Meet Becca, a Nikon user who uses both eyes to shoot with. Becca mostly focuses on kids, babies and families, but has recently ventured into doing boudoir, engagement and weddings. She uses Manual Mode, shoots in RAW, and aside from some Lightroom presets that she invented, she loves using Sesame Ellis’ presets with some tweakage.
Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
I recently found an old book where I had journalled about my decision to become a photographer. I was 13 years old. If I hadn’t packed the journals back and put them back in the attic I would copy the excerpt. Since my school didn’t have a darkroom, I worked with a teacher to set one up so I could be the yearbook photographer and took classes outside of school. I went to SCAD to get my degree in photography then moved to NYC to work in the industry. After a while, I left it to do graphic design and have recently reunited my hands with cameras about 2.5 years ago.
What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
how important it is to stay true to yourself as an artist. Find your own voice and embrace it. The right clients will find you. It’s so easy in the beginning to become dazzled by all the amazing photographers out there and emulate what you see. That is an important learning step, but listen to your heart to know where you should go.
What makes you different from everyone else?
I think every photographer struggles with this from time to time. For me, I would have to say that it’s my interaction with my subject that sets me apart. At least that’s what I like to think! That and my processing. It’s a little wacky sometimes. I strive to reveal a feeling or mood instead of what was in front of me that day.
Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
I have to plug one of my best friends, Alicia Williams. I love watching her evolve as an artist, she is amazing and has a very creative way of seeing. We bounce ideas off of each other and push each other. Every time she shows me her work, I am in awe.
One item you can’t live without?
well, my contact lenses. I guess that’s two items– the left and the right! Without them my work would be pretty blurry, and I don’t mean in a bokeh way.
Your best bokeh image and why?
I almost always shoot 1.8-2.8 when a single subject is the focus. I’d say my favorite right now is this one of my baby enjoying a popsicle because it’s all about her and it’s summer and what’s not to love about a yummy red popsicle.
Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?
It’s such a great collection of talent! There are so many wonderful photographers to discover here. Why not/?!
this month: the Red Tent
it changes but this month: Slumdog Millionaire
Where do you find inspiration?
my two Roses: my baby, Willow Rose, and my grandmother, Rose Gaggini
What do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?
2 things: persistence and client relationships. Persistence because I believe the one thing that sets apart success from failure is persistence. Client relationships because it is such an honor to be invited into people’s lives as their photographer. They put their trust in me to create these reflections for them, and I approach each session with a huge sense of gratitude.
Do you use a second shooter?
As of right now I do not. However, there is a team forming 🙂
If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?
I second shoot with Piper Warlick a lot and love it, she is awesome to work with. My dream gig would be to second shoot with some of the Australian photogs that I love: Rachel Devine, Sheye Rosemeyer, Jinky of course 🙂
Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?
Does belonging to the Charlotte Photographer Divas count? 🙂 No awards.
What did you have to do to actually take the leap? Did you have any hoops to jump through?
Taking the leap for me came naturally. I have a degree in photography which hadn’t been put to use in a decade almost, the mortgage company that I was working for closed down, and I became a mother in the period of a month. Picking up a camera again just made sense. The whole world has gone digital so it was like starting all over again. There were lots of things to get used to. But I love the fact that it’s so easy to take a single image in a million different directions. So much easier than film. It’s addictive.
Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
Learn as much as you can and practice constantly. Value what you do.
What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?
Hmmm… for my market, being on a Mommy networking board is helpful. Other than that, word of mouth.
Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)? If for, who have you had the most success with?
I’m completely for advertising! I believe in the “10 foot rule” that they talk about in sales strategies, every person within 10 feet of you should know what you do. It’s free too!
What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?
It involves sharing stories, vino, and image critique.
Anything else you would like to share?
Bokehpot is awesome!!!! Thank you ladies for doing this!!!!
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