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Your Photography Questions ANSWERED!

Monday, November 9, 2015

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Thank you guys so much for all of your love and support. 
You are all the reason I get to wake up every single day to do what I love. How fortunate am I!?
 I am so beyond excited to watch so many of your turn into awesome photographers and learn even more from all of you! 

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First, lets have a real talk,
Social media can make things look and seem really effortless but let me assure you, becoming a full time photographer and influencer has not been a quick or easy journey. I am still working hard every single day to be able to be an artist and pay my bills. Some days I'm expecting a check and it doesn't come. Sometimes my feelings get really hurt because my art is criticized. Sometimes I don't know where my next paycheck is coming from. I can get really down... There have been so many times when I lay face down on my bed and scream to myself, 
What am I thinking? 
Am I insane?
I give up a 70K starting salary with + health insurance to do THIS???

But.... there are FAR more times that I find myself on the verge of different tears because I am on top of a Volcano, I chasing a sunset, I'm living in a castle, exploring a cave... whatever amazing journey I'm on, I want to cry out of happiness because I am not in an office from 9-5. I am living an interesting and exciting life, doing what I love, making others feel beautiful, and learning more about the world and myself on a daily basis. 




I get to do this because I have an amazing support system, wonderful people like you, and because I've worked SUPER hard and taken a massive risks. I worked my butt off assisting, interning, studying, and SHOOTING shooting shooting anyone or anything that would let me! 
If you are looking for a way to super fast cash with little work, this job is NOT for you. But if this what you love, it IS possible to do this and create the life you've always imagined.

So here are three of your questions from Instagram and Twitter! 
Thank you to everyone who asked! 



Instagram:


Q: What cameras and lenses do you use?
A: I shoot a Canon 5D MKIII with a Canon 24-70 f2.8, Canon 50mm f1.4 and Canon 85mm f1.8
I also rent different lenses and gear depending on what I'm shooting from Lumoid.com which is a great way to test out gear and get an idea of what you want without making a huge purchase upfront. When I buy gear I want to get the top of the line which is really expensive. With my ever changing cash flow I like to finance my gear and pay weekly or monthly which helps me manage my income on a more manageable scale. I learned on film and also absolutely adore (and collect) Vintage cameras, my collection is getting out of hand! 

On that note, I did not start out with all this top of the line equipment. Any DSLR with a manual function and interchangeable lenses is a good place to start such as the Canon Rebel series. I personally have used the Canon 60D and was really happy with it! 

Q:What got you into photography?
A: I've always been a super artistic and creative person, at times it was really hard for me to concentrate in school because I was just all over the place thinking about 100 different projects at once. My grandmother is a painter and she taught me how to paint (acrylic at a young age). My Mom is also really artistic and into interior design which I love too. I went to school that didn't allow underclassmen to study art until sophomore year so I decided to take a photography class. My teacher, Alex Washington (Awash), saw something in me and took the time to really foster my artistic spirit and bring me along under his wing. I am so grateful for him and the opportunities he gave me as just a 14 year old kid. One of my first shoots was at the Arlington National Cemetery Veteran's Day Event in Washington D.C. he took me along to cover the event and I got to shoot from the press box and be published at a really young age. I attribute a lot of my success to him as an excellent mentor and life guru. He went to Emerson College, where I ended up going and getting my degree in marketing. Thank goodness I met that wonderful man! 



Q: Can you make a living off being a photographer?
A: YES! The word "living" means something a little different to everyone, but the answer is, yes, you can support yourself and your family by doing photography full time. You can shoot weddings, events, sell prints/merchandise, blog or work online, have a Photo Booth, be a teacher, work commercially- there are SO many avenues the love and knowledge of photography can provide. If you can think outside the box and are self-motivated to go out and find you next job, strategically market yourself, and believe in your own worth you will make more than a living. 

In fact, some photographers (usually celebrity or commercial photographers)  are some of the 1% income earners out there! You decide which direction you want to go in and there is a market for your craft. Look at other photographers who's work you admire and see how they are pricing themselves. Ask to have coffee with them or assist them, even just ask if you could ask them a few questions by email. I've found that most people are happy to help and share what they've learned! 


Twitter: 

Q: What's your absolute favorite thing to shoot?
A: Portraits portraits portraits! I love meeting new people and helping them to see themselves as beautiful as I do. We all focus so much on little flaws that usually we are the only ones who see them. The act of photographing someone is very intimate and I really enjoy experiencing humanity from behind a lens, I feel its where I can connect with people, take to them most easily, and express myself the best. 

Q: Can I use my phone to take pictures and edit them with an app?
A: Yes, I am always shooting even if I don't have my camera with me, its actually bit compulsive! I encourage you to always shoot even on a camera phone especially with how great the quality has gotten! Some of my favorite editing apps include: Afterlight (lighting ect) and Photowonder (for blemishes etc).

Q: What kind of lens do you recommend using for portraits/human photography?
A: It depends on what kind of portrait you are looking to shoot. I usually opt for a 50mm or an 85mm to have a bit more shallow depth of field so the subject is super focused and the background is a bit more blurred out. 


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