Meet Katie, a Canon user who shoots in RAW using her right eye and mostly Manual Mode (occasionally Aperture Priority). Her focus is mainly weddings and couples but she loooooves shooting children too. She uses some actions that she made herself as well as Kubota Image Tools.
Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
During my sophomore year of high school I took a photography class with an amazing teacher named Mr. Quinn. He was always so encouraging even when my photos where *ahem* sub-par. I called up an awesome studio in my town and was lucky to work in the office for a few years where I looked at images all day long, learned so much about the business of photography and met some amazing people. After going away to college, getting married, and having my first baby, I really started missing the creative outlet that photography was for me. So I picked up my camera again and started immersing myself in photography, pouring through images again, and devouring anything I could learn from online forums and tutorials. I was excited to pursue an old love and have learned so much in the year that I have had my own business.
50mm, 400ISO, 1/160, f/1.4
What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
It is so important to fill your brain with the types of images that you want to create. I have accepted that I will never be done learning and hope that someone will give me a good kick if I stop pushing myself creatively to the next level.
100mm 2.8 macro, 3200ISO, 1/13, f/2.8
What makes you different from everyone else?
My non-scripted approach with my clients sets me apart. I really love people and love keeping my shoots fun and spontaneous. I’m definitely a little dorky at times, but don’t really mind being laughed at. As far as the images go, I am mostly a sucker for bright, saturated color and tack sharp “crispy” goodness.
Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
Timwill is awesome and he should be famous already!
One item you can’t live without?
Your best bokeh image and why?
TS-E45mm, 1600ISO, 1/100, f/2.8
I love this image of Maggie and Alex at St. Clement Church in Chicago. The church is absolutely gorgeous and I used a 45mm Tilt Shift lens for this one. The lens creates bokeh that a normal lens would not and the result is a hyper-real effect.
Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?
Cause I love bokeh and I love talking shop.
Any cookbook… I love imagining that I am a good cook!
Dumb and Dumber and Legally Blonde–Don’t I have such refined taste? I will watch those over and over again without getting sick of them.
, 160ISO, 1/640, f/1.4
Where do you find inspiration?
Magazines, clothing catalogs, other photographers that I love, walking, shopping, driving and daydreaming…
What do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?
Me and my obsessive love of creating cool imagery.
70-200mm, 100ISO, 1/400, f/2.8
Do you use a second shooter?
Yup! My favorites are Mike, my husband, and my great friend and fab photographer Melissa Friel.
How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?
Shoot me an e-mail with a link to your portfolio or blog.
24mm, 1600ISO, 1/500, f/1.4
If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?
Jay Reilly, hands down. His work is so technically sound and always rock solid.
Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?
I’m a member of a few online forums and love networking with photographers from all over the country. Does being featured on The Bokeh Pot count as an award?
24mm, 3200ISO, 1/1600, f/2.2
What did you have to do to actually take the leap? Did you have any hoops to jump through?
Investment and education are the top two hoops, hands down. Having the proper tools and equipment is really necessary–no matter how good of an eye you have or how passionate you are about photography, it’s impossible to do a good job without investing in the proper tools first. After that, there is a learning curve to processing well. There is an art and science to processing images so that they actually communicate what you “see” in your head as the artist. I think I will always be working to fine tune this skill as long as I am shooting.
50mm, 500ISO, 1/60,1/500, f/1.4
Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
If you have to, rent the best equipment rather than buying mediocre equipment. It is better to work with tools that will give you quality images because that can save you tons of frustration as you learn. Not everyone has this advice, but it’s the kind of person I am I guess!
50mm, 400ISO, 1/4000, f/1.6
What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?
Trying to create a strong network with other photographers and establishing a web presence has been a big part of drawing new clients for me. But most importantly, creating good relationships with the amazing clients I have had has led them to tell others about me. That has been invaluable.
Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)? If for, who have you had the most success with?
My website and blog are the only advertising I have done.
What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?
Anything centered around food… Nothing beats talking shop with your mouth full.
Anything else you would like to share?
My kids are cute!
50mm, 400ISO, 1/1000, f/2.8
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