BE INSPIRED SESSION | Feature by Julie Weinzettl of This Fine Day Photography

Tell us a bit about your approach to the work you do, your time in the business and a few personal facts about you.
I’m a wife and a mother to 2 kids, living in Southern California. I’ve had an interest in photography since high school, but it wasn’t until my children came along that I really started to gravitate towards photographing them and capturing those moments that make me “feel” something. It wasn’t long after those friends would see my photos and ask me if I would be interested in taking their families photos. So slowly but surely I began to work with different families, growing in my knowledge and desire to want to capture these moments for people. I officially started a website and my photography business 2 years ago and now am trying to grow and reach out to a more diverse clientele, one who shares my same aesthetic and desire for adventure! I love to photograph kids and families but I also recently have really fallen in love with photographing couples as well!
My approach to a session is to be as fun and natural as possible. I want the people in front of my lens to just relax, be themselves and interact with each other. Throughout the session, I am constantly looking for those little passing moments of love, connection, and joy. I guide my subjects to the area I want them, preferably backlit or in some other type of interesting light, and then step back a bit and let them interact. I may ask a prompting question to get a laugh or guide them in some sort of movement, but overall I try and be pretty hands-off as far as posing goes.
What about this session was most memorable?
This session, in particular, was most memorable because it was the first session I brought my 9-year-old daughter on, to be my second shooter! Something about her being there put the couple at ease a bit more I think and she got some really amazing shots. Also, the location… we drove out to the middle of nowhere to a place I had never been to before, so it was kind of a fun adventure not knowing exactly what to expect!  We rented a four-wheeler, drove over some pretty bumpy dirt roads and hoped for the best! We stumbled upon an abandoned couch, which was exactly the kind of random landscape element I was hoping for- something different and quirky to add interest to the photos.
Were there any hurdles?
The only real hurdles to overcome was the lighting and not knowing exactly a precise location.We ended up getting there right at mid-day, so not the dreamy golden hour light I prefer to shoot in. But I just looked for spots that were shaded, or just did my best. It helped me to realize that lighting doesn’t have to be the ONLY part of a photo that grabs you and to try and shoot other interesting elements. As for the location, it was a challenge not knowing what to expect but also a great opportunity for me to step outside of my comfort zone and be able to look around and find interesting backgrounds on the spot.
Your best photographer/session advice?
My best photographer/session advice would be to talk to your subjects- get to know them as much as possible, ask them questions about themselves, each other…  anything to get their minds off the fact that their photo is being taken- a thing that can make some people uncomfortable. I think the more I talk and ask questions during a session, the more genuine, true emotions and expressions I get. I also tell them NOT to look at me for most of the session, unless I’m grabbing those few classic, looking at the camera portraits. Another great thing to help everyone feel more at ease is music! I usually tell them to play something they like during our session or I have a few playlists prepared as well.
What gear was used to achieve these?
The equipment I used for this session was my Nikon D600, my Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 lens and my Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 lens
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Julie Weinzettl lives in Southern California. She is a lifestyle/adventure photographer who loves to capture families and couples in a variety of settings in a way that is natural, authentic and unposed. Available to travel.
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