true. I use Lightroom and Photoshop. Just depends on how much I need to do in post. I do love being able to have endless creative possibilities.
Q: What kind of research do you do before a shoot?
A: Everything. Haha. Mainly location and what will be a good fit for the family or person. I also ask what type pf pictures they’re looking for. Some people are crazy adventurous and some people are very traditional. Always good to know which direction your session is going to go before you start making suggestions.
Q: What do you think makes a photographer, good at their job?
A: Knowing the fundamentals of photography. You need to know technique. You need to know the exposure triangle, rule of thirds and so on. Knowing how to shoot in any lighting situation is also important. Your clients are not in control of that and it’s our job to deliver what they’re asking for. That’s why they’re hiring a professional.
Q: What gear do you use?
A: I shoot a mirrorless Nikon Z7ii. I usually use a prime 85mm lens and a 70-200mm. In-studio I use my 50mm prime the most.
Q: What essentials do you take to on-location shoots?
A: My camera! Haha of course. I bring my two favorite lenses, a flash and reflectors. It’s all about controlling that light!
Q: What is something present at all of your studio shoots?
A: My monster umbrella light. Seriously. This thing is 7 feet across, but it is my favorite light modifier.
Q: Do you have a favorite photo? Can you tell me about it?
A: That’s a hard one. I have to say it would be the picture of my daughter pulling the earth from the water. It was one of the first artsy type of composite photos I'd ever done and it fits her energy so well.
Q: Who is your biggest cheerleader?
A: My husband and kiddos!