Kimberly found me actually, she initially emailed me about doing a guest post (details on that coming soon) from there it was only a matter of time that I would come across her website and get her on RAW.
Tell us a little about yourself?
At the age of 30, I know who I am and know that my absolute love in life is taking what my mind creates and letting my camera capture it forever. I like to make people look as they see themselves or even better if it’s possible. I can not live without…avocado, snocones, my mac, 80s music, loyal girfriends, my 5D and my children. I am obsessed with natural light, photoshop, self help books, chapstick and anything made by Apple. I am not special, just here taking pictures to document the world as only I see it.
What made you get into photography?
I began taking an insane amount of photos with my little 35 mm camera that I bought for 50 dollars in high school in the 90s…Yikes. It wasn’t until the digital revolution that I realized how I could transform my thoughts into visual art. I wanted to catch the very essence of each of my children Jade and Lulu’s personalities as well. I knew I could do better than the local Wal-Mart studio. Soon after I started photography as a career, I became ill and learned the true importance of documenting our lives as we as individuals see it; that I wanted my children to see how I viewed the people and things around me.
How did you get started?
I started taking self portraits of myself to learn lighting and photos of my children to learn how to capture moments quickly. I had a starter Canon Rebel XTi and I took it everywhere. As I gained confidence, I began to do photos for others and they began referring others to me.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
When I first moved to San Antonio, I was one of few photographers specializing in Vintage inspired photography so I did a lot of family/fashion work and editing for other photographers. With the increase of photographers in the area taking on that style and doing shoots for free, I branched out to weddings to keep my business flourishing. I am so glad I did, I now travel the world (it’s still surreal to be able to say that) documenting weddings for beautiful people. I still take on special fashion projects locally and work a lot with musicians as well. I do not like to limit myself to one genre all the time because I never know what shoot is going to inspire or challenge me to think outside of my box. My favorite shoots involve my being able to manipulate light and breaking all the traditional rules of photography.
What gear are you using?
I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark ii, prime and telephoto lens, I use flash minimally, studio lighting when the project calls for it.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
My favorite lens for a while was the Canon 24-70mmL until I recently got a 50mm1.4 and on occasion 50mm1.2L. I work a lot with sunflare and the prime lens allow me to capture light in ways I would never really have seen it before.
How are you marketing yourself?
It’s been a long road, but I feel I’m come a long way over the last 5 years from taking photos of babies in baskets. I have utilized the social media outlets i.e. blog, facebook and twitter for the last 4 years to maximize my visibility online. I also continue to submit to have my work published, which adds to exposure as well. I also pride myself with the experience a client receives in working with me. I love when clients become friends and I feel blessed when I get new referrals from clients I have been working with over and over for years.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
I have two and I know that’s cheating so I’ll let you use your discretion on that.
The first is my favorite self portrait I have ever taken. I took this at a very scary and uncertain time in my life. I walked out into the woods to find some peace and found this couch. I felt it represented the very state of my being at that time… torn and beaten and somewhat hidden in the midst of beauty.
The second is a photo of my daughter Lulu. Although I have taken thousands of photos “techinically” and “compositionally” better than this one, I feel this contains in one photo, the essence of me as a photographer. Someone who uses what light is available to capture the beauty in the candid moments of life. She and I were at the park and I thought to myself “I do not want to forget who she is and how she looks in this very moment.” Now I will have this forever.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Don’t do it! I only kid. My advice is solely based on my own experience and my observation of how harsh, yet equally rewarding, this business can be on people.
I would say practice your craft until you feel you have nothing left to learn and then practice even more.
Don’t be discouraged by what you see online and NEVER compare yourself to others. There are a LOT of photographers these days… and if you compare yourself to those with the ability to do shoot after shoot without charging, or those who have the funds to buy endless amounts of equipment, you will lose yourself and your passion.
Be competitive, but do it healthy. Living in a city full of photogs doing equally (and sometimes better) work as myself, it’s easy to get caught up in the competitive circles people create. I have done my best to share as much as I can with fellow photographers and let those who imitate and speak negatively or often times undercut my pricing. So far, it has served well. I am able to continually exchange information and get to know those in my field that I look up to. The minute you start to think you are the best, the more skilled, the more popular, someone else will come along who’s better, cheaper, more creative and you will be left behind.
Never devalue your work just to get a job. You have to teach people how to view and value your work.
Be diligent in working hard. There will be long days of shooting and hours of editing late nights. It’s all worth it, if you and others value yourself.
Don’t take things too serious all the time. Allow yourself to make mistakes (as long as you learn from them) and always allow yourself room to grow and evolve as an artist.
Run your business professionally and humbly.
Recognize how you see the world, run with your vision and never look back:)