Frequently Asked Questions
What gear do you use?
My usual set-up is a Canon 6D with a Sigma 35mm 1.4 lens. I also have a Sigma 24mm 1.4 lens, which is very similar but good for wider shots. If I could only recommend one, I would tell you to get the 35mm 1.4. When I was traveling in Europe for 5 months, I used a Fujifilm XT20 mirrorless camera with a 23mm 1.4 lens.
HOW Do you choose to expose your photos?
Personally I enjoy exposing for the highlights (making sure the brightest detail in the photo is preserved) and raising the shadows later, to give it that nice low-contrast look. So I do shoot under-exposed, technically. Your own choice should depend on your camera's ability to handle shadow detail and your editing workflow. I just got into the rhythm of raising shadows, and it stuck!
Did you study photography?
I took one class in high school and one in college, though the one in college was mostly theoretical – lots of abstract ideas about truth and art. I wouldn't attribute my current knowledge of photography to either of those classes – rather years of practice. School is valuable, of course, but I recommend studying something else that's interesting to you and just learning as you go with photography.
Do you offer individual portrait sessions?
I offer a limited number of individual portrait sessions each year. My current focus leans more toward creative projects and commercial photography.
Where do you get your inspiration?
This is probably the hardest question for me! It's hard to pinpoint where my inspiration comes from. Rather than one main source, I'd say it's a conglomerate of little bits of inspiration that I come across daily. Maybe it's a new location that I drove past on my way to the grocery store, or a mural I saw on a building. An outfit can inspire an entire shoot! I like to take an interdisciplinary approach to inspiration - using music, other art forms (and other artists), nature, and color to just feed my mind and gradually form a more specific vision. There have been a few shoots where all I had in mind was the location and a general color scheme for the stylist, and I actually worried about not having a more concrete concept. But they ended up being amazing shoots because I got inspired on the spot! For example, the shoot I did with Quinn was like that. After we started shooting, I had this vision of a rebellious housewife running around her too-perfect neighborhood without shoes and wearing a slip. Almost like a dream state. And that shoot, which started out without much of a concept, turned into one of my favorites ever!
Do you style your own shoots?
Yes, I often do style my own shoots. A good stylist can do wonders for a shoot, but sometimes I find it hard to communicate exactly what I want to see. It can be easier to go out and find it myself. Styling your own shoots adds an extra layer of work for you before, during, and after a shoot. You have to find the clothes, steam them, make sure they fit properly and aren't out of whack while shooting, and then take them home and organize them. It can be exhausting, but sometimes it's worth it. When working with a stylist, I recommend sending moodboards for each look with specific colors and shapes you want to see.