Got to love self taught photographers. Something about the whole just get out and try it mentality really appeals to me. Not to mention self taught photographers produce some amazing work. Paige has some amazing portrait and food work on her website (which is run on tumblr for those that are interested) and a fair few of her shots look to be take on my fav focal length the 50mm.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m 21, born and raised in the South with a brief hiatus in the Midwest. If there’s anything predictable about me it’s that I’m completely indecisive and constantly changing. My life goals have changed so many times that I haven’t stayed at one particular college for more than a year, and I’m about to graduate this summer, if that tells you anything. The things I love, however, I love fully and passionately (chewing gum, diet coke, cupcakes, photography) and i pursue my dreams with reckless abandon.
What made you get into photography?
I remember feeling the explicit need to pick up a camera and document the world around me when I was a senior in high school. I was lucky enough to be given my first dSLR the Christmas after I graduated, and from the moment I got my hands on it’s little body, I knew that things would be different forever.
How did you get started?
I was really lucky to be surrounded with people who encouraged my passion – my Step Father is a photographer, my Mom is a writer, and I had a boyfriend who was passionate about design. Along with their enthusiasm and support, I was able to pursue what I loved. I would go into the bookstore with a notebook and pen and spend hours at a table with stacks and stacks of books on photography, from lighting to business and everything in between. It’s been a process to discover my style, but from day one, I knew I wanted to take photos.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I am really passionate about food photography, but it’s taken a back seat to portraits, these days. I love to shoot stills, but portraits are a constant source of work. I love meeting new people and making connections, working with a model has really helped to boost my confidence as an artist.
What gear are you using? I shoot with a Canon 7D, 50 mm 1.8, and 17-35 L
Whats your favourite lens and why?
My 50 mm is definitely my favorite lens. For the price, it doesn’t get any better. The benefit is that you’ll never find a cheaper lens that shoots at 1.8, and the difference between the 1.8 and the 1.4, or even the 1.2 is dramatic. It only gets better from here.
How are you marketing yourself?
Facebook has been a major player in my marketing strategy. I would never have gained the immense following that I have now if it hadn’t been for the connections I made on Facebook. Social Networking is so incredibly useful for gaining followers and getting your name out there, without it I’d be nowhere.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
This is always such a hard question to answer. My interests have changed over the years, and my style has changed so drastically, that it’s almost impossible to choose a favorite. I feel like so many of my photos represent clearly my life and the events that I was going through at the time, I have such a strong emotional connection to my work, my favorite photos will change constantly (indecisive, see?). Today these are my two favorites, ask me again in a week and it will probably be different.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Firstly, don’t spend so much time comparing yourself to other photographers. A lot of people get bogged down by feelings of inadequacy, and it’s easy to do in our field. No two artists are the same; we all have a different take on the world around us, and what works for one person may not work for another. Secondly, when starting your own business, make sure that you have a clear plan. It’s easy to get side tracked or lose focus, be sure that you know where you are and where you’re going and stick with it!