BE INSPIRED Session featuring Antonyette Jones

BE INSPIRED Session featuring Antonyette Jones

 

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 have always been so captivated by photography even as a little girl flipping through family photo albums was one of my favorite pastimes. The ability to capture a moment that could bring back memories and take you back in time was so intriguing to me. Anyways, becoming a photographer didn’t come easily, I worked retail and as a bartender when I finally about two years ago I decided to take a leap of faith and do what I love! Since then I have been growing myself as I grow as a love and lifestyle photographer. It took me a while to figure out just where I belonged because I love to create I wanted to shoot any and everything! Today I find myself shooting with mainly couples, I love to capture that pure authentic love! Looking back at when I was a little girl and thinking about how my love for photography started I know I am exactly where I need to be. Taking this leap of faith has been one of my greatest blessings yet! I am able to watch my couples grow and even capture their growing families! I know everyone says it but I really feel like I have the most rewarding job!

What about this session was most memorable?

The thing that stands out most about this session was the fact that it was so effortless. Of course, we had an idea in mind but we hardly did any posing. The shoot was full of laughing, dancing, and at some points running from what we thought sounded like rattlesnakes. I remember feeling so confident during the short that it would be a memorable one!

Were there any hurdles?

So, I know I mentioned the shoot was effortless, that being said we did face a few hurdles getting started. For one this was one of my first sunset sessions of the summer and it almost didn’t happen! Mainly because of the traffic we were so afraid the sun would go down before we could get started! The second hurdle was that we were right in the middle of a residential neighborhood. My clients wanted to embrace the SoCal scenery and I had passed by those hills every day on my way to work. I knew if I played with my angles we could capture the hills and mountains without the houses being a distraction!

Your best photographer/session advice?

It is so flattering being asked for advice since I am so often looking to gain advice, with that being said, my advice would be to never get too comfortable. Always look to learn and try new things! never be afraid to try new things and new places. Be creative because you never know who you will inspire! My best session advice is again to be creative, play music, and make your shoot an experience!

What gear was used to achieve these?

My 5D Mark iii, 50mm 1.4 lens, which is my go-to lens. That’s right, I like to get up close and personal!

 

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ABOUT THE ARTIST :

I am 23, born in Northern California and raised in Southern California, but please don’t be afraid to have me travel! Ever since I can remember I have had a love for photography and telling stories through my art but only after spending time as a bartender and never having time for photography did I decide to take that leap of faith and pursue my dreams of becoming a photographer. By the way, I still can whip up a darn good margarita! In the past two years, God has blessed my journey in ways I never expected! Although photography is a huge part of my life, it is not the only part. I am super family oriented and outside of work, my family has become my favorite model! They are actually models in some of my favorite shots! When I am not behind the camera I am ALWAYS planning another adventure so you won’t find me without my planner. I love to travel and see new things and I am so excited to see where being a photographer will take me!

W E B S I T E | F A C E B O O K | I N S T A G R A M 

50K GIVEAWAY continued | $50 giftcard to Parabo press

50K GIVEAWAY continued | $50 giftcard to Parabo press

PARABO PRESS 

Hey folks!

Yes, we’re still at it. Giving away some cool stuff for photographers. Do me a favor and look around the room you’re in. You absolutely need more prints on your walls right? Yep, I’m right. ADMIT IT!. There is always room for more memories printed. Always.

Today’s giveaway is sponsored by Parabo press. They are giving away a 50$ gift card to their products for our wonderful instagram followers + blog readers.  Parabo is a different kind of print service for design-minded photo takers. Inspired by small batch print processes, we’re all about making fine art materials and printing techniques accessible.

We are obsessing over + need some BW huge engineer prints, and they are only 20$ (insert the gasp emoji) hang it on a gorge wood dowel, and you are good to go!

I N S T A G R A M | W E B S I T E  

PARABO PRESS 50$ GIFTCARD

10/31 EPIC SUMMER SESSIONS | Feature by Christine Trimble

10/31 EPIC SUMMER SESSIONS | Feature by Christine Trimble
Is this session personal work or client work?

This is a client session. I just moved to a new area and in an effort to get my name out, gave a session away.

Tell us a bit about the magic of summer + the connection to your lens?

Summer is about taking it all in and living in the moment. It’s carefree and fun! This was actually my first session with my 15-30 and I think it was the perfect lens choice. Just about all of the images were taken at 15 mm, allowing so much of the scene to be captured while not losing the families connection.

What about this session makes it an Epic summer session?

It was shot in full sun on the beach!!! I misjudged how early we needed to be there and didn’t start shooting until 45 minutes after sunrise. It was way outside of the box and I love that it worked out.

What else is on your summer bucket list to photograph this summer?

Underwater photography and astrophotography are just two of the many things I hope to dabble in this summer.

What gear was used to achieve these?

These were shot on my Nikon D750 with the Tamron 15-30

Any summer tips or photographer advice?

Just get out there and do it, even if you are unsure. The worst thing that will happen is you don’t get the images you want and you learn what not to do. I was shaking in my boots while shooting these but they came out great. Push your limits and you will grow. Also, don’t wear jeans to a beach shoot.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST :

I’m Christine! Wife and mother first, light chaser second. I appreciate authentic and honest imagery. I aim to create images that make you feel emotion and remind you that there is beauty in the magical and mundane moments of our everyday. I’ve been living behind my lens for just over two years.

W E B S I T E | I N S T A G R A M | F A C E B O O K | E M A I L 

Summer inspiration kick off! | Kyla Ewert

Summer inspiration kick off!  | Kyla Ewert

This is the kick of some epic summer inspiration, In the new Dear Photographer FB group  , We asked you to share with us some of the best images of summer with the hashtag #epicsummersession. The whole month of July will be full of sun, sand, families, children, laughter, love and everything that makes summer such a special time for photographers. In 31 + incredible session features from some of the best in the industry.  We hope that any of these sessions make you want to pick up your camera and shoot your heart out. Cheers to summer. We hope you are enjoying this time. If you are on the other side of the world, we hope summer finds you soon.

Now! Cue the tears, watch this incredible family summer video + session by the amazing Kyla Ewert

Is this session personal work or client work?

This is a client session, a dear friend too.

Tell us a bit about the magic of summer + the connection to your lens?

The beautiful thing about summer is truthfully the weather, the warm lends itself to being more carefree, and one less thing to think about for the clients. Warmth lends itself to comfort, and I think gives people the ability to relax better. If I have relaxed clients, I can capture their truth in a better way, and that is always my goal. The light of summer time ignites my passion for shooting, and my favorite thing to do is to combine beautiful light and someones love story.

What about this session makes it an Epic summer session?

I truthfully think this family made the session epic. Their love is so obvious, and their story is one of grace, hope and joy, which is always going to be a beautiful thing to watch, I was just lucky enough to be there with my camera.

What else is on your summer bucket list to photograph this summer?

My dream would be to travel around Canada and to capture families in their favorite, most relaxed places. So ideally at their cabins or home, where their love story is best told.

-What gear was used to achieve the video ?

For the majority of this video I used my Canon Mark iii and my Sigma 24mm 1.4, I believe I used my 50mm 1.2 for a bit of it.

Any summer tips or photographer advice?

Look for the love and the light.

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Proud wife to Tyler, blessed mama to Atticus, Sullivan and Pepper. I spend my days trying to take in their smalless, calling my sisters and mom when I’m frustrated, praying I’m better tomorrow, regretting eating too many sweets, and surprised every day at 4pm that I still have to make dinner. I love a good wheat ale beer, entertaining in our home (thank goodness my husband cooks,) and chasing sunsets in my minivan full of kids and a camera bag. When I’m  not taking pictures I’m charging my camera’s battery ad making the most of these long days and short years.

W E B S I T E | I N G T A G R A M | F A C E B O O K  |  E M A I L 

BE INSPIRED SESH|featuring Christina McLauchlin

BE INSPIRED SESH|featuring Christina McLauchlin

 

Tell us a bit about your approach to the work you do, your time in the business and a few personal facts about you.

In the photography world, I’m definitely a newbie. I decided to get serious about learning my camera about a year and a half ago. I started with a Nikon D3100 and a nifty 50. I fell in love! I’d spend hours online learning everything I could about composition and light and editing. Then I’d drag my children outside and take photos of them until they were crying. I really did! About 6 months in, I had the opportunity to buy a used Nikon D700 from a friend of a friend. About three months later, I bought a used 35mm Sigma Art off of Ebay from Latvia! What could possibly go wrong?! Lol! Needless to say, I’ve done everything on a shoe-string budget. I am thankful for my equipment and I love how it helps me fulfill my vision, but it does not define me as an artist. Some of my favorite images were taken with that entry level camera and the nifty 50. You don’t have to have everything “just so” to create art that you love.

I approach my work with these three things in mind: Emotion, Texture, Movement. If I can create an image with all three of those things, I always love it. Because that is life, right? This life is moving and textured and emotional and beautiful! I want people to feel the life in my images. I want my images to feel like a deep breath in and a deep breath out.

More importantly though, I have this belief that if I maintain my love and joy for what I’m doing, it translates. Photography is therapy for me. It challenges me and pushes me and makes me happy. The fulfillment I get from doing it comes first. If I start burning out, I pull back and immerse myself in personal work until I love it again. Before I discovered photography and what it means to me, I didn’t have a creative outlet and I was frustrated a lot. When money starts to become the main focus, I remind myself that having photography in my life is a gift that is more precious than money could ever be. I do it for the love of it.

What about this session was most memorable?

We decided to take an impromptu trip to Monterey. We were all so happy and excited and tired of being pent up in the car. We stopped at the beach and we all felt the freedom. 🙂

Were there any hurdles?

Side light. The sun was setting to the side of us. I was nervous at first and thought that it might be a bust. Lol. I played with the settings on my camera and experimented with angling my camera to control the light. I ended up loving it. The side light created a dreamy depth. Sometimes you just never know!

Your best photographer/session advice?

My sessions can be chaos. I go with my gut. I don’t let structure get in the way of creativity, for better or for worse! If I have an idea, I go with it and I let it take me. Make room for that kind of spontaneity. You’ll find that’s where your best work happens.

What gear was used to achieve these?

Nikon D700 and 35mm Sigma Art.

 

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ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER 

I’m a photographer located in Northern California. I put my whole heart and soul into capturing the beauty of people as they really are. I feel a strong connection to nature. My main goal with my art is to convey the essence of the human spirit against the backdrop of this beautiful earth. My children are my preferred muses.

W E B S I T E | F A C E B O O K| I N S T A G R A M|

P I N T E R E S T| P O R T R A I T C O L L E C T I V E 

The traveling LENSBABY project | Sandy Fales , Wild Prairie Photography

The traveling LENSBABY project | Sandy Fales , Wild Prairie Photography
DSC_0479What is one thing about your photos that says the most about you as a person. Dig deep!

I think the one thing my photos say about me, as a person, is that I want the people that I meet to be themselves because, for the most part, do the same. I wear my emotions on my sleeve. When I photograph, I want to capture that same feeling from the image. When I am in photographer mode, I am still me. I still talk and interact with others as I would normally do. Only in these moments, I click that shutter to document what emotions unfold. I would hope my photographs would tell the world that I am okay with raw emotion; in whatever form that takes.

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Can you tell us a little bit about the process you’ve gone through (or that you are going through) to find your photographic style? How has it evolved over the years?

To be honest, I am not sure what my photographic style is. I know that I like to capture the real moments. I will more often than not cull a photo that another photographer would keep. I don’t like straight on smiling images unless it has another element to it as well. I have to feel a connection in the photo or it goes in the trash. Maybe that is my style. It could technically be a great image, but if I don’t feel something when I look at it, it goes. I think that is why I have never gotten into studio work or artificial lighting. I totally understand and get why those are elements are important in some instances but, for me, I think I would lose something in the process of doing those things. I need to be in the groove for me to love the images I take. I am a minimalist person by nature and I think that carries through to my photographic style.

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What Lensbaby lenses have you shot with before? How have they transformed your work?

This was the first time I have shot with a Lensbaby! I thought the lens was wicked cool though I did get frustrated because I am not the best at manual focus. I also like to shoot at a pretty wide open aperture, so that further complicated focusing for me. I think if I owned this lens, and had a chance to work it on a long term basis, I would get the hang of it and would no doubt be in love. The swirl it gives the bokeh is pretty amazing and unique in itself. I would like to try other Lensbaby lens in the near future and see how they could add to the dimension of my images.

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Why is it important that photographers not get too fixed in their ways? What makes experimentation so crucial to an artist’s growth?

What’s that old saying? “Don’t knock it ‘till you try it”. For me, change is eternally difficult. I get nervous, I second guess myself, I don’t like it. However, I know that change is a necessary part of growth and exploration. If we never take chances or risks, we will never discover the ‘could have beens’ in our lives. To think that you could never do better is probably the biggest travesty you could serve yourself. You must continually strive to do better, to be better, to break molds, kick ass and take names. That is what makes life an adventure. This is no different for photography. To grow, change must occur; that is a given. Allow it to come in, sit down and stay a while. All the while, you know that this season is not static. So instead of fighting these changes, embrace them. You never know what you might find at the other end. This is how we grow. We allow those changes to happen and we welcome them with grace.

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I know that change is a necessary part of growth and exploration. If we never take chances or risks, we will never discover the ‘could have beens’ in our lives.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST: 

Hello My name is Sandy Fales, and I am the face behind the camera at Wild Prairie Photography . I am a recent transplant to beautiful Colorado Springs. I love it here. The mountains, the air, the people..everything. It is truly where my heart lays. I moved here from a cattle ranch in Nebraska where I lived for five years. I started my life over and made my new home in a place where I felt welcomed and happy. My journey has not been easy and I am thankful for everyday U have my two sweet babes. Never let yesterday fill up today and always be the change you wish to see in the world are the things i try to live by.

When I’m not getting down in nature, I love chasing my two tiny people around and catching those little moments we have together on film. Photography is in my soul and I hope to be able to share that with you and your family.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM 

 

REDEFINE | STREET PHOTOGRAPHY feature by Jennifer Tonetti Spellman

jtstreet (9 of 10)Why are you passionate about street photography

First and foremost, there is nothing fake, easy or predictable about street work. It’s the most frightening yet exhilarating way to capture the world around you. Secondly, I’m saddened that we gloss over people in our every day hurry without even knowing it’s happening. No one stops on the streets to talk or connect anymore. Now more than ever, when you really observe people on the street, the usual scene is head down looking at their phone or headphones in blocking out the sounds around them. With street, it forces me to be present with people and really look for connections.

What were the challenges for you in the beginning?

The biggest challenge to deal with when I set out on my first street run nearly 6 years ago was ‘what will the reaction be if someone catches me shooting them? Are they going to flip out? Grab and break my camera? Punch me in the face?’ I found out, fairly quickly, two things: most people are so consumed with where they are going they have no idea I am even shooting them or secondly, most people think I’m shooting something else because they never think ‘they’ could possibly be the subject.

Another challenge was figuring out what type of street work I really liked to do and what ‘fit’ me. So I experimented. I’m not drawn to street portraits where you speak to the subject and ask to take their picture. I don’t like the ‘up close in your face to get a reaction’ style. I much more prefer the capturing of unique people unaware who are larger than life to me, or juxtapositions, or cool light on buildings or even lines in a building or structure. I also love finding a ‘back drop’ like a colored wall and waiting for the right person to pass by. Anything on the street that pops out at me, be it human or otherwise, and literally makes me stop dead in my tracks, I shoot it.

When did you first realize you were interested in shooting street photography?

Almost 6 years ago I read an article in the paper about a new discovery of a woman’s work named Vivian Maier. I was completely blown away that this street photographer kept her images a secret, telling no one (hard concept to grasp in this age of oversharing). I was captivated by her images. Raw humanity, shocking at times, but as real as it got, and she shot a ton in NY so I really felt like I connected with her work on that level as well. I was heading to London shortly after with a friend and said to her ‘I need to shoot street when we are there, alone, by myself.’ I set out every day for a bit just walking the streets and I was beyond hooked. I had been shooting clients already and had a business but this was different. This was the biggest personal project I have ever taken on, and it’s all for me and only me.

How do you feel street photography is different from all other genres?

First off I am amazed at the age span of street photographers. A while back I took a street workshop and there were men and women there age 60+. It was actually refreshing. Street truly spans the ages. Also, when you shoot street there are zero second chances if you miss something. If you do miss it, rather than kicking yourself, you need to adapt an onward and upward philosophy, something I am usually not good at but I’m getting there. Street is the most challenging form of photography I have ever shot and I love a challenge as I bore very easily.

Has it helped influence your personal life or business side?

I’d say street has influenced both. Before street I didn’t notice juxtapositions as much in my in-home client work so it really sharpened my eye to those serendipitous moments. Personally it has made me slow down, work on my patience and recognize the humanity in us all. It also has given me another voice in photography and is my natural next step as I continue to search for ways to push myself.

What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to shoot in the street (aim for at least 5, but any are welcome)

1. Be patient and don’t expect much. There are days I come back after street shooting and have nothing to show for it. This isn’t like shooting clients, or your children, or a wedding where you pretty much are guaranteed ‘something’ at the end of the day.

2. Be self-critical of your work. Just because you caught someone walking down the street and nailed the focus doesn’t mean it’s a good street photo. There are many elements of good street images: juxtapositions/interesting subjects/layers/lines/structures. Don’t settle.

3. Study the masters. Not for comparison sake but for the vision they had and see how amazing the elements of street can be when they all come together.

4. Avoid using a dSLR. The ultimate goal for me is to look like I have no idea what I am doing with a camera, and go completely unnoticed. I shoot with a small Ricoh GRII (which looks like a toy camera and fits in your pocket) and my Fujifilm x100T with black tape over it so people think it’s just a junky camera. When you bust out a big honking dSLR you look like you are shooting with intent.

5. Don’t shoot wide open. You want the whole scene in focus to truly tell the story of the street. Every detail matters.

6. Manual is not king on the street. It’s darn near impossible to shoot in manual mode in street. I have yet to meet a street photographer that does because it all moves way too fast out there.

7. Let go of perfection. Images can be raw/slightly blurry etc. It’s totally acceptable as long as the content is strong. Street started on film and if you look at the masters of street, some of the greats will have amazing images that may not be technically correct.

8. Ignore the pressure to convert all to B+W. I’m an ‘in vivid color’ kind of girl- most of my street is in color because I am drawn to the colors on the street and they tell the story. As with any genre, there are pissing matches of how you should do certain things, and as with any genre, I ignore all that and shoot and process images with my gut.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST : 

Jennifer Tonetti Spellman is a NY based photographer who photographs street work for herself and in-home photojournalistic sessions for her clients. Jennifer is also the co-founder of Illuminate Classes where she also teaches. When she isn’t shooting or teaching she can be found hanging with the four who make her world spin round: her husband, two girls, and her shelter dog .

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM STREET | IG personal /client