Updated: Dec 28, 2020
First of all, I just want to say how totally excited I was to receive Angie’s message asking me to share my point of view on movement in photography. Movement is one of my favorite things to capture! Movement is life, movement is fun, movement is childhood! Movement can take an image from “meh” to “whoa!” And if you’re like me, seeing an image with stellar movement makes you want to jump up, grab your camera, & create an image that gives you that same tingly feeling! Perhaps even giving you a little rush of adrenaline! :o)
1) Tell us a little bit about your photographic journey.
I started my photography journey when I was in high school using my dad’s Minolta film camera that my mom bought him as a gift when they were first married & living in Australia. I’m a sucker for nostalgia! :o) In college I took some film photography classes & even had the opportunity to learn to develop my film, as well as printing black & white in the darkroom. An experience I will always treasure.
I have always enjoyed photography. Eventually, I bought into the digital era, digging my heels in, of course. Up until then, I was a film freak! But I embraced the new technology, & in 2011 attended RMSP in Missoula, MT. An experience that gave me all the missing information I’d been craving for years.
When I got pregnant with my children, I made myself a promise that I was going to document those two tiny lives, not only so I have something to look back upon, but so that they have images to treasure as they grow older. Now that they’re five, they are beginning to want to look back at those images I took of them when they were babies & are enjoying seeing the images I take of them now. They’re totally embracing digital photography & enjoying the instant gratification it provides! Hmmm...children enjoying instant gratification?!
2) Tell us a little bit about your style.
I don’t really know as though I have a particular style. I’m kind of a “go with the flow” kind of photographer. Maybe my lack of a style is my style?! :o)
I’ve enjoyed documenting my children as they grow, taking on a more documentary approach to some of my images. If I see them doing something amazing, adorable, funny, I have no issues running & grabbing my camera so I can document the moment. Or if I know we’re going to be doing something I know I’m going to want to document, I grab my camera in anticipation of freezing a few moments in time.
I will also set up an image I have floating around in my head, giving my photography a more lifestyle feel. I usually do this if I have something particular in mind or want to get in the image with my kids. If that is the case, I will set something up for us to do, give us something to play with or talk about, or just interact with each other.
Maybe I’m more of a lifestyle-documentary photographer. Is that a thing?!
3) What gear do you use?
I’m a Canon girl through & through! I actually had a pretty sweet collection of Nikon lenses & a camera at one point. For some reason they just didn’t jive with me, so I sold everything & started over with Canon. I’ve never regretted my decision.
4) What’s your go to lens & why?
My absolute FAV lens is my 35mm f/1.4 L series lens! It allows me to get some of the environment in my photos (which I love), & it allows me to shoot in tight(er) spaces. It gives me the freedom to shoot close up (for more of a portrait) and enables me to get environmental shots. The universality of it is one of my favorite characteristics of this lens, but I also enjoy the lens’ ability to let me shoot wide open if I choose to do so (I’m an f2 gal). It’s the lens that is on my camera 98% of the time! It comes with me to my family shoots, & stays on my camera almost the entire time. We have a great relationship, this lens & I!
5) Who & what inspires you?
My children are my primary source of inspiration. I once had a friend tell me that my children are going to grow up thinking their mama has one giant eye!
When they were born, I did a 365 project where I photographed each of them every day for the first year of their life. I wanted to document how much they changed during that first year; I am so incredibly happy I did. They were preemies when they were born & their journey in the NICU is something I am so thankful I documented; it was a big part of their lives as they got their start in this world.
I want to be able to give my children the images I take of them growing up. I want them to have something to look back on; memories. While they may not share the same nostalgic feelings I have, I will at least know I have given them something that they will have to remember their childhood. Remember the love their father & I have for them, their relationship with our parents, and the friends they had growing up. I consider my photography a gift, not just to my children, but to those I photograph.
Photography gives me a creative outlet. The endless creative possibilities that exist with photography gives me the drive to utilize the right side of my brain & document our lives in interesting ways.
I also always have a personal project I’m working on. Personal projects give me the push & require me to think more creatively. Whether it’s a particular theme, a specific subject, or a time limit, my personal projects keep me going. When I don’t feel like shooting or feel lost in my creativity, these personal projects not only force me to be accountable to myself, but also push my creativity. Clare Barker Wells told me that “constraint breeds creativity.” When you have a personal project & you are accountable to yourself for this project, the constraint of needing to make an image does, in fact, breed creativity. Does it come right away? Nope. Does it make you want to pull your hair out sometimes? Yup. But it keeps you thinking, reaching, & creating.
6) What tips do you have for shooting movement?
When I shoot movement, I almost always have my focus set to AI Servo & use a single focal point. I also use back button focusing, as this gives me the ability to use AI Servo to track my moving subjects (for a Canon, I am unsure how this works with Nikons). I move my focal point to where I want my subjects to be in the frame, so I can get the framing I want. I use a minimum shutter speed of 1/500, but prefer faster shutter speeds if the light and ISO allow me to do so. I also shoot in manual mode so that I can get the shutter speed I want. In manual, I can adjust my f-stop & ISO as needed to get my desired shutter speed.
7) What movement image are you most proud of &/or love the most & why?
This is my favorite movement image for several reasons. The biggest being I am in the frame with my kiddos (something that doesn’t happen very often). I wanted to do something fun with my kiddos, & they absolutely love their trampoline! So I decided to make this shot of us having fun together. I also love the perspective of this shot (I am always trying to think outside the box as far as perspective is concerned). I feel with movement images, perspective can make or break an image. Sometimes I nail it, and sometimes I don’t. But with this particular image, I feel like I did. And I love that my kids love this image as well. When they scroll through the thousands of images on my phone, this is one of them they always stop on.