Allison is in the process of developing a new website, which is terrific because I don’t think anyone should be subjected to using wix 🙁 Allison offers some sound advice for anyone who is looking at getting into the industry. What do you think, where do you host your website, leave a comment below.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in Berrien Springs, Michigan where shortly after, I moved to Maryland. I came from a long line of adventurous travelers and entrepreneurs. Although my childhood and some of my teen years consisted of moving every few years, I was able to find a sense of belonging in reading fiction books and discovering myself through my art. I was originally a fashion design major at art school when I discovered how much I loved photography. I took a beginning photography class and instantly fell in love. After graduating from Columbus College of Art & Design in 2009, I decided to go pro, moved to Orlando and here I am today.
What made you get into photography?
Believe it or not, I was raised as a fine artist. Drawing and painting weren’t cutting it for me anymore so I tried the design route. Fashion design was closer to what I wanted but once I took an elective photo class I knew I had found what I had been craving. In my young mind, I think these areas where all too constricting and I couldn’t create what was in my head to the extent that I wanted. To be fair, I do still utilize the skills that I learned while painting and drawing, and I also design/sew clothes and props for my photography.
How did you get started?
Ever since I was a little girl, I was obsessed with vintage photographs. When I first started shooting, I tried to emulate these photographs and others like them. I first started this by shooting mainly my sister (I dressed her up in vintage clothes, vintage hair/make up, etc.) and then went on to shoot actual models. As time passed and I became more experienced as a fashion/portrait photographer, I began being confronted by models which turned into me shooting their entire portfolios.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I used to focus on fashion/portraiture but these days I’m shooting more still life/product/editorials. Its funny because I never thought this would be the case, since I never really understood still life/product photography in art school. It just goes to show you, it never hurts to try something new!
What gear are you using?
Canon 5D MKII, 50mm f/1.4, 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 & 85mm f/1.8 lenses. I am also a huge lomography fan, so sometimes I whip out my Diana F+ (for personal work).
What’s your favourite lens and why?
For still life/product work, I love the 28-135 mm and for fashion/portraiture 50mm. 50mm is great for portraiture, fashion and whatever else but for still life/product I always come back to the 28-135mm.
How are you marketing yourself?
Like all the other photographers and artists out there, I am an avid twitter, facebook, tumblr, flickr (and whatever else is out there) user. I love technology and social media of all kinds. This helps in marketing, but I actually have to say that my “fans” are who actually market my work and business. I make sure I have an actual relationship with my followers and ask them questions/opinions from time to time. From what I’ve noticed, having a mutual respect (and answering questions) makes people want to spread the word about you and what you do.
What’s your favourite photo you have taken?
I love so many of my photos, it’s hard to pinpoint just one that I love the most. I’d have to say that “Studies In Flora”, at this point in time in my photo career is the one that speaks to me most often.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
First of all, know who you are as a photographer. Know you style, your audience, etc. and never let obstacles stop you. If your work or life in general is creating a block, then take a break but always come back and figure things out. Second, don’t make excuses for yourself. Many people are blaming the economy or other circumstances for having less/no work. You are going to be the one that makes work for yourself and you only. If you want something bad enough go out there and get it. Lastly, make your equipment work for you. If you can’t afford the equipment you desire, make it work. In the long run, you will learn more and gain confidence and it will show in your work.