"Ask Me Anything..." | 3.13.17

"Ask Me Anything..." is a weekly blog segment where I take all your question about photography, business, myself, or ANYTHING else you can think of. I'll choose my three favorite questions from Instagram every Friday and answer them here on Mondays. Check back every week for new questions! 

What made you decide to become a photographer are who are your inspirations?

Photography was always something I really loved and enjoyed. I usually brought a small point and shoot camera with me everywhere I went, but obviously, was frustrated to find that I didn't know how to recreate what I was visualizing in my head. 

I decided to purchase my first DLSR, a Nikon D200, on a whim and had absolutely no idea how to use it. Basically, I became obsessed with teaching myself about photography and practiced on all my friends and family. I have a distinct memory of experimenting with depth of field on salt and pepper shakers (so artsy). I can't explain where the obsession came from. I just felt inwardly compelled to learn how to create in this art form. 

When I first started out I'd have to say one of my biggest mentors, and now dear friend, was Christine Chang. I attended one of her workshops on destination wedding photography and fell in love with the idea of traveling and taking pictures FOR A LIVING. Her talent and life was such a huge inspiration to me and watching her follow her bliss helped me to believe my dreams could be a reality as well. 

My work is also heavily influenced by the film photographer, Elizabeth Messina. I refer to her book, The Luminous Portrait before most of my shoots. The way she captures light and textures is so captivating. 

Christine and I at a recent networking event. It's important to surround yourself with people who inspire you and support you. I'm a big fan of community over competition. 

Christine and I at a recent networking event. It's important to surround yourself with people who inspire you and support you. I'm a big fan of community over competition. 


Did you go to college for photography?

I sure didn't. I actually went to college for Communication and Media Studies...aka I had no idea what I wanted to do. When I finished college I thought I wanted to pursue the entertainment industry so I worked in post production for awhile and then actually had a career as a casting director for many years. 

There are so many wonderful tools you can access online to teach yourself photography. Some of my favorite educators are Jasmine Star, Jana Williams, and really anything from CreativeLive

Do you have any tips or tricks for indoor ceremonies?

Indoor ceremony can be really tough! This is definitely something I encounter mostly at church ceremonies where, most of the time, I'm not even allowed to use flash. In this case, I raise my ISO quite a bit and lower my shutter speed as much as I can without the sharpness of the images suffering. I try my very best not to exceed 1600 with the absolute MAX being 64000. Make sure you're camera performs well in low light situations if you're doing this. I shoot on a Canon 5D Markiii and love how it shoots in low light. The downside of this option is that the higher your ISO gets the more grain your image will have. I honestly don't mind grain at all because it fits with my personal style. 

I personally have never used flash during a ceremony because I feel it's very disruptive, however, not all photographers go this route. Another option would be to have an off camera flash set up for bounce light. I would absolutely run this by the couple and venue prior to the ceremony. Another less distracting option would be a continuous lighting source such as a soft box.