Talk about your photography style. First off, my book consists mostly of fashion work. I didn’t set out to be a fashion photographer, I actually began as a still photographer on movies but once I found fashion/portrait work I was hooked! I love romantic themes in my photography. Whether that means achieving it with soft light, the use of flowers as props, location, or wardrobe. I like my photos to not only be about the look of the model but also an overall mood to the image. There are definitely photography styles I prefer to shoot, but I’m really open to lots of different photography styles as long as they make the viewer “feel” something.
Describe a typical day. Most days are pretty must spend on the computer…I usually start each morning scrolling through instagram while having my morning coffee. Then its usually answering emails, editing, retouching, planning shoots, booking models, social media, etc. I’d say 60% percent of my job involves the internet…otherwise I’m editing or shooting. Shoot days are most hectic obviously, but I try to stay super organized, so I always make sure to go over mood boards and pack all my equipment the night before the shoot. Shoot days are always long so I find it best to take care of as much as you can the days leading up to the shoot.
Tell us about some of your achievements and challenges as a photographer + creative. Being a creative is never an easy road. Beginning with college it was hard to convince my parents to let me go into a creative field, but I followed my passion and moved forward. The hardest part for a lot of people is knowing whether or not your any good! It’s hard to put a value on something you would do for free. But its been a long road of realization for me….you have to treat this as a business. If you wanted to pursue a creative field and earn a living you have to value yourself, your work, and your time. The moment you believe your not worth it, is the moment you move into a career that is “safe” and uninspiring. I realized at a young age the life was meant to be enjoyed and I wanted to have a job that I loved going to everyday. Would it have been easier for me to become something else, yes! My journey has brought me from rural Iowa, to Chicago for college, then out to LA to begin my career. It has been a crazy roller coaster of ups and downs but I have learned so much about myself and my work along the way.
Talk about one of your favorite shoots to date. My first favorite shoot to date was the day I got to shoot actress Brittany Murphy for a movie she was working on. Right after college I moved home to “find” myself after college which a lot of us do. I was so lucky to find an ad in the paper for a still photographer for a movie that was coming to town. Luckily I got on the film and was more than ecstatic. Once I found out that I would have the chance to do a one on one shoot with her, I was beyond nervous…..I was only 21, just graduated college and she was my first celebrity. I pulled it together, did my research and did the shoot. She was such a pleasure! After that shoot I had a little more confidence than I had before that experience. For that I will forever be grateful.
Secondly was first published editorial for Disfunkshion Magazine… I came across the boho inspired publication on instagram on day and decided to contact the editor. I explained my idea/mood for the shoot and the editor said go for it! There was no guarantee I would be published, so I wanted to make it the best I could. I went out of my way…contacting models who I thought would fit the vibe, getting the best makeup/hair and stylist. I was very hands on through the entire process, I even contacted designers on my own that I thought would work well for the shoot. That included me doing some of my own pulls and meeting designers myself. A bit of a side note is to network as much as you can and be hands on, because you never know if that person might hire you for a job in the future. It’s always best to meet people face to face. In a world full of social media and online relationships, a personal face to face meeting is priceless. Okay back to the shoot…I even spent my own money to book a location that I thought would be perfect. This included getting liability insurance, getting a permit, and having all the proper forms filled out. It was a ton of work but worth every second. The shoot day was a dream…I really let my creativity run wild that day. After the shoot wrapped I sent all the photos to the editor for approval. I got a personal phone call the next day from the editor herself telling me how beautiful the images were and that I was going to get a huge feature in the next issue. Lets just say that was a memorable shoot!
What types of projects do you enjoy the most? I love any project that involves working with other creatives. My favorite shoots are ones with a concept…it’s so fun to plan every detail of a shoot. From the location, wardrobe, makeup and hair looks, props, lighting, etc. For me its all about creating a fully conceptual story!
Where do you find your inspiration? Everywhere! Mostly through other artists via online searching. I love pinterest! I have multiple mood boards I’ve created with images that inspire me for whatever reason. I find it super helpful to create archives of images you can reference when you need new inspiration or are feeling uninspired. Any chance I get to save an image I do. Once you do this enough you begin to see a pattern and start to get insight into what style you are drawn to.
When it comes to the creative world, where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years? Right now I’m no where near where I hope to be…call it the curse of the creative or curse of the Virgo, lol. We are always our worst critic…with that said, right now I hope to continue building my book and honing my style. I would eventually love to find an artist representative in the future so that I can spend more time shooting and less time looking, haha. I just love working with new clients and talent….creating imagery that can help brands and business connect with their customers. Although, I would love to eventually do more creative portraiture work and eventually work on some gallery shows, but right now I’m happy. I feel extremely blessed to do what I love….what more could a girl want?
Lastly, any life advice? Stop comparing yourself to others…this isn’t that same as admiring others. It’s great to have other artists that inspire you to be better, but the moment you think in your mind that your not good enough or that your work will never be as good as so and so you stop being authentic. You’ve let your fear and insecurity stop you from creating and allowing good things to come into your life. I’ve struggled with this most of my life…..once you stop worrying you’d be amazed at the things that will happen. Another thing i’ve learned is don’t be afraid to tell people what you do! At the beginning of my career I used to think I was bragging if I told people that I was a photographer, I was insecure with myself and my work. It got to the point where I realized the more I opened my mouth and told people who I was and that I was proud of my work, the more jobs I got. I’m not sure what your goal is as an artist, but don’t ever let your fears get in the way of your creativity.