DEAR PHOTOGRAPHER| Feature by Lauren Phillips of Love Her wild photography

DEAR PHOTOGRAPHER| Feature by Lauren Phillips of Love Her wild photography

Dear past Lauren,

You don’t know it yet, but your difference and outcast-ish ways will be what sets you apart. Your notions in life is what will breathe emotion into your art. Substandard will bore you and this single mum stigma will subside, catapulting you into a deeper meaning of it all. It will instill a love of connection so deeply into your veins, that you will translate it into images that speak to people. This creativity? This yearning for more? This nostalgic heart?…. It will all piece together and make you understand your place in this world. You’re going to really get it one day, that one of the keys to life is to surround yourself with people who inspire you.

Dear current Lauren.

Stop overthinking this paragraph. Stop worrying what people will think! Please, just be you.

This is the most reflective time in your life and it’s for good measure. The chaos has calmed and the storm has gone and it’s done its purpose in feeding the inspiration and weeding out what it is that YOU want. It has been the universe’s little way of speaking to you, you’ve just got to listen. You’ve got this and you’re on the right path.

Dear future Lauren,

Heyyyyy girl, you did it. Look at you, you little champ! That wasn’t so bad now, was it? You’re ok. You’ve put yourself out there and opened up who you are. Put yourself out there for judgment and you know what? You’re better for it! Nothing makes life more incredible than stepping outside of your comfort zone. You’ve found your balance and you’re working on that healing. That feeling of content has well and truly taken place… YOU did that. Now give yourself a pat on the back.. Step away from the work for a moment, take some time for you. Create for you. Spend a weekend away. Relish in the tiny moments of your daughter. There is no pouring from an empty cup. And then, only then, do what fuels your fire and the rest will fall into place. Your creativity, your mindfulness, your world.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST : 

Lauren Phillips is a Photographer with a nostalgic heart who loves to capture the real, raw, authentic moments. She adores photographing families, unique weddings, and children’s fashion.

Calling the little old retro town of Brunswick Heads on the NSW East Coast of Australia home with her main guy, daughter and their newest member, Banjo the dog.

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

 

 

Dear Photographer | Feature by Naomi Ovando

Dear Photographer |  Feature by Naomi Ovando

Dear Younger Me,

The one in the midst of postpartum depression and anxiety, the one filled with so much fear and feelings of failure and weakness. You are so much stronger than you think and everything is going to be okay. It’s going to be more than okay, it’s going to be extraordinary. God is always faithful and always by your side.

Somewhere along the way, while a caring day in and day out for your beautiful babies, you forgot to take care of yourself and you let a part of yourself start to die. Take care of yourself beautiful mama. Listen to the whisperings of your heart. No one else can love your family the way you can and no one else sees the world the way you do. Creativity is a part of you and when you spend time creating, it brings you so much joy. It feeds and nourishes your soul.

Go ahead and buy yourself that DSLR you’ve been wanting. The minute you look through the viewfinder, something will come to life inside of you. You’re going to notice so much beauty all around you and you’re going to see how God is saying “I love you” over and over again through the beautiful sunsets, magnificent trees, delicate flowers, amazing skies, and especially through the blessing of your family. Taking photos, capturing beautiful moments and your children’s fleeting childhood will be like a salve to your soul and will fill your heart with gratitude and healing.

It’s going to take you a while to realize that you must continually nourish your creative soul and that it makes you a better and happier woman, but you’ll learn how important it is eventually. In 2017, you’re going to commit to taking better care of yourself and making time for your art.

You’re going to keep yourself accountable by starting a 365 project and by sharing what speaks to your heart. You’re going to be scared as all get out since you feel like you still have so much to learn, but you have been feeling the nudges to share your art, your heart, and your story.

Even though you still have much to learn about the technical side of photography and you may break many rules, you’re going to be brave. You’re going to shoot with your heart. Always stay true to your heart for it is what will bring you the most joy and fulfillment. Enjoy the journey and the learning process and don’t compare yourself to others for everyone is at a different point in their journey. You’re going to learn so much from so many that inspire you on this photography journey. You’re going to find an encouraging, supportive and inspiring community that is going to help bring out the best in you and help you grow as an artist. Most importantly, remember that you have your own story to tell and no one else can tell it the way you can. God made you to shine His light, so shine on beautiful one!

 

 

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ABOUT THE ARTIST : 

Naomi lives with her husband and three children in sunny Southern California.  She is a homeschooling mama and loves spending her days with her muses.  Going on outdoor adventures with her family and capturing storytelling images is one of her favorite things to do.  She can often be found in the nearby mountains or at the beach with camera in tow.  Her goal is to continue growing as an artist and to keep seeking out and capturing the beauty in the ordinary.

I N S T A G R A M 

15/ 31 EPIC SUMMER SESSIONS |Feature by Claire Searle

15/ 31 EPIC SUMMER SESSIONS |Feature by Claire Searle
Is this session personal work or client work?

Client work

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

I have a love hate relationship with summer, it is all delicious fruit, long nights and sweat lots of sweat. I live in Australia where 9 months of the year we live in summer. Summer means Christmas and the New Year, so it’s always a special time of year. I shot this session on my Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 lense. I love that this lense allows me to always be close to my clients so they can hear my hilarious jokes and I can capture their big smiles as they laugh at them. I also used my nifty fifty Canon50mm f 1.8 to capture the last few images as I love that swirly bokeh it allows me to capture then drool over whilst editing.

What about this session makes it an Epic summer session?

I seriously loved this session. Who doesn’t love a mumma who is willing to wade through the ocean and stroll up and down cliffs. We talked and laughed and ate delicious snacks that this beautiful mum made for us. I think hanging out on a beach with a fun lady eating pretty much sums up my idea of an epic summer.

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

I would love to capture some underwater shots, that has been on my bucket list for waaaay too long.

 What gear was used to achieve these?

Canon 6d
Tamron 24-70mm f2.8
Canon 50mm F1.8 all edited in LR

Any summer tips or photographer advice?

Get out there and enjoy that summer, Be sure to be sun safe and drink plenty of h20!

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ABOUT THE ARTIST : 

Hi I’m Claire, I am a lifestyle photographer who is passionate about capturing the special moments in your life. I am also a Wife, Mumma and Registered Nurse. I absolutely love natural light. I don’t use a flash and I don’t shoot in a studio. I love exploring the beautiful Coffs Coast hunting down perfect locations for you and your family.

I believe that every family deserves to be captured. I love love and would be honored to capture your life. I love natural candid moments, real laughs (usually at my jokes) and honest emotion. I use minimal posing and just like to let you the client lead the way. Feel free to browse my site and let me know if you have any questions

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

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 Session featuring LeAnna Azzolini Photography

BE INSPIRED Session featuring LeAnna Azzolini 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’ve had an intense passion for photography since I was a young girl. My mother was constantly documenting our lives in photos and videos and the gene was definitely inherited. I’m all over the place when it comes to my favorite subject…adoring everything from photographing my daughter, to the ocean, maternity, sunsets, and just recently began my voyage into underwater, now that my baby has been learning to swim. When working with clients I put my heart and soul into each and every shoot. My heartfelt goal is to create timeless photographs where they can see (and feel) their love and connection. Preserving this time for them is a great privilege and something I’m constantly working to better myself at. After 5 years in the business I’ve recently realized that if my focus just lies in creating images with a true connection, then little else matters. That is what will truly stand the test of time and also what keeps me motivated.

What about this session was most memorable?

Honestly, it was their connection. One of the most stunning sights I’ve seen.

Were there any hurdles?

Amazingly enough, the only issue I had was a swarm of little gnats that kept entering my shots! Everything else was literally like a dream.

Your best photographer/session advice?

Begin each shoot with a completely open mind and go along with whatever the day brings to you (it rarely brings you what you expect anyway). Relax and have fun and they will too! If you just keep your focus on the connection and emotion in your photographs (while allowing them to interact naturally), magic will happen.

What gear was used to achieve these?

5D Markii, 50mm 1.4, 24-70mm 2.8

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ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER : 

After nearly a lifetime of having a serious passion for capturing moments on film, I began my journey with photographing professionally in 2011 and immediately fell in love with the entire process.
Since being given the tremendous opportunity to start my career by photographing celebrities and highly detailed private events and weddings (in my earlier days), I’ve arrived at the place where my heart truly lies…maternity and families.
I’ve always been somewhat obsessed with the body of an expecting mama, and once I was able to go through that process on my own, I felt more comfortable shooting my vision for others. My own pregnancy and motherhood is how I ended up finding my true love of photography and I’m reminded of that special feeling every time I photograph a new family. It’s magical!
To love what you do is a blessing that I do not take for granted. I put my heart and soul into each and every shoot. It’s a deep passion of mine that I can’t imagine ever fading away. Find LeAnna work here :

REDEFINE | Project – 100 black dads by Lucy Baber Photography

REDEFINE  | Project – 100 black dads by Lucy Baber Photography
Why are you passionate about this project?

There has been a lot of media attention on police violence, especially against black men and boys over the past few years. Black men are typically portrayed as “violent”, “dangerous”, and “criminals” in the media, which continues to perpetuate racial bias and a culture of fear within our society. These are not the black men I know. The black men I know are loving, nurturing, hard working, and like any other parent, they just want to raise their children in peace. As an artist, I felt a responsibility to fight back against those negative media messages by using my art. By taking photos of dads with their kids, I wanted to change the narrative about black men so that people can start to see them for the amazing men that they really are.

 Tell me about your intro to photography and what connections can it be traced back to your project?

I bought my first camera in 2010, and I’ve been in business as a family photographer since 2012. I considered several different approaches to this particular project, but in the end I knew the most sustainable option would be to focus on what I know best: lifestyle family photography. Especially when working with dads, I find that I’m able to get the most joyful and authentic expressions when I ask them to interact with their kids for family photos.

How important do you feel projects like these are in the photography world?

Social justice issues are extremely important to me. So important, in fact, that I started a private Facebook group for other photographers to collaborate and support each other as we take on social justice photo projects. I believe our current political climate makes these projects even more urgent right now. In this current culture of “fake news” and “alternative facts”, I believe that photography and art are absolutely crucial to anyone who wants to rediscover the Truth. It can be really overwhelming and confusing when there are so many mixed messages put out by the media, but a simple photo can speak volumes. This project has been really centering for me, in my ongoing pursuit of Truth.

What were the challenges for you in the beginning with the project ?

As a white woman wanting to engage in a photo project about black men, I wanted to be very careful not to do or say the wrong thing. I took two years to really flesh out the goals and specifics of the project before I made a public announcement about it, and during that time I also spoke with several trusted friends and mentors in the black community. I spent a lot of time on educating myself on the Black Lives Matter movement as well. I did a lot of reading about social justice issues and I attended local events to learn from leaders in the black community. I paid special attention to criticisms from the black community about the potential for harm from “white allies”. I really wanted to develop a project that would not only emphasize a positive narrative about these men, but would also be welcomed and embraced by the black community. I didn’t want to overstep my boundaries in any way.

Also, on a much smaller scale, scheduling has been another challenge. As a work from home mom and small business owner, it can be difficult to tackle personal projects in a timely manner. This is not a paid project, and even the process of applying for art grants takes time that, frankly, my three year old doesn’t always let me have. Nevertheless, I keep chugging away! I know that in our fast-paced social media culture, projects can lose public interest if they don’t happen quickly. But at the same time, I want to let this project develop at its own pace. It is changing me as much as it giving back to others, and I don’t want to rush that process.

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ABOUT THE ARTIST: 

Lucy Baber is a lifestyle newborn and family photographer in the Philadelphia area. Her work can be followed at the following links:

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST

 

The traveling LENSBABY project | feature by Jessica Mielke Photography

The traveling LENSBABY project | feature by Jessica Mielke Photography
What is one thing about your photos that says the most about you as a person. Dig deep!

Wow this is a tough question. I feel I am an authentic person and I try to be open and vulnerable with my life. I try to document in a way that shows the real, raw, vulnerable parts of life.

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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?

I picked up my first DSLR in 2008 and I have never looked back. I have bounced around genres and styles a lot actually and it wasn’t until very recently that I have found a style that I love. I struggled with what my heart was telling me to photograph over what made my family some money. For years I photographed everything, I booked whatever I could to make money but I was emotionally and artistically drained. It wasn’t until I decided that I needed to shoot 100% for me that I really began to define my style. I started editing the way I wanted to edit vs what my clients were used to.

Lensbaby-48What Lensbaby lenses have you shot with before? How have they transformed your work?

I have never shot with a lensbaby before. Eep I was so excited to get this one in the mail for the week. It was definitely tough to nail the focus for me but I still loved it and I have one in my Amazon cart right now.
I have never used a lensbaby, but I have done a lot of freelensing and I feel that helped transform my work a lot. I learned that some images are best out of focus because life isn’t always in focus.

Lensbaby-51 (1)Why is it important that photographers not get too fixed in their ways? What makes experimentation so crucial to an artist’s growth?

Experimenting is SOOOO crucial. I bounced around a lot when I was beginning and I think that really helped me figure out what I loved to photograph! You can’t grow as an artist if you’re not constantly evolving, learning, experimenting. I don’t want to be the same artist in a year. I want to be better, I want my images to speak to someone and if I don’t occasionally experiment with what I am doing that is never going to happen, change and growth will never happen.

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST :

I am Jessica.  I am a seeker of light and love. I live in Aurora Colorado with my husband, two crazy kids, three crazy dogs and 5 even crazier chickens..  I photograph in the Denver Metro Area and select dates in Tucson Arizona. I am a storyteller and lifestyle photographer. I document Maternity, Births and Families. I believe that life should be documented as it is, messy and crazy, sometimes dark and grainy.