25/31 EPIC SUMMER SESSIONS | FEATURE BY Chloe Lodge

25/31 EPIC SUMMER SESSIONS | FEATURE BY Chloe Lodge
Is this session personal work or client work?

This session was instigated by me as I was new to the Seychelles and eager to explore the landscape, light and colours with a family who lived there.

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

We’ve lived in sunny climes for six years now so sunshine and warmth has become part and parcel of our daily lives. From SE Asia, the Middle East and here in the Seychelles, just off the coast of Africa. There is something truly uplifting about that summer feeling even when you live it every day. It seeps into your bones and frees the expression within, not only for those in front of the lens but those behind it too.

What about this session makes it an Epic summer session?

This was an epic summer session for me as it was one of my first sessions captured in this tropical paradise, we chose a beach they visit often and was really close to their home and heart. The Seychelles is a picture perfect world of blues and greens but as I shot it I yearned to translate many of the shots into black and white as I was so attracted to the light and textures. The opening capture will remain one of my all time favourites – a small boy adventuring on his journey and yet the parents watching over him in the shadows, it speaks to me on so many levels.

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

I’m planning on investing in an underwater housing for my DSLR. I absolutely adore shooting in, on and near water. It draws me in and I can’t wait to explore it to greater depths.

What gear was used to achieve these?

D750, Sigma Art 35mm

Any summer tips or photographer advice?

Living in certain environments it’s easy to get precious about your gear but I’ve learnt in recent years if you’re paranoid about every grain of sand or droplet of water it can hold you back creatively. Free yourself of the worry, be careful of course but otherwise go for it. Your best shots are almost always on the edge of your comfort zone.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST :
Chloe Lodge is a lifestyle photographer currently based in Dubai. Chloe’s work exudes a sense of the adventurous unknown, a feeling of coming home and the deepest love we feel within. Chloe is currently taking time out from client work to nurture her art and her soon-to-be-born baby girl. As a Brit married to a New Zealander with their Malaysia-born dual nationality son their family has a truly International flavour. Over the past six years they’ve lived in Paris, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai and the Seychelles.

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 

 

8/31 Epic summer session| Stephanie Tetreault of Sweet Beginnings Photography

8/31 Epic summer session| Stephanie Tetreault of Sweet Beginnings Photography
Is this session personal work or client work?

This was a stylized, personal shoot for me using clients.

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

This family is so sweet and were so easy to capture. I absolutely love sun drenched, golden images so styled them in brown and chambray tones to help accent that crazy summer sunset backlight.

What about this session makes it an Epic summer session?

I think the overall tones and casual but connected feeling. I do my best to focus on connection without looking too posed. I also shot a video that helps to tell the story as well.

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

Lots of families, couples, newborn and maternity captured by video as well

What gear was used to achieve these?

Nikon D750, Sigma Art 35mm

Any summer tips or photographer advice?

When shooting backlit images move yourself left and right until the right amount of light comes in the lens. Took me forever to figure out how powerful this tip was.
Dropbox link to images:

 

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ABOUT THE ARTIST:

 

Hi there! This is me! The photographer at Sweet Beginnings Photography! I love coffee, my sweet little family, sweets, yoga and being in or around the water. I married my best friend in Maui with my toes in the sand almost ten years ago. I’m a busy mama that is just trying to make my dreams happen while trying to maintain a good balance between mom and career. I botch this most days but that’s always my goal! We live in a rural, somewhat small town Lincoln, California which is near Sacramento. Kinda has that fun farm town feel and we love it.

I mainly shoot outdoors with the exception of newborns. I shoot with a Nikon D750 and Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 lens. Thats it! I keep it simple as far as gear, nothing fancy. No reflectors, no special lighting gear. I shoot kelvin and always try to get everything right in camera. I shoot wide open mostly and backlit which is what I’m kinda known for. I picked up my first camera soon after having my first child, Ethan, in 2010. I believe we picked it up from the local Rite Aid. I just had this crazy, nagging urge to photograph every single minute of his first moments. I quickly realized that I wanted it to be more than a hobby. It was like a crazy tick that I couldn’t get rid of. I love movement in images. I love connection. I love golden, dappled light and the way it dances and bounces around on my subject’s skin. I love airy images just as well as moody images. I continuously dip my toe in whatever moves me for the day and I think that is so important to do so as an artist.

Being a family and newborn photographer absolutely grabs me in the deepest depths of my soul. To see mothers connecting with their sweet baby’s in the womb and out is so beyond moving and it is so necessary to capture. It’s quite easy to get caught up in the day to day monotony as mom. We are typically frazzled and burning the candle at both ends. Our role is possibly the most important we will ever have, yet we are almost always the ones behind the camera. We need to be in front of it, hugging our babies and capturing those tiny little moments that all add up to something magical and indescribable. The bond between a parent and child can never be put into words but I want to freeze it………freeze it in time, so that we all have something to cherish as we grow older. Something we can all hold onto that is tangible and real. That is my why. I believe we are all created with special gifts and I want to use mine in the best way possible.

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 

The traveling Lensbaby project |Chelsea Furlong, VA

The traveling Lensbaby project |Chelsea Furlong,  VA
Weekly special project. LENSBABY is in Hampton Roads VA
Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-56.jpgWhat is one thing about your photos that says the most about you as a person. Dig deep!

I think the emotion and the darkness in my photos is what says a lot about me as a person. Obviously I was in full sun for most of these images at the beach, but often my personal images of my children are pretty dark and I play with shadows a lot because I love the dark, dramatic feel of them. I have a sensitive soul and I feel like my images often convey that deep sensitivity.

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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?

It took me a long time to find my personal style. I had no idea who I wanted to be as a photographer when I was starting out, and it’s taken me several years to just go with what feels right. I’m always saying that once your art comes directly from your heart, you’ve found yourself. That happened for me last August, and I remember the exact moment I found my voice as a photographer. I’ll never forget the snap of the shutter in that exact moment because I felt something inside me ignite. I knew the second I hit the shutter that the photograph I had taken was my defining moment. It changed my art and my world. What’s interesting about style is that I thought that once I found my style, that would be it. There would be a period at the end of the sentence and I’d be forever that artist. But it’s not that way at all. Yes, I found my style, but it’s still very much evolving. Daily. My skill level, voice, and style are all progressing with every single photo I take. And I hope that never changes.

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

This Lensbaby Twist 60 was the very first Lensbaby I’ve used! I’m a huge fan of freelensing because it challenges me and I love the dream-like feel of the images it produces. I loved the Lensbaby for the same reasons! One of the only times I focus manually, is when I’m freelensing and I always love the challenge of getting my two extremely active little boys in focus, so I had a blast with the manual focus on the Lensbaby!

 

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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?

When photographers don’t take the time to step out of their comfort zones, their work can become stagnant and monotonous. I always know when I’m in a bit of a photography rut because I feel bored with my images. Often those ruts come right before a huge jump in my work though. When I’m stuck and feeling uninspired, I’ll usually step back and find something to focus on or perfect that I’ve never done before, or I’ll try out a new lens! I always have a list of technical or artistic photography related skills that I want to try out, so I’ll take several days to practice only that one thing until I’m happy with the result. If that doesn’t work, or I don’t have the time in the next few weeks to work on a new skill, I simply switch out my lens. I use only prime lenses so going from one lens to another can have a huge impact on the look of my photos, which can spark up my passion all over again! It’s easy to become fixed in your ways, but you lose the fire in your soul when that happens and photography becomes more like a chore than a passion. When you step outside of that comfort zone, experiment with new equipment, materials, and lighting, and push your own limits, that’s when the good stuff happens. That’s when you create art, rather than take photographs.Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-27.jpgTaveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-23Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-41Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-35Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-36Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-38Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-40 (1)Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-46Taveling Lensbaby Chelsea Furlong-43

ABOUT THE ARTIST :

I’m a lover of coffee, food, music, traveling and mother nature. But above that I’m a mother to two energetic little boys. My 2 and 4 yr old sons are the reason I’m a photographer. They feed my soul and feed my creativity, so you’ll see them pop up in my photos almost daily. If you follow my photography journey , you’ll find you’ll get to know them quite well without even knowing them.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM| FACEBOOK 

BE INSPIRED sesh | featuring Chelsea Warren Photography

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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 work to create images that evoke a feeling in my clients when they look at them. I want them to remember how they felt when they were being photographed; to remember the feeling of excitement and anticipation of the arrival of their baby when they spent our session imagining her in their arms or snuggling each other for one of the last times as just a couple before becoming a family. I want them to look back and see their own look of absolute amazement as they stare into their new baby’s eyes, or play with their tiny toes or soak in the beautiful chaos that is new parenthood, and feel nostalgic and grateful for their beautiful lives. I have been photographing professionally since 2010, but have recently focused more intimately on my family work. Since becoming a Mum I have a new appreciation for photographing families, and have enjoyed every moment of meeting and documenting families as they grow! I have 2 amazing boys who inspire me daily, and keep me busy!

What about this session was most memorable?

I love when I am able to document families as they grow and change and this session was one of them! I photographed their engagement and wedding, and was honoured to capture this exciting time in their lives too.

Were there any hurdles?
They absolutely rocked their session! It was incredibly windy and I actually almost got blown off the rocks, but it was worth it since I love wind blown images.

Your best photographer/session advice?

Work with the elements not against them. Nature gives us some pretty good curve balls sometimes but the results can be better than you hoped!

What gear was used to achieve these?
Canon 6D, Sigma 35mm Art series, Canon 85mm L series

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“Work with the elements not against them.”

ABOUT THE ARTIST :

Chelsea is a Wedding & Family Photographer located on Vancouver Island, BC. Shes loves photographing families as they grow and change and focuses on capturing authentic moments and genuine emotion.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM 

 

Dear Photographer feature by Teresa Vick Photography

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November 2013, Start of the journey. First engagement shoot. 

 

 

 

Dear Teresa,

Above all, remember always to listen to that still, small voice that whispers truth to your soul. The one continually whispering, “you are enough.” The one that quietly leads and directs if you would just be still and listen. Gain inspiration from others around you, but in the end, let it be your own true voice that speaks. Let it be your own soul that escapes into your work. In everything you do, do it with kindness and true love, with understanding, and patience; reflecting the heart of your maker. Take someone’s hand and bring them along with you on your journey. Strive to be honest with yourself and others about your struggles. Seek a place where your weaknesses are not glossed over in a grandiose vision of self, yet where your strengths also are not suppressed from consciousness. In the end, it is not what you said or did that matters. But whether you nourished your relationship with the One who loves you and reflected His love accurately. You will fail. You will stumble. You will fall short. Accept that inevitability, but remember to get back up, shake it off, learn from it and move on. Wake up and start the day new, seeking the heart of the only true lover of your soul.”

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ABOUT THE ARTIST :

Graphic Designer since 2005 and natural light photographer producing mostly black and white images, some color, with a fine art style, located in Vancouver, WA, USA. I love creating. I love finding beauty in the mundane and seemingly trivial. I love being a part of creating beautiful things.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST 

 

DEAR PHOTOGRAPHER feature by April Kraus Photography

april kraus dear photographerdearphotographerblog_aprilkrausphotography2013This image that I’m including from when “I first started” but it is as far back as I can get to right now. I have been taking photos for much longer than most, as I started when I was about 18. This photo is from 2013.

I started in film. I spent most of my college years in the dark room. And then after I graduated college, I left and started working at a job that had nothing to do with photography. I was broke and couldn’t afford film or processing. I took a couple of years off and at the time, digital photography was still not accessible to the average person. I had such a deep love for film that it was very hard for me to embrace photography without it.

After I got pregnant with my first child, I started to have a hunger to shoot again and decided to give in to the “digital age” and buy a digital camera. I started shooting again, but I had no artistic voice, just an occasional “good eye” mixed with a knowledge of my camera. A few years later, I lost my mother to cancer and my entire perspective on life, memories, legacy, art and photos changed.

 

If I could go back in time and tell my younger self something, it would be this:

I see you. I see you trying to fit in. I see you trying to be what you see others being. I see you trying to make things that look like what everyone else is making. I see you making photos that you think everyone else wants you to make. I know that it doesn’t feel right to you. It doesn’t make sense to you, or feed your soul. It doesn’t make you feel proud, or feel like an artist. I know that you want people to like your work, but what does it matter if you don’t like it first?
Stop. Stop with this.
Instead, let your voice be heard. Stop looking when you’re shooting, and start feeling instead. Get to the heart of it. You don’t have to fit in. It’s OK. Be you. You will find yourself if you just stop this and listen. Listen to your own voice. That is your actual strength. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. I promise.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST

April Kraus is a natural light photographer and artist living in Southern Arizona. She is a wife, and a mom to three. She loves finding beauty, humor and connections in everyday things.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM 

REDEFINE | FULL DAY SESSIONS featuring Meraki + Light

REDEFINE | FULL DAY SESSIONS featuring Meraki + Light

 

Share with us a bit about your style of photography:

We are documentary photographers who are passionate about capturing honest connection. We feel styles of shooting may change as the trends come and go, but it’s our pursuit of connection that has set us on this journey, and has shifted how we approach our work. Because we long to honour our clients stories and capture them in the most honest way, we’ve learned that our process with them matters. What we communicate to them matters, being clear about our vision matters, and knowing who they are matters. We spend time with our clients before their sessions figuring out what their connection looks like, and we make a plan from there so we can tell their story in the truest way.

Why are you passionate about full day sessions?

In a shorter session people are still able to protect themselves or maintain a certain level of perfection. However, in a Full Day session, when we stay for longer the walls break down and truth shines through. We love the messy, and the honesty of life. We love the connection we make with people when we just sit in their home and be with them. We want to dive into their story and in doing so, honour the truth of who they are. Because that is where the beauty blossoms wildly. For us it’s so much more then just a photo session. We learn to care deeply about our clients and find that our time with them becomes this great exchange, our lives and theirs mixing and strengthening one another. It’s also about leaving a legacy for their family. There’s something remarkable about passing down more than just “posed” photos to our kids and grandchildren. Imagine books filled with emotion, connection, truth and the day to day messy and mundane, all beautiful because it captures LIFE. Years ago, storytelling was the only way we passed down family lessons and virtues, so what if we started doing that again, and leaving a legacy that is visible for our children and our children’s children. This is a huge part of what inspires us. We want to capture images that draw people in, and let others feel the things our clients were feeling and learn from the beauty within that image. It’s how a mother holds her child, how lovers breathe one another in, and how a look can say a thousand words. These are the kinds of things that we can only truly capture in a longer amount of time.

When did you first learn this technique, or when did you first realize you liked this topic?

In a way it was always within us…we were both always searching for the more, the deeper things. We encountered the work of Joy Prouty of Wildflowers Photography a couple years ago, and something happened deep inside our spirits. It’s like we found the art of our souls. Her work gave us permission to be honest about what was in our hearts and create from our depths. Since then we’ve been on a journey of figuring out what that looks like. We’ve had to say no to a lot of things in order for this dream to come alive. We believe it’s only the beginning.

What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to achieve this technique or subject/topic?

1. First of all, we would say, do the work that sets your soul on fire. For us this journey has been more about honouring what’s in our hearts, and figuring out what we carry. We feel the most important virtue in becoming an artist, is not to to think like everyone else, but to think like only you can, and create from the depths that are inside yourself. Stay honest to yourself!! Doing what you’re passionate about is always going to produce your best work!

2. Be honest about who you are with your clients – this means your Instagram feed, your website, your Facebook page, etc.. If you want to see the deep connections between your clients; if you’re requiring them to be honest and vulnerable, be willing to go there yourself.

3. Be very clear about your vision and expectations. Clients don’t know what you want from them unless it’s clearly communicated. We tend to expect the “norm” unless we’re told otherwise. If you have a vision for what you want, don’t expect your clients to read your mind – tell them! Make sure they know what you’re creating together. This isn’t just about you, and it isn’t just about them – it’s a joining of your hearts, in order to truthfully tell their beautiful story.

4. We’ve come up with a detailed questionnaire for our clients – it’s our way of asking the questions that guide us in the process of telling their story so it fully captures who they are. This can be a helpful tool. Do the hard work and think about what it is that you need/want to know about your clients in order to see and tell their story in the most honest way.

5. Lastly, this is a new way of thinking about photography. For the last decade photos have been posed or we’ve tried to create candid moments, without actually putting in the extra work. We’ve found that we’ve had to be consistent in how we blog, talk about our work, and communicate with clients, because it is not the “norm”. You have to help people think differently. We do this through blogging and social media, and we talk about it FACE to FACE with our clients. You have to be willing to do the hard work. Just showing your work isn’t enough, use your words to communicate the heart of what you want to create with them. It may take time before you have people who get it and are willing to spend the money for full day sessions, but being intentional and consistent in sharing your vision will bring people along with you on the journey

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About the photographers:

Hey! We are Tammy and Tamarah, owners of Meraki + Light. We are wives, moms, documentary photographers, and connection pursuers.  We believe in living life honestly and authentically, and portraying that in every image we capture.  If your life looks beautiful and messy, full of laughter and tears, why would you want your photos to look perfect and posed?  We want to capture the real, the raw and the honest.  We want to tell your story as it is.

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