I went to school for photography in 2008 and graduated in 2012 while working as a hairstylist, which I still do. I’m not yet at a place where I can quit doing hair and I’m not sure if I want to completely. So for now I do 2-3 days per week in the salon and photography the other days. I like variety and so it works for me. I don’t do hair on my shoots though as I want them to see me as the photographer.
Yes, I went to Santa Monica College and got a certificate in photography. It took me 3.5 years part time. It was a great basis to start in the photography industry and would highly recommend it. We learnt film and digital, lighting, printing both in the darkroom and on a printer. The business of photography. 35mm, medium and large format. I feel that it gave me rounded knowledge of photography, so I could go into commercial or retail photography.
I always loved photography and dabbled in the past when it was just film. Coming into photography again in 2008 I had to learn digital as well.
When I was in school I was asked constantly, what type of photography I would do. I always leaned towards photographing people and especially fashion. We had a nude assignment before I even knew what Boudoir was and saw the effect it had on the women. It gave them a boost of confidence and they saw themselves differently. I now mostly do boudoir and glamour, but have been hired to photograph dogs commercially. I have a side project where photograph dogs at the shelter, so have become good at photographing them.
If you knew someone who wanted to be a photographer, and could give them one piece of important advice, what would that be?
I would say-study. Study the technical side and the business of photography. Don’t be afraid to take a class.
Have you ever done a boudoir session yourself, if you are a female (sorry guys 🙂 ? Do you think it’s something that is important for female boudoir photographers to do?
Not yet but, I am planning one for next year.
How do you feel about the male / female debate regarding boudoir photographers?
I can see how women would feel more comfortable with a female photographer, however men can absolutely be boudoir photographers. Saying that they have to be careful of the words that they use to encourage to not sound sleazy. I also think that they absolutely need to have a female on set whether it’s the MUA or an assistant.
What do you do to avoid burn-out? Is there ever a time when you just want to throw your camera out the window?
Nope- I’m not at the stage yet where I’m super busy with photography and I’m good at knowing when I need to pull back and rest. We have the ability to determine how much we work, people forget that.
What do you love about the business?
Seeing the transformation in my clients. They come in all nervous and leave feeling empowered.
What do you hate about the business?
Are you a member of any professional photo organizations like PPA, WPPI? What benefit do you feel you get by being a member?
PPA and WPPI. I like that PPA includes equipment insurance with their membership and has lot of support. I’ve also been a member of APA and ASMP, which are geared toward commercial photography.
Do you compete and do you have any opinions on it? AIBP runs contests regularly. Do you participate? If not, is there a reason you don’t?
I rarely get model releases from clients so don’t compete often.
SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:
One guilty pleasure in life?
What is your favorite piece of clothing?
What’s one song on your playlist?
Justin Timberlake on Pandora for shooting
What’s your favorite movie genre? Example?
Favorite shoes to wear?
Sam Edelman booties
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Top of Mount Everest, but without all the climbing.
If you could go back and do over anything in your life, what would that be?
Have kids. I put off having a family to have a career.
If you could meet and photograph someone famous, who would that be and why?
Helen Mirren-she seems to be so comfortable aging and doing it gracefully and still being sexy!
What do you struggle with the most in life? (not photo related)
Anxiety, it often stops me taking steps towards things that I want.
Are you married, single, have kids, husband? Is life a juggling act for you?
Who inspires you the most in life? Work?
Other photographers. Other peoples work using me to try new things.
If you could provide one single piece of advice to influence a young person’s direction in life, what would that be?
Be yourself, don’t conform to what people want you be. Know that you create your own destiny and that you are always at choice.