REDEFINE | Photography + Films feature by Stacey Ilyse

REDEFINE | Photography + Films feature by Stacey Ilyse

“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it. “

Why are you passionate about films along with photography ?

These are things that can’t be posed or contrived. But they are also things that may be easily forgotten, lost in the shuffle between activities and milestones. There is something precious about being able to see the moving memory of your life – to SEE the stroke on someone’s cheek, or the way the pullback their hair into a ponytail, the way someone loves another person, or the way siblings squabble… to HEAR the sounds of laughter, the voice of someone possibly no longer with you… the stories about how you met, or the words “I LOVE YOU” ..

When did you start making films for your business?

I officially started to offer films about 1 year ago, May 2016

Has it been a hard sell to clients?

Surprisingly, NO! I know that many have struggled but I feel that films were almost an “obvious choice” for many of my clients. It was something unique, new, and really special. EVERYONE who’s seen them (and especially those who have booked) have understood the value in them almost immediately… even husbands (who generally are hesitant to be in photos, or find it tedious to do a session are on board – or fall in love with a film afterwards if they were not beforehand and have booked another!)

How do you blend photography + films seamlessly ?

Most clients can’t tell the difference between when Im shooting photo or video and they become so involved with being with their families that it becomes easy to switch back and forth. I don’t actually include my still photography INTO my videos – (unless they are for a newborn or fresh 48) I do always include documentary, candid still photography as part of my packages for all video clients – they receive those separately in an online gallery and view them with me during our video/photo in-person reveal – which is SO fun for me to do – I love seeing my clients reactions when they see the films and photographs for the first time – most of them cry!!

Tell us about your film editing?

I create the films using Adobe premiere pro and try to keep my actual footage edits very simple and without many filters or presets, etc.. I want them to look and feel timeless and classic.

What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to start filming? (aim for at least 5, but any are welcome)

Im going to do 2-3 technical and/or 2-3 biz related
Stabilizing your camera is KEY. You don’t need any fancy gear to do it – a good neck strap and steady hands are a must
you don’t NEED to follow your subjects every move, sometimes it is best for them to come in and out a frame… it creates interest and it’s less jarring to the viewer
Create personal work too! I found that my personal projects engage my audience just as much – if not more then my client work. People like to get to know who I am, what my life is like – and see that it is just like their lives – makes me more relatable… Also, personal projects fuel your soul and help you grow as an artist!
I dont think there is any “magic button” that someone can press and POOF clients come running – BUT I do think it is important when you are first starting any new business venture to privately offer to do 1-3 projects gratis to clients or friends that you feel would not only help build your portfolio, but also promote the S**T outta you afterwards. I know there is no guarantee about how it might turn out, but know your audience and know WHY and WHO you are picking for a reason.
DO NOT price yourself too low! These films are HARD WORK – and take A LOT of time to create. If you need to, offer an introductory discount off your ideal price point. This gives your clients the info off the bat that eventually you will be charging XYZ for this service.

What were the challenges for you in the beginning?

1. Balance. It was very hard to find balance between booking photography sessions vs film clients… besides the fall rush, I had almost ZERO photo sessions – video took over my calendar… I was beyond grateful, but also completely overwhelmed by it… I also felt I was losing myself to video and needed to find my photographers voice within all these sessions too!

2. I had to re-wire my brain to see things in video vs photography and ALSO at the same time learn and remember to switch back and forth between the 2 during a session and it was hard at first! – Some of my earlier sessions def did not have as strong a photo portfolio as my sessions do now. I practiced a lot on my girls… which helped. It is seamless for me now – I see the moment in video – take the clip and then flip the switch for a photo…

3. Remembering that IT IS OK TO MISS A MOMENT. There will always be another one!

4. Workflow and music selection were (and sometimes still can be) hard. These films take 20+ hours to create – people don’t realize it… but us video folk are devoted and passionate about our craft.

ABOUT THE ARTIST :

“In a world full of Mary’s be a Rhoda” Stacey Ilyse, a documentary photography & videographer focusing on families and real life moments. Stacey is based in Northern NJ where she pursues her 365 passion project – documenting her life with her 2 little girls, crazy doodle and extremely patience husband.

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

 

 

Be Inspired session | Ashley Gardner photography

Be Inspired session | Ashley Gardner photography
Tell us abit about your approach to the work you do, your time in the business and a few personal facts about you.
My approach is very relaxed and laid back. I don’t like stiff posing in front of the camera. Natural and unscripted is what I do best!
I’ve only just started up professionally within the last 6 months, but I’ve been photographing as a hobby for the last few years.
FACTS:
I make lists for everything! It helps me stay organized
I’m a huge iced coffee addict. Even in the winter!
I’m a military wife and my husband and I have been together for 7 years
What about this session was most memorable?

This session was so much fun. The family was completely down for anything, didn’t mind trecking through the tall grass to get their gorgeous photos. We even stayed as it was starting to get dark because they were so much fun to photograph!

Were there any hurdles?
Surprisingly this session had no hurdles aside from some mosquitoes flying around! This sweet family was a dream to work with.
Your best photographer/session advice?

My best advice would be to just relax and enjoy the people or family you’re photographing. Get to know them in that short window you have while you’re behind the lens. But just have fun!

What gear was used to achieve these

I used my Canon 60D and my 50mm lens

E N J O Y

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ABOUT THE ARTIST:

I’m a mom of two (soon to be three!) littles and wife to the sweetest and most supportive husband I could ask for! I first got into photography as a hobby after my first was born because I wanted to document our new life as a family of three. I fell in love with photographing our life and my love for photography has grown over the years and I eventually got up the courage to start doing it professionally. My photography style focuses on connections, light, laughter and love. I feel so blessed and grateful to be able to do something I absolutely love.

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

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 feature by Rachel Lipsmeyer of Rachel K Photo

Be Inspired session feature by Rachel Lipsmeyer of Rachel K Photo
Tell us about your approach to the work you do, your time in the business and a few personal facts about you.

I first became interested in photography because I wanted to capture the places I went when I traveled. Then my sister had her first baby, and I helped her document her pregnancy and all my nephew’s first milestones. Soon after others started to ask me about photos, and it all spiraled from there. Since then, I’ve moved my business across the country, gotten married, and welcomed my own little boy. Owning a small business is not without it’s struggles, but it is also one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done! Since

What about this session was most memorable?

Their connection. The sisters to each other and to their husbands. There is so much joy and excitement for a family with a baby on the way, and doubly so within this one, as they awaited two new additions! They were both having little boys too, so you know those cousins are going to grow up being the best of buds!

Were there any hurdles?

Unannounced to me, the sister’s planned 3 outfit changes plus brought along their spouses, other children and mother to include in some of the photos. Also, after one sister was running late to the session, they spent almost the first 30 minutes getting into the first outfit. While we had planned for a two hour session, but I was definitely a little worried about time. In the end, the photos turned out beautifully, and we captured all the combinations and must have photos they requested.

Your best photographer/session advice?

Do a personal project. This is my first year doing a 365 (ish) and I can already see how much my photography has improved! It’s really helped me to hone in on my style as well as to see light in new and creative ways. It’s allowed me to experiment and take risks that I otherwise would never have done with my client work.

What gear was used to achieve these?

Canon 5D markiii, 85mm 1.8, 35mm 1.8

 

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ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER 

I’m Rachel, wife to Josh and mom to 8-month-old Cantor. My love for photography was born from my love to travel and desire to document those adventures. When not traveling, you can usually find me at home in my comfy clothes snuggling my husband and baby, reheating my cup of coffee for the millionth time.

I’m a storyteller that’s obsessed with light, connection, and authentic emotions. I’ve always valued photography, but now that I’m a mom, I treasure photos more than ever. Photos are memories, and those memories are part of the legacy we leave behind for our children and grandchildren. It’s my honor and privilege to get to pursue my passion and use my skills to capture images that tell every families’ unique and beautiful story.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

 

Dear Photographer Featuring – Tara Herron Photography

Dear Photographer Featuring – Tara Herron Photography
BACK THEN : 
Anderson2014
2014

Dear Tara,

You will start your photography journey so you can capture the sweetest times. Take photos often. Practice. Don’t get frustrated because you think you are not learning fast enough. Give yourself lots of grace as you navigate this new journey of motherhood and photography. You will learn so much over the next few years and truly find happiness through creating your art. You will endure intense emotional pain when your daughter, Halle dies, but that will become your biggest inspiration. You will find an unwavering passion for creating magic from everyday moments as you push through the pain to once again find happiness. You will find inspiration in movement and light. The light will become a powerful force driving you to keep Halle’s memory alive. Unfortunately, you will have some career disappointments along the way. Your confidence will be shaken when you fail to get accepted by Click Pro. However, you will redeem yourself a couple of months later when you win the Shoot and Share grand prize. In the future, you will continue learning by doing multiple photography workshops. You will meet wonderful photographers and fellow moms who also share the same passion. Always remember to stay honest and true to yourself. You and your children will appreciate the photos even more as they grow. Live in the light, always.

CURRENT WORK : 

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ABOUT THE ARTIST: 

HI. I’m Tara. I’m a family and lifestyle photographer based in Nashville, TN. I’m blessed with a supportive husband and together we are raising 2 amazing children. I’m a light seeker and coffee drinker. I love to travel and met new people. Photography is my therapy.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM 

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

 

BE INSPIRED sesh | feature by Rasberry Lane Studios

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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.

My approach to my work is inspired directly by my experience of motherhood. Becoming a mother has been the most powerful transformation—it’s changed the way I see everything. When I work with clients, I look at them through the eye of a mother, with gentleness and love. I try to think the way a mother thinks of her own child—noticing the things that only mothers notice. The tiniest details, the small smirks, the sideway glances. Of course I love a classic portrait, but more than that I love to help my clients remember how they felt in the moment. The way they felt holding their newborn, falling in love with their partner again-as a new parent, memorizing the tiny features. I love to work with families and capture the emotions they feel for one another. I love when I can show my clients how their love looks and that helps them remember how it feels.

What about this session was most memorable?

This family was kind and easy going from the get go. They were so welcoming and genuine. I think what stuck out to me the most was their tenderness for both each other and their new baby boy. They are the type of parents you can tell were meant for the job.

 Were there any hurdles?

I tend to work with newborns who are just about a week old, but by the time we were able to get this session scheduled their little guy was closer to one month old. I was a touch nervous to see how he’d do-knowing that sometimes an older baby can be a little bit more challenging. However, he was an absolute dream and so relaxed. There was nothing to worry about!

 Your best photographer/session advice?

The number one advice I would give any photographer is to know that you are your own worst critic. I think that it is easy to get yourself down while looking at someone else’s amazing work-but we are all on our own journey and taking inspiration from others but not comparing yourself to them is the best thing you can do for yourself. As far as session advice goes, I would encourage you to remember why you are there, why they chose YOU and focus on your strengths.

What gear was used to achieve these?
Canon 6D and Sigma 35mm

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ABOUT THE ARTIST :

I’m Laura, mountain loving Colorado native transplanted in Wisconsin. I love to travel, make new friends and drink coffee. When I’m not chasing my children with a camera, I can be found begging my husband for more baby animals.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST