A few days ago, I had a high school student e-mail me and ask me some questions. I was thrilled to answer her as best... and as honest as I could.
1. What kind of photos do you usually take? My work mainly focuses on children, editorial, corporate, weddings & events. There is usually a balance of each thing. I wouldn't say I shoot more of the other....but people are definitely my main focus!
2. What are your normal duties when you are hired as a photographer? Typically I'm hired to just "get the right shot" lol My duty is to make it so people can LOVE a few select images.
3. What do you enjoy about your job? I ask myself this question all the time.... and I pretty much love everything, but I enjoy interacting with people and making them feel comfortable in front of the camera.
4. Are there any things that you dislike about your job? If so, what are they? Sometimes it's not so fun to sit down and actually run the business side of things. You're always faced with certain challenges like marketing decisions & bookkeeping. I'm not a fan of rushing my art... so when I have deadlines, that can be a bit stressful!
5. Who are some of your favourite photographers? Jasmine Star, Vance Lester, Ashley Ann Photography, Molly Flanagan, Geoff Howe.... just to name a few.
6. Where do you draw inspiration for your photographs? I tend NOT to look at other peoples work. I like to create my own inspiration... so that usually involves checking out antique stores, looking at old vintage photographs, listening to music, looking at clothing websites etc.
7. Do you prefer studio shoots or do you like to go out to take your photos? I love BOTH options... and I use both options as much as I can. In the winter months, I love being indoors. The summer/fall is all about capturing that nice natural light.
8. What are important skills or character traits in order to succeed as a photographer? You need to be able to interact well with others, take constructive criticism and relax when things don't always happen in your favor. Another factor is being disciplined to work hard and devote the time needed. I also really try and stay away from traditions and trends when it comes to photographing people....but I really try and make everyone's photos a unique & fun experience.
9. What kind of training do you need to advance in a career as a photographer? School is always a good thing... IF you love school. I was never really in love with going to school... so for me, all my training was derived from working with other photographers, reading books... and simply practicing AS much as I could. I'm a self-taught lady! That's not to say thats the right method for everyone....but experience will take you far.
10. What changes, if any, have you seen over the past few years in this career? It seems everyone is/or wants to be a photographer. The digital age has made it that way... with cameras being affordable to buy. Its one thing to be a photographer....but its another to be a successful photographer running the business side of it as well.
11. Do you have any advice to give to an aspiring photographer? Practice as much as you can, never do it for free and invest in the best of camera gear (and always have backup!)