One of the best things about RAW is I get to connect with some up and coming photographers. Sometimes they go about things in a different light and have some amazing advice because they are right in the middle of the whole turning pro journey. Today we have a chat to a 19 year old portrait photographer with some amazing talent. She’s in the process of turning pro but has some great advice.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I am 19 and attend Ringling College of Art + Design in Sarasota, FL where I am currently a sophomore. I didn’t know if going to an art school was the best idea because I had plans on attending a liberal arts college. But I’m glad I made that decision, I am enjoying being surrounded by so many creative people my age that have a passion for their work.
What made you get into photography?
I asked for a digital camera when I was in 8th grade for Christmas. It was a simple Canon Powershot A75, a really small point and shoot. I was just going to use it to take videos of my friends (which was a new feature for cameras then) but I ended up really enjoying it from an artistic side. I took stereotypical photos of my cat and flowers and put them up on Deviantart, which was a pretty healthy activity for a middle school student.
How did you get started?
After realizing that I really had a passion for photography and my point and shoot was getting pretty old and limiting, I got a Canon 20D. I went into newspaper and yearbook at my high school where I had really supportive teachers who helped me grow. The internet was a huge inspiration for me around that time; there were many fashion photographers on Flickr and Deviantart that I really looked up to. I started taking fashion inspired photos of my friends which was really awkward at first, but they were really good sports and they helped me get over the awkward model-directing stage. I became more comfortable with myself as a photographer with those experimental shoots.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
Portraiture. I have always loved what the human element brings to a photo and the incredibly absurd staged element of fashion photography. Nothing about it is real, it’s a fabricated moment which really makes it interesting to me. I also love the collaboration aspect of it; being able to work with other passionate people (designers, hair stylists, MUAs, models, art directors ect) makes it more than just your work. But I do believe all forms of photography are equally as important and beautiful, and I try use my camera in my personal life.
What gear are you using?
I have a Canon 5D, its getting pretty old now but It fits my needs perfectly. I have a Canon EF 85mm 1.8 and a 50mm 1.8.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
That would have to be the 50mm 1.2. But that’s on the shopping list as of right now, but I am a fan of wide lenses.
How are you marketing yourself?
Well I really am just starting out, but I recently got a new website that I feel is much more cleaner.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
My favorite photo really changes more I learn and shoot (the most recent.) But there was a photo I took in high school when I was 15 that was the first photo I was proud of. My friends and I were volunteering in Oregon and we had been insulating this old cabin with mud and straw all day. My friend Katie styled herself with mud (along with everyone else) and we shot this in the tall grass. We were in the middle of the wilderness and were living in a barn with no cell reception.
But my recent favorite is this
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
You will only go as far as you are willing to push yourself. Things will happen to you that seem like such small events but they quickly add up and you have to take every chance you can get. If you think positively and set high goals for yourself, you can achieve it. You have to realize that you will hit roadblocks, but it’s the people who let those failures get to them are the people who don’t succeed.
Also, the professional world is just an email or phone call away. Don’t be shy!