I’m excited to have an awesome husband and wife team for August & Septembers Photogs on the Blog. Please help me welcome Chris & Jen Sawicki from Sawicki Studios as our featured photographers. Brilliant photographers and a super sweet couple.

jenchrissawicki

Photography related!

Who are you? We are a husband and wife team. Chris specializes in High School Seniors and has a very unique and cinematic style. He is always experimenting with lighting techniques and post processing to make sure his images stand out dramatically. I (Jen!) specialize in baby & children portraits and prefer a very natural, fresh, detailed & clean look. We photograph weddings together (limited amount), and there we can incorporate both of our styles, giving brides and grooms the best of both worlds!

How did you get started in photography? I (Jen), like many people, have always loved photography. I have had a love of art my entire life including drawing, painting, dancing, singing, etc. I was always involved and excelling in that area. I always knew I would do something artistic, but wasn’t sure which direction to go. As I became a mother and grew as a person, I started focusing more on goals. For a long time, I didn’t have any! It started as a hobby which in most cases, photography does! In 2004, I decided to enroll in the New York Institute of Photography. Though I would have loved to go to school, I had 3 little ones at home, so this was the best option for me. I learned and I practiced. In 2006, I received a merit award from NYIP, and shorly after, received my certificate. I wasn’t going to start up my business yet, but friends and acquaintances were wanting me to take photographs for them, so the rest just fell into place! Chris was very interested in editing. When we purchased Photoshop, (I think it was CS2 at the time) he spent a lot of his time editing my images of our children and trying everything he could think of! If he saw an idea, he’d try it. He tries EVERYTHING! In spring of 2007, I began photographing weddings. I naturally wanted someone to help me with that, so he tagged along. The first wedding I did the majority of everything. The shooting, the posing, etc. He shot in “P” mode. After he realized “P” mode gave him no control, and made many of the images useless, he experimented with manual. Each wedding got better and better. In 2008, I suggested that maybe he take on Senior portraits. I wanted to offer this service, but really wanted to stick to doing only babies and children. He did some sessions for friends and such who were around the high school age (18 and early 20’s) and built a portfolio. It wasn’t long before actual high school students were wanting his services. He teamed up with a friends wife who is a hair stylist and make-up artist, and she helped with the sessions. Chris started using studio lighting at weddings and sessions which took his images to an entirely new level. His determination and experimental drive made his images even more out-of-the-box with each new session. The rockstar-like sessions also made a big impact. The stylist doing hair and make up, the music pumping, the camera and lights, the driving around to cool spots, etc. Each person who comes in for a session always comments on how much fun they had, which is just as important as the amazing images Chris produces.

Did you study photography or are you a natural born creative? answered above!

Tell me about your style? How did you develop it? How long did it take you to realize your style? answered above!

Do you specialize in a particular field? Weddings, Kids, Newborns, Black and White only? answered above!

What camera and lenses do you use? I use the Canon 5D Mark II, and Chris prefers the good ol Canon 5D. We have a range of lenses, and we decide which lens to use based on the type of session, the location, or really want we are trying to achieve with a particular shot (how fast and wide the aperture for example). It’s not uncommon to use several different lenses in one session. The ones we use the most are the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS, the 24-70mm f/2.8L, 135mm f/2.0L, 16-35mm f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.4 and the 100mm f/2.8 macro. All Canon brands and mostly L’s.

What can you never leave home without? Chris- his cell phone! Me- my purse!

What are you working on right now? Chris is very busy with High School Senior sessions, and I am doing a lot of wedding album designs and business behind-the-scenes type stuff! I do everything, from the marketing pieces to the blog updates. We are also in the process of planning a relocation to North Carolina in a few years. We’ve been in Upstate NY our entire lives and feel like we really need a change!

Where is your fav locale to shoot? For Chris, there is a ton of spots. He is constantly scoping out cool and new locations. If there is a sunset, he makes sure he finds a great spot to incorporate it into the portraits. I prefer the studio really, with natural light.

Do you have a favorite prop or pose? I think for both of us, these things are always changing, so I don’t think there is anything in particular for either of us.

What is some good advice that you received when you were just starting out that you can share with other photogs that are just starting in the business? Know about BUSINESS!! Seems obvious, but so many people start out with just the art part of it, and no business knowledge! No matter how amazing you are at photography, you can not get anywhere if you don’t know how to sell it! In the beginning, everyone thought because our work was good and we seemed busy, that we actually were- and we weren’t! Also, don’t go out and buy every action, every template, every background, and every prop you see. I did that and still have a hard time resisting! We went into major debt buying a bunch of stuff we didn’t need and that didn’t help us get anywhere with the business.

How do you get your clients to relax and have fun with their portraits? Chris is funny. He has a very easy time cracking jokes and breaking the ice. He always makes people feel at ease! Since I work with children and I have them, I know how to relate to them. Many times parents get stressed out when the children are acting “silly” or not staying still, so I reassure them that it’s normal and OK and I want them to be them!

Do you travel out-of-state to do photography? We certainly would! We do destination weddings and would travel for sessions.

What do you enjoy photographing the most? For Chris, it’s basically anyone (seniors, bands, etc) with landscape incorporated in the background. For me, I have been finding that I love photographing newborns!

Anything else you would like to share? Hints, tips or everyday wisdom? Experiment! Chris got to where he is by trying out EVERYTHING! Different lighting, different techniques, etc.

What motivates you to do what you do? When clients really appreciate our work and express how much they love their portraits. When a client cries because they love their portraits so much, it makes us feel so incredible and reminds us of why we do what we do.

Do you believe that “A picture is worth 1,000 words”? Tell me why or why not… Absolutely! I believe that even if you don’t know the story, you can easily figure it out, or even create your own from looking at an image.

Where is your next shoot? Well, for Chris, they are all typically similar. They start out in the studio. The building has a ton of cool spots within it, then he will take them to a few different locations- weather permitting. Especially if there is a sunset!

Now for some fun stuff!

What do you do outside of the photography world? Do you have a Side Business? Nothing really! We eat, sleep and breathe our photography business! But we are focused on trying to get that balance between the business and our personal, family life.

What is your favorite food? Steak for Chris, for me I guess I would have to say pizza!

Have you ever eaten a crayon? I’m not even joking, when I was a child, I didn’t EAT them persay, but I loved to bite them! I had a round cookie tin full of crayons, and each one had no wrapper and bite marks all over them!

Do you wash your car or let the car wash do it? Car wash!

How about your music? What’s on your iPod right now? I am so eclectic with music. I love hard, modern rock (since I was 2!), but I also have a lot of music I can dance to on my iPod like “I know you want me” by Pitbull! lol Chris likes Guns & Roses, Metallica, Black Label Society and Megadeth. But I do catch him listening to my music sometimes!

What is your favorite outfit to shoot in? Do you prefer jeans? Do you have a shirt with your name on it? Chris wears a black button-down shirt (with or without a design, stripes, etc) and either black or khacki pants, or jeans. He brings a change of shoes because he often ends up walking into water. (and yes, he drags the lights with him even then!) I wear either jeans, jean capris with a black shirt, or black pants or capris and with any color shirt. We are both very simple in our attire! No, we don’t have any shirts with our names on them!!

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t shooting? We love going to restaurants and watching movies and science documentaries! All of our kids will be in school this year, so we are hoping to get out more!

Who do you admire? (Photog or not) I completely admire Ashley Skjaveland and Patti Schmidt. I absolutely love their style of fresh, clean and beautiful images. I do, however, have a long list of others as well! Chris’ admiration lies with Joey L and David Hill. As you can see, the ones we admire are closest to the styles we are ourselves! We both admire Jerry Ghionis and Kevin Jairaj for wedding photography. Again, the lists are even longer, but these are at the top of our list!

If you could be on a tv show, what would it be? I am truly stumped on this question! We really don’t watch much TV! However, it may be an MTV TrueLife episode. Like “TrueLife- I am a workaholic”

What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate? Soaps? Football? Chocolate for me- for sure! For Chris, it’s doing some crazy stuff with photoshop! He likes to mess with his friends that way!

Tell me about your two favorite images! Well, our favorites are always changing! With each new session, and each new wedding, we get a new set of favorites! The Senior image (by Chris of course!) shows what types of images he loves.

sawicki-senior

The child image is one of my favorites- of one of my favorite clients as she has been coming to me for portraits since I started my business. I love how children get to know you so well that they are like family. This particular session, she kept taking my hand and saying “Jennifer, let’s go over here”!. This is why I love what I do!

sawicki-children

This was going to be part of the original post for POTB for July, but felt it was so powerful, it needed it’s own post.

 

I’ll narrow that to my most single favorite image I have ever taken……”The Hands of Time”
It is an image of just the hands of my 2 month old daughter and my 84 year old grand mother….black and white…close up. The contrast between the wrinkled up hands and the smooth baby skin was AWESOME…..it won a few awards….but it was done just for me.

 

I’ll narrow that to my most single favorite image I have ever taken……”The Hands of Time”

It is an image of just the hands of my 2 month old daughter and my 84 year old grand mother….black and white…close up. The contrast between the wrinkled up hands and the smooth baby skin was AWESOME…..it won a few awards….but it was done just for me.

The Hands of Time-web

I’m totally stoked this month to have an amazing photographer, person, mentor, the list could go on, as July’s Photog on the Blog. Please welcome Kirk Voclain of Kirk Voclain Photography. Kirk is so real and down to earth and has some of the most amazing senior photographs I have ever seen. I met Kirk on the Pro4Um and he’s intrigued me from day 1 (and not just cause we are both red-heads). Enjoy his interview ( I sure did!)

Kirk Photo

Photography related!

Who are you?
This is going to come as a shock to many…but I’m actually a very shy person on the inside. When I was about 15 years old, I discovered that photography allowed me to be outgoing. I could put a camera around my neck and suddenly, I changed, I became “The Photographer”….and as such, I was cool, outgoing, talkative, and fun! Go figure…..but it’s true….. Over the years, I figured out how to so call “flip the switch”…without having the camera around my neck….so over the years…those who know me think that I’m this super “FUN GUY”…..but in reality….I’m sill that shy red headed guy who just does not know what to say.

How did you get started in photography?
When I was 8 years old, I was reading the back of the Kelloggs Corn Flakes box and it said, save up your box tops and get a camera. So I did…..I got a Kodak Instamatic 126 cartridge film camera. I took pictures of everything!!! EVERYTHING!!! and it always bugged me that the camera had 2 holes…one for looking through and one for taking the picture (lens). When I was about 14, this guy who was working for my father showed me his camera…an SLR….and it only had ONE HOLE on the front of the camera. It was right then that the clouds parted and the angels began to sing and I knew I was going to be a photographer! I worked for 6 months throwing newspapers to save up enough money to get a Minolta SRT 201 with a 50mm 1.8 lens…..I still have that camera today after well over 30+ (getting close to 40) years! I was 15 when I did my very first wedding for money!

Did you study photography or are you a natural born creative?
I frankly do not believe that ANYONE is naturally born creative. I think it’s all learned…and when I was very young…..I was in the library club…and I started reading every book I could find on the subject of photography……THAT to me is where I developed my core beliefs in photography and my core creativity. Beyond that, I have attended almost every photography convention, class, seminar, group discussion, forum, blog, guild, and educational group known to man. I drink it all in…and I store it in my brain. If there is any “natural born creativity”….I believe it’s my ability to recall that information that is stored…or maybe it’s my mental filing system that’s “natural born”…either way….I can recall and remember almost every detail I have ever learned….OH…as a side note….NOT ONLY can I recall it…but I can tell it back to you with a funny twist to it .

Tell me about your style? How did you develop it? How long did it take you to realize your style?
I just recently found some images that I took when I was 16 years old of my 13 year old sister! WOW…..did I suck bad back then…….but….my “STYLE” is very obvious in those images. There is a certain edginess to my stuff. I have people bend and move and pose just a little bit more and further than is normal. As a result, you are forced to look. I’m not sure how I developed it. I do remember going to a seminar and at that seminar they were talking about the proper way to pose a hand…..I remember thinking…hey…I do that, I did not know that was a RULE!!!! So I just do stuff that “LOOKS GOOD” to me…and that is my style. As far as how long???? WELL…..I’m still waiting on the answer to that….I think it’s still evolving……

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Do you specialize in a particular field? Weddings, Kids, Newborns, Black and White only?
YES….High School Senior Portraits….and to be very specific….Size 2, blonds that are 6 foot tall only! ….that’s not true…but I did once upon a time tell my wife that I was going to run an ad that said…..Kirk Voclain Photography, we only photograph the pretty ones! WELL…after she FREAKED OUT she said…YOU CANNOT DO THAT!!!! I said why not, I’m just saying that anyone that I photograph I make pretty!!!! She said…well say that….DO NOT SAY, we only photograph the pretty ones!!! ….. ISN’T THAT FUNNY!!!!!

What camera and lenses do you use?
Canon 1ds MII and 1d MII….the 5d MII for underwater….and I have the following lenses and I use them as listed in the order of importance…from most important to least: 70-200, 16-35, 14mm, 300mm, 105mm, 28-70….all of my lenses are “L” glass and if I can get the IS I do.

What can you never leave home without?
Simple…..my tripod……it is my (from Charlie Brown cartoons) Linus blanket.

What are you working on right now?
This WAY, WAY LONG questionnaire………but beyond that….I’m working on updating some props in my portrait studio and doing some stuff that will create a whole new look…..I do that every few years…and this is the year.

Where is your fav locale to shoot?
Paris, Hawaii, London, Rome, and New York…..but when I can’t get away to go there….I really dig photographing in my back yard…… I guess you want me to be a little serious…..and so…….of all the places I have ever been to do High School Senior Portraits…the most fun I have ever had was photographing in the streets of New Orleans……HONEST! The light, the buildings, and the feeling when there is AWESOME…..so much so that I have led a few shooting safari’s in New Orleans….man is that ever fun!!!!

Do you have a favorite prop or pose?
WELL…I’m not a big PROP person…but I do use my posing table a whole lot…..it’s just a small table that I lean people on….it does not show up in the photo…but it does allow me to get them in cool positions. As far as a pose is concerned…the simple head shot is by far my best seller….but hey…..that’s just me.

What is some good advice that you received when you were just starting out that you can share with other photogs that are just starting in the business?
DO NOT GET IN DEBT!!!!! Carefully watch your spending!!!! The fast track to success is to be as free of debt as you can. The best “LIGHTING” advice I ever got was to make sure you put light on all 5 plains of the face….forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. If you can do that…..you can light properly.

How do you get your clients to relax and have fun with their portraits?
JOKES!!!! I tell stories…and we CRACK UP LAUGHING…if I can get them to laugh….well the rest is easy!

Do you travel out-of-state to do photography?
Sure….I really have had people hire me to go to Hawaii, and Paris and New York……but London and Rome was a joke!!!! I’ve also done weddings in Virginia, Texas, Florida, Ohio and few other places….OH YEA…..Mexico too!!! Almost forgot about that one.

What do you enjoy photographing the most?
Simple again…High School Seniors…..I love it because they just WANT to do whatever you can think of….they WANT to be there and they love whatever you do! It’s mega fun……I do everything…weddings, babies, families, commercial, etc….but HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS are the best!

Anything else you would like to share? Hints, tips or everyday wisdom?
Sure…in Photoshop…..open up Levels (CTRL/Command + L)….then hold down your ALT/Option key…..drag the left side slider till you see the outline of the eyes….then back off a bit…..then drag the right side slider till you see red in the skin of your subject…then back off a bit. That is a perfect Levels adjustment and it will make your images SNAP!!!!!

Truth is the most important thing in life….and balance is the secret to life!

What motivates you to do what you do?
I don’t know???? Why does Billy Joel play the piano? Why does Lance Armstrong ride a bike? I guess the ultimate answer is FUN! WE do what we do because it’s fun! I bet if you stripped it all down….removed all the fluff……you would find that you do most things in life just for fun….and happiness. Why do you get married, have children (some not in that order GRIN…..I’m on a roll!!!)…..because it makes you happy. Why do you eat, sleep, go on vacation…..fish, play golf……and the list goes on and on……all for happiness. So I guess that is my answer….it makes me happy.

Do you believe that “A picture is worth 1,000 words”? Tell me why or why not…
Sure…..just look at how many words I had to type out on this thing!!! SURE!!! DEFINITELY…..and a picture is different to everyone….and means something different to each person.

Where is your next shoot?
At my studio……1120 Lafayette St. Houma, LA

Now for some fun stuff!

What do you do outside of the photography world? Do you have a Side Business?
I do own the Pro4uM….http://www.pro4um.com It’s a website for professional photographers only! We have right at 2000 members from all over the world that exchange ideas and such. We strive to make each other better.

What is your favorite food?
Fried Chicken!

Have you ever eaten a crayon?
NO…..but I wish I had.

Do you wash your car or let the car wash do it?
PEOPLE REALLY WASH THEIR CARS??? REALLY????

How about your music? What’s on your iPod right now?
My daughter took my ipod and it has Jonas Brothers all over it…..but that is not my music….a better question would be what channel do you listen to on XM???? the 70’s….ahhhhhhh now that’s music.

What is your favorite outfit to shoot in? Do you prefer jeans? Do you have a shirt with your name on it?
Blue Jeans and a button up shirt….no I do not have a shirt with my name on it….WOULD THAT BE COOL??? REALLY???? Come on…I photograph High School Seniors…you gotta be cool…so yep….Jeans with holes in them!!!

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t shooting?
Spend time with my wonderful wife and beautiful daughter.

Who do you admire? (Photog or not)
WELL….Ansel Adams, Big Daddy Don Blair, Bruce Hudson, Doug Box….just to name a few…..that would really be along list.

If you could be on a tv show, what would it be?
The Amazing Race!!!! Funny huh!!!

What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate? Soaps? Football?
Beer…..and more specific…..BEER on TAP….just got one of those by my pool…and I have to keep it locked up…..it’s kinda like having a candy machine in your backyard……my wife has the key!

 

Some samples of work from Kirk (can you say WOW)

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CandiceC-20-copy

 

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LaurenC-220copy

 

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Thanks again to Tara Whitney for being May’s PHOTOG on the BLOG 🙂

I’m so excited to introduce our June’s POTB:

TanjaButlerMelone

Photography related!

Who are you?  Tanja Butler-Melone – Tan (short a) Ya — yep, get asked that a lot.  My Studio is Contemporary Expressions Photography in Denver, Colorado.  Unless you wanted the philosophical answer…. 

 

How did you get started in photography?  The long or short version?  I actually won a SLR in a photo contest in ’98 (the image was of butterflies mating – go figure).  Photography quickly became my passion and I spent every spare minute I had shooting.  Fast forward to 2000 and I was taking shots of my SIL at her wedding during a bit of down time.  Her wedding photographer pulled me aside and asked if I could show him my portfolio sometime because, “I had an interesting eye”.  I laughed and said, “What, my scrapbooks”.  Got the film from the wedding developed – showed him – and had a job as a second shooter that day.  Worked with him for a few weddings before it became VERY obvious that our styles (and personalities) were night and day different….so I set out to learn everything I possibly could so that someday I could do things “my way” and turn my passion into a profession.

 

Did you study photography or are you a natural born creative?   I’m self taught (reading between the lines – I make a TON of mistakes and learn from them).    

 

Tell me about your style? How did you develop it? How long did it take you to realize your style?  Hmmm….I consider myself to be more of a “lifestyle” photographer, preferring natural expressions and candid moments to poses and perfect smiles.  I hope that I live up to my tagline – casual, artistic, and refreshingly unique.  I’d rather capture the characteristic smirk of a kiddo or a romantic wink in an engagement session than an ear-to-ear forced grin.

 I developed my style, actually, when I took two years away from photographing clients after my son was born.  For those two years, I was just a “mom with a camera” (well, I did shoot a few weddings here and there).  Without the pressure to capture “the perfect image” for a client, I realized that what I loved was capturing candid moments of my son.  When I began accepting clients again, I started to bring that focus into my client images — and my clients LOVED IT.  Lately, I’ve tried to bring a bit more of a fashion look into my work as well – daring myself to push my limits and continually working to shoot outside of my comfort zone – it helps me grow. 

 

Do you specialize in a particular field? Weddings, Kids, Newborns, Black and White only?  I shoot weddings, seniors, kids, babies and SMALL families.  I try to avoid large family groups – I find that I can’t shoot emotionally with big groups.  It is harder for me to capture the relationships between people when there are 13 sets of eyes staring back at me….LOL. 

 

What camera and lenses do you use?  I shoot with a Canon 5D.  My two favorite lenses are my 70-200 for location work and my 24-105 in the studio. 

 

What can you never leave home without?    A water bottle.  Honestly.  I drink almost a gallon a day.

 

What are you working on right now?  My best friend’s engagement photos!!  Oh, and our July mailer, and a blog promotion, and sample baby books, and a boutique proposal, and laundry, and…….just a typical small business owner I guess!

 

Where is your fav locale to shoot? The alleys and streets around my Loft – without a doubt.  Within a two block radius I have the most amazing texture, color, and lighting possibilities.  I seem to find a new favorite doorway or cubby every time I’m out.  I’m so excited that it is spring so I can shoot outside more.

 

Do you have a favorite prop or pose?  Right now, this great distressed white chair I found at an antique shop…but I get bored quickly.  Garage Sales are my favorite hunting grounds!!  I tend to keep my props REALLY simple, actually, and swap them out a lot.  But I could NOT live without my overstuffed beanbag for baby photos.

 

What is some good advice that you received when you were just starting out that you can share with other photogs that are just starting in the business?  Unfortunately, I didn’t start receiving GOOD advice until I had made a plethora of HUGE mistakes.  The best advice I could pass on are: be a business-person first —- the BUSINESS funds the ART!  Don’t devalue yourself and KNOW your equipment so that you are comfortable shooting in any situation.

 

How do you get your clients to relax and have fun with their portraits?  If you have met me, you know it would be hard NOT to relax around me.  I’m a nut.  Really.  I jump up and down, lay in the middle of the street, stand on tables, quack like a duck, climb on dumpsters.  I have fun with every shoot so it is hard for my clients not to.    With my seniors, I pose for them and am constantly giving them positive feedback so they feel as beautiful/handsome as they look.  You should see my “flexed muscles with a football” pose- its HILLARIOUS.

 

Do you travel out-of-state to do photography?  Occasionally, but would love to do more destination weddings.

 

What do you enjoy photographing the most?  Geez…that is a tough question, but I’d have to say weddings.  I love the emotion, the chaos, the opportunity to be creative and try new things (AFTER I’ve captured the HAVE TO shots of course). 

 

Anything else you would like to share? Hints, tips or everyday wisdom?  Take risks!  Don’t be afraid to try new things….and always always make your clients believe that they are special!  Because they are!

 

What motivates you to do what you do?  Knowing that I have the greatest job in the world.  I get to help people remember the best times of their lives.  Seriously…..a photographer’s job is really phenomenal!

 

Do you believe that “A picture is worth 1,000 words”? Tell me why or why not…  I believe that a picture can make you remember 1,000 words about the moment that it freezes in time – so, yeah, I guess so.

 

Where is your next shoot?  At the Loft – High School Senior Model!

 

 

 

Now for some fun stuff!

What do you do outside of the photography world?  Do you have a Side Business?   I’m a wife and a mother! 

 

What is your favorite food?  Thai Green Curry with Chicken.  Especially when it is made by Little Basil in Littleton, Colorado.

 

Have you ever eaten a crayon?  Oh, probably…..along with paste and erasers I’m sure!

 

Do you wash your car or let the car wash do it?  You obviously have not seen my car.  In the summertime I wash it though, with the help of an enthusiastic young child who thinks that the sudsy water is meant for mommy rather than the car.

 

How about your music? What’s on your iPod right now?  My musical tastes can best be described as “eclectic”.  I love good jazz, but also love 80s punk.  I can listen to standards (Sinatra, Darin, Bennett) and follow it up with some Ska.  My iPod is generally on shuffle.  Right this moment I’m listening to Jane Monheit.

 

What is your favorite outfit to shoot in? Do you prefer jeans? Do you have a shirt with your name on it?   I’m a jeans and flip flop girl!  For weddings I wear black pants with a fun/comfy shirt – you gotta be able to move after all.

 

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t shooting?   Besides sleep – LOL.  I love spending time with my little man – he is my heartbeat and is growing up WAY too fast.

 

Who do you admire? (Photog or not)  The person I admire most in this world is my grandmother – for her honesty and compassion.  I want to be her when I grow up. 

 

If you could be on a tv show, what would it be?  Ghost Hunters!  Seriously, I’m addicted to that show and think it would be so freakin’ cool to tag along on an investigation with the TAPS guys. Jay….Grant….you guys reading this???

 

What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate? Soaps? Football?  Scalding hot baths with coconut-lime-vanilla bath salts and a good book.

 

Tell me about your two favorite images!

My favorite wedding image – Jack and Kasey.  She actually asked me what type of a veil would look best in photos (oh, I love brides like that!!) – I had this image in mind all along.


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My favorite daddy/baby photo….love the dichotomy of the tiny little man and big tattooed daddy!

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After many requests, the Photog on the Blog{site} is back!! What a way to welcome it back by showcasing the ever fabulous, Tara Whitney! Enjoy!

 

TaraWhitneyImage

 

Photography related!

 

Who are you? Tara Whitney

 

How did you get started in photography?  My husband purchased a Canon Rebel (film) for me years and years ago as a surprise. I also took two beginner photography classes to learn how to use it. From there I went on to photograph my own family and friends just for fun. Soon, I was getting requests from strangers asking me to photograph their family. I went for it and here I am today!

 

Did you study photography or are you a natural born creative? I studied photography on my own time, my own way. Aside from two beginner courses to learn the basic functions of a camera, I am self taught.

 

Tell me about your style? How did you develop it? How long did it take you to realize your style?  I didn’t realize I had a style until at least a year into the business. I was just going along doing my thing. I just photographed the way I would photograph myself and my own kids. I knew I liked laughing shots and kissing shots. I liked unique crops and bright tones. I liked people to be relaxed and unposed. I didn’t realize that was a “style” until people started asking me questions, in an attempt at getting the same kinds of results. I just see what I do as another piece of my brand. Still hard for me to call it a “style”.

 

Do you specialize in a particular field? Weddings, Kids, Newborns, Black and White only?  Families.

 

What camera and lenses do you use?  5d, 24-70L, 50L 1.2

 

What can you never leave home without? Bessie, my iPhone

 

What are you working on right now? My Austin sessions.

 

Where is your fav locale to shoot?  Somewhere new with millions of possibilities!

 

Do you have a favorite prop or pose?  Not really…

 

What is some good advice that you received when you were just starting out that you can share with other photogs that are just starting in the business?   Honestly, I wasn’t around other photographers much as I was just starting. I didn’t search out advice from others because most of the time I was met with blank stares. “You want to go to their house? And take photos of the kids in their rooms? Candids? Wha…huh?” I guess the best advice I got wasn’t advice. It was other photographers telling me my ideas weren’t going to work.

 

How do you get your clients to relax and have fun with their portraits? This is my most often asked question, and I have no good response. There is no certain timeline I follow to get people relaxed. There isn’t a formula. It is just how I am with people, I am good at putting them at ease. 

 

Do you travel out-of-state to do photography?  Yes!

 

What do you enjoy photographing the most?  Mommas and their babies. Both young and old.

 

Anything else you would like to share? Hints, tips or everyday wisdom?  People email me or comment on my blog saying they want to be just like me “when they grow up”. I am here to say, you DO NOT want to be just like me. The worst thing you could do for yourself is to try and be something you aren’t. To be truly successful, figure out what makes you unique and special and go with THAT. Dont try to be me, JUST BE YOU. 🙂

 

What motivates you to do what you do?  Pretty pictures.

 

Do you believe that “A picture is worth 1,000 words”? Tell me why or why not… I think they go together much better than they do apart. Words and images together are magic.

 

Where is your next shoot? Pasadena

 

 

 

Now for some fun stuff!

 

What do you do outside of the photography world?  Do you have a Side Business?   My side business is caring for my four children. (HA)

 

What is your favorite food? Mmm, mashed potatoes.

 

Have you ever eaten a crayon? No

 

Do you wash your car or let the car wash do it? I let my husband let the car wash do it. (meaning, he takes it for me)

 

How about your music? What’s on your iPod right now? About 4,000 songs, including from my recently added playlist: some old but good U2, and peter broderick

 

What is your favorite outfit to shoot in? Do you prefer jeans? Do you have a shirt with your name on it? Jeans or other pants with a long tunic type shirt/dress. When you wear a long shirt over your jeans, you don’t ever have to worry about showing off your booty when you crouch down to take a shot.

 

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t shooting?   Nothing. Blissful nothing. Usually at the pool, surrounded by people doing lots of something.

 

If you could be on a tv show, what would it be?  What not to Wear!

 

What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate? Soaps? Football?  Ice cream.

 

Here are Tara’s two favorite images!

The BW shot is my best friend and her fiance. I love the reality of the chipped teeth and their smiles. Its just a really happy shot.

The color shot is three gorgeous blonde boys who were pretty hard to get in one place for a photo together, so when I did I was ecstatic. Love the color of their clothes and their striking blonde hair!

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