Monday, August 30, 2010

FAQ: The Beginning

I believe that the most frequently asked question I get is, how did you start shooting? It varies depending on the situation, but the point is that people want to know did it all begin. I never really know how to answer this question. Mainly because I don't ever know what they are exactly asking. So I will break it down into possible meanings:
When did you start liking photography? This is the easiest one. My mom says that I have been modeling forever. I would always pose for a picture as a kid. Now, as far as taking the picture... I would say ever since I had a camera.. 8 or 10 years old. I took pictures of anything and everything. My mother would complain because back then you had to develop film... take it to Winn-dixie and wait 7-8 days (because mom would pay for the cheapest option) to get your pictures. I would then take my pictures and cut them up and put them on my walls or on the back of my door. I till this day still have the entire strip that used to hang behind my bedroom door. I was the family member with the camera in her purse at all times. Every occasion was a perfect setting for pictures. Going to the movies? Time to take group pictures. Eating at Denny's? I've got you covered. BEACH? Oh you know I am bringing it. Strike a calendar pose. Work it... School? Finance class to be more specific...? Always. Seriously, I bet it got annoying to my friends to have such a documented life. So, liking photography? I believe I have always loved everything about it.
What did I start taking photos of? My favorite subjects are still are my kids. I am not their mother, not even close, but mentally they are like my children. I'm talking about my brother Samuel and cousins, Jael and Joel. I didn't have a fancy camera but I did have willing subjects (Jael being the most willing ;)><). They would do whatever I asked and I would take advantage of their patience. Sometimes I had to bribe them... (cough cough Samuel cough cough) but generally they cooperated. People started to notice my interest in photography by looking at the pictures I had taken of my family. This is while I was working at a doctor's office, being drowned in paper/phone work. Then when I was ready to get more serious, my first ever shoot was a newborn session. It was for this family- click here. Word started spreading from there on. [Correction for sentence above... my kids are my favorite subjects OTHER than Coco. He was starting to give me the look.]
What was my first camera? The first first one? I am not sure what it was. Film, plastic, $20 probably. (My dad is proud to say that he bought me my first camera) Then as a teenager I had two different kinds of Canon Power Shot Elf's. My husband bought me my first SLR Canon Rebel little after we got married. All the pictures on today's post were taken with either one of the elf's or the rebel.
Did you go to school for photography? No. I went to school and studied finance. Photography was a hobby, a means by which I was able to scrapbook. I enjoyed being on either side of the camera, period. I thought I was going to be a broker or lender, something in that field. How did I learn? By reading and trial & error. I feel that there is just so much more for me to learn. Every shoot teaches me something. I have learned from watching others and from trying to fix my prior mistakes. When it comes on posing or vision... that's all in my little head. I have never studied that side of photography, just the camera and photoshop basics. I love it, so it comes natural to me to have a camera at hand. Everything else just falls into place afterwards.
Are you ever nervous when shooting? I half the time when I go to a session, I am doubting myself completely. I leave the session feeling like I am worthless for charging people for what I do. It's not until I get home and load them on the computer that they come alive to me and I realize that I didn't do half that bad. When I am done editing, I love them. Showing them off is always very nerve racking to me. That's because I feel I am being judged as a person when you are looking at them. I know that the ones I love won't necessarily be the ones that my client's pick as their favorite. I have learned to be OK with that. Ultimately it just matters that you are happy with them and then I will be happy too.
[The picture above is one of my favorites. Not for any of the reasons that qualify a professional picture to win an award, not at all. My cousin Roly took it of Rex & I in our favorite spot back in 2003. This was a normal day for us. You can't even see my face... but I know why. We were both single and splitting grass for fun talking about teenage nonsense. Drama was just something we talked about. We only really worried about what we were wearing to school the next day. I loved our evenings in the park. Then she moved away and broke my heart. But that's a different story. ;)]
Did you ever think about being a photographer? Yes. My best friend, Rex, and I used to have all these plans about how 'once we were older' we would do business together. I still think that one day we will, some kind of version of our childhood plans. In high school I had to work on a senior Capstone project. My project was a photography business. And soon enough after high school I did everything in real life. It was totally unexpected how it all worked out. I actually even thought about the birth sessions in high school... it's a dream come true to be doing what I love now. I pinch myself after every birth session. Love it that much.
Have you ever thought about nature photography? Like landscapes and animals? Yes and no. I am a people person. Even though I do enjoy taking pictures of such things I focus primarily on emotion. I love pets. I love pretty surroundings. I like to place people around those things and then voila! I've got a perfect subject/setting for my kind of session. Only exception would be travel photography. Now that is my dream job.
What do you shoot with now? I have a Canon Mark II. It's my baby. I tuck it to bed every night and sing it lullabies. I'm joking internet. My favorite lens could be the next question... 50mm 1.2 - until the day I trade it for the 1.4. I like zoom but for some reason I am very comfortable with this little buddy.
I will answer more FAQ's soon. If you have any related to what I just talked about, comment below. It's Monday folks!!! Although I usually dread Mondays, today is totally different. This week is going to be busy for me. I leave to Louisiana in just a matter of 2 days... uh-oh... that means packing. I HATE packing. I should start doing that today. If you were thinking about having a session with me while I am visiting let me know SOON. I still have openings. Can't wait to shoot what I have planned over there. As for now, time to work on my fitness - heading to the gym. I should bring my camera... that would be one interesting post! I rather not get knocked out before 12 pm, thank you very much. Scratch that idea.

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