Photographers around the United States.

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MCP Actions & Photographer Cafe Giveaway!

MCP Actions is giving away a $150 Photographer Cafe shopping spree today!  Check it out and good luck if you enter!

http://www.mcpactions.com/blog

Our First Giveaway!!!

What better way to help kick off this Featured Photographer’s blog than with a giveaway!   Kristen Dewar, owner of KristenKreates, has graciously offered to be a part of the very first contest for us.  The prize for the winner will be a beautiful fringe blanket…yes, you all KNOW what I’m talking about.  If you’re like me and have been eyeing them for a while but have yet to get one, now is your chance!!  And heck, who are we kidding….if you have one, us photographers need an excuse to get a new prop, right?? 😉 

Here’s what you have to do in order to be eligible for the giveaway: 

~ Sign up for the email subscription to this “Featured Photographers” Blog to receive updates, info on more giveaways and to Be Inspired by other fabulous photographers (and who knows, YOU may be the next Featured Photographer!).  Leave a comment on this blog post stating you’ve subscribed.

~ Become a Fan (“Like”) of KristenKreates on Facebook.  http://www.facebook.com/pages/KristenKreates/298395398297

WANT TO HAVE MORE CHANCES TO WIN?  Blog about Featured Photographers Blog and the giveaway, post it on your favorite forum, Tweet about it, Facebook it!  Let the world know of this great opportunity, the beautiful “kreations” by Kristen AND of the Featured Photographers Blog.  What is a better way to honor us photographers than to showcase each other’s work and a sneak peek into our lives?

***Kristen also has an Etsy page with more of her items for sale.  http://www.etsy.com/shop/kristenkreates  

Custom items can be created…tutus, headbands, hats, diaper cover, maternity gowns….the possibilities are endless!!  Just email her for more info!  To give you an idea, here’s a recent portrait that I took with her fabulous maternity gown!***

THIS CONTEST WILL END THURSDAY NIGHT AT MIDNIGHT.  Winner will be chosen through Random.org on Friday!!  Good luck and happy posting!!!

Heather Chick Photography – MA Wedding & Portrait Photographer

I’ve had the pleasure to meet and become friends with Heather Chick, owner of Heather Chick Photography, over the past few months.  Upon the first time meeting her, I could tell what a fabulous person she was to be around.  She is super upbeat, friendly and has such enthusiasm when she speaks about her family life or photography life. 

When I began thinking about this Featured Photographers project and knew that I wanted to have one wedding photographer and one portrait photographer, Heather instantly came to mind.  Heather photographs a variety of subjects & events but her wedding photography is what instantly stood out in my mind.  Her eye for the details and the emotions that show thru the portraits themselves has to be one of the most important aspects of wedding photography, in my opinion.   I follow many photographers online, their work, etc….while some may be similiar, everyone has their own styles and you’ll see that some just capture moments just perfectly.  This couldn’t be more true with Heather Chick. 

Thank you, Heather, for sharing your experiences, photos and thoughts with all of us.  Everyone, I hope you enjoy getting to know Heather and of course, feel free to follow her on her blog and Facebook.  Networking is one of the best things that we can do today and we all love a little inspiration from each other!  Enjoy!

 One collage to share (more will be at the bottom of the journal):

Heather Chick Photography

Let’s start with a bio.  Tell us a little about yourself.  I am married to my husband, Douglas, and we have been married for almost 9 years (do not ask me where the time goes!). We have a son who is 4.5 and a daughter that is 2.5! I am also a photographer and as my husband always says, I eat, sleep and breathe photography. It is such a passion of mine! In my “free-time” I love to scrapbook…but there hasn’t been much “free-time” in the last few years!

 What is your background in photography?   My love of photography started at a young age. Whenever a teacher asked, “What would you like to be when you grow up?” my answer would be, “A free-lance photographer”. I am not even sure that I trully knew what that meant when I originally started saying it, but the thought of it was so cool! Unfortunately for me, fear got in the way of that dream, and I originally chose teaching (a safe choice) when I went off to college….oh how I wish that I had officially started my photography career back then! Although I have always dreamt of this job, I didn’t start my official journey until after college…I started with a night class in adult ed (when it was 35mm!), dabbled in the hobby and then really started to jump in with both feet after I transitioned to digital. Once I decided to start Heather Chick Photography my obsession/passion went into overdrive! I began signing up for workshops and online classes and I dove into the websites, blogs and books to learn anything and everything I could about the art of photography, the post-production, and the task of running a business!

 What do you specialize in?  What made you choose that as your specialty?  When I started my own business, I focused on portraits…maternity, newborns, children and families. About 6 months into it, I had a wedding inquiry from a couple that had seen a portrait gallery. I created a couple wedding packages and booked my first wedding. The inquiries have continued to come in and I couldn’t be happier about it! I absolutely love both portraits and weddings and I am trying to keep a happy balance of both! I absolutely LOVE every minute of photographing a wedding, but I could never give up my babies and families!!

Besides your specialty, what is your favorite thing to photograph & why?  I LOVE to photograph my own children. I am honestly a person who enjoys the moment even more if I am photographing it! I photograph all of our everyday activities…even brushing our teeth! My kids are so used to the camera!

Name at least one thing that most would be surprised to know about you.  I have a Master’s Degree…in education! Children have always been a big part of my life…Childcare was my primary job throughout middle and high-school and I was constantly involved with volunteering with children throughout college. I have always felt a big connection with them! I taught for six years before having my own children and received a Master’s Degree and Certificate in Technology (in Education).

Is there a place you’ve been wanting to go to photograph just for fun?  Where would it be?  How about your favorite place that you’ve already been to? My dream was to go to Paris before I had children and I did it!! I actually bought the origingal Canon Digital Rebel right when it came out, so that I could take it on my trip (but of course I still brought my 35mm gear and used both!). I was in the beginning phase of my photography journey, and although I love the pictures that I took, I look at them and WISH that I could go back with all of my knowledge, style, and equipment that I have now!

 In your opinion, what makes you stand out from the rest of the photographers in your area?  I honestly don’t really think of myself as standing out from the pack for any one reason….I don’t even really try to stand out…which may sound a bit odd!! I actually feel like I am in my own little world and on my own little path…I try to do my absolute best in all areas of my business…from the moment I get an inquiry, until their last order is placed. I aim to be myself and I hope that my photography, customer service and overall personality will bring that client back AND I hope that those three things will make them pass me along to their friends and family.

If we could peek inside your camera bag, what would we see?  Canon equipment galore! What feels like ages ago, I started with the Canon Rebel 35mm and when the first Canon Digital Rebel came onto the scene, I scooped that up (as I mentioned above!)….and I have never looked back!! I shoot with two 5D Mark ii’s, and have several different len’s for different situations. During a portrait session, I love my 24-70 2.8, during a ceremony, the 70-200 2.8 is fantastic, and I love my wide angle for large group shots (and some other artistic moments!). I just recently purchased the 85mm 1.2 for a variety of reasons, but initially bought it for the outdoor, low-light winter weddings that I just shot.

Is there some type of photography that you haven’t done that you would LOVE to try or gain more experience in?  I have done a couple boudoir sessions, but would love to get into it a bit more!

What is some of the best advice that someone has given you (either pertaining to life itself or photography)?  Relax…My husband tells me this all the time…I am a go-go-go person and I am always working to get everything done. I do need to relax a bit but it is definitely hard for me!

If you could photograph ANY one person, who would it be?   My husband’s mother…she battled breast cancer and passed away before I met my husband. I would love the opportunity to meet her and talk with her. If I could have just one chance to photograph her, it would be an honor…and if I could get just a minute to capture pictures of her with her boys and her grandchildren (that she never got to meet), I would be beyond grateful.

I choose photographers for these interviews because their work inspires me.  What inspires you as an artist to create such amazing imagery?   It is mainly a mix of two things…other photographers/photographs, and my clients (I know that sounds so cheesy!!)….I LOVE to look at photography blogs and magazines…There are so many photographers that do such amazing and inspiring work and I love to take a peek…BUT I have to say that all of those images tend to escape my mind when I am working with a family and chasing a two year old through a field!  At that point I am using that child as my inspiration. Whether it be a child that I am working with or a couple that just got engaged, their movements, mannerisms and actions can really guide the session. When I am actually looking through the lens, I can see something that I don’t see when the camera is down…it honestly amazes me!!

What has been your most memorable assignment and why?  That is really a tough one for me! I tried to sit here and think about the first one that pops in my mind (and why), but my mind just bounces back and forth to all different ones!

Have you ever had anything go wrong at a wedding or portrait session and if so, how did you handle it?   I am happy to say that nothing stands out in my mind!! I try to be over prepared to avoid any catastophes! I have gradually built up my equipment so that I have back-up equipment for everything. I am definitely from the school of thought that you can never be too prepared!! I do have to say that I had one newborn session where the newborn cried for almost 3 hours straight. We continued with the session to the best of our ability (meaning the parents and myself), but we weren’t quite sure what was going on!! I ended up rescheduling the session, about a week later, and it was a completely different baby that day!

What is your best kept business secret that you’re willing to share?  I would have to say honesty has worked for me. I have always been honest and up-front about my style and experience. I am a very open (and talkative!) person, and it works for me! In my opinion, word-of-mouth advertising can do wonders but everything will always come back to honesty…I want my clients to feel comfortable with me and to trust that I am going to be the perfect match for them. Honesty is at the heart of trust!

What do you feel is the most challenging thing about photographing weddings and/or children?  For weddings, I think that it is the time constraint when you are doing all of the formals…There is usually about an hour to get bridal party shots, family formals and the “formals” of the newly married couple…I have SO many things that I want to do with them and a limited amount of time!! In terms of children, there isn’t one specific thing that pops into my mind…For some little ones, it is tricky to get them to look at you when they are so curious about the flower that they just picked, and for other little ones, it is finding the perfect time for the session that will allow him or her to be at their best (and also allow for good outdoor lighting!)!

If you didn’t become a photographer, what do you think you would be doing for a living?   At this point, I would probably be a stay-at-home mom. I had always envisioned myself staying home with my children full-time. Although, I do get to spend a lot of time with them, I am up all hours of the night working on sorting, editing and posting pictures!

Most photographers network with other photographers, well-known or friends with other photography businesses.  Who do you consider great inspirations to you?   I owe a lot to my friend Sarah Kristiansen. She is trully the person who got me started in this business. She was kind enough to give me tips on where to get started with a website and a professional photo lab etc. She has a great artistic eye too! I also love to look at blogs…a few that I regularly visit include Lauren Clark, Jasmine Star, Tara Whitney, The Image is Found, Bobbi & Mike and Cheryl Muhr.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?   My husband is by far the greatest love of my life…He is honestly the most loving husband and father. He has always been supportive of everything that I have done in both photography and in my everyday life! Although he is not involved in running my business, he is my sounding board, daycare provider and support system….I could not do it without him!

What is your greatest fear(s)?   Not pleasing people…I am definitely a person that wants to make everyone happy and that can definitely be overwhelming at times!!

Do you have a guilty pleasure?   Chocolate, ice cream, candy….anything sweet….It is a strong addiction!

Name 5 words that your friends & family would use to describe you.   Energetic, Talkative, Smiley, Passionate and Obsessive

What goals have you not yet achieved but hope to in the future?   I know this may sound kind of funny, but I am not a BIG dreams type person. I always have little goals that I am reaching for, but I am a person who wants to attain my goals and fast! I don’t really have any large goals that I am reaching for (at this time anyways!)! My constant goal is to make each client happy. I want to keep growing my business by word-of-mouth and just keep on rolling! I enjoy every session and every wedding that I do and I just don’t want that feeling to stop!  Now that I think of it I do wish to become a better book-keeper…I am definitely unmotivated in that area!

Do you remember your very first client session or first wedding that you photographed?  Tell us about how you felt and how it turned out.    My first wedding was a bit terrifying…I am a thinker and I couldn’t stop thinking about it the whole day/night before…I woke up the morning of the wedding and found out that there is truth behind those that say stress can cause you to lose weight…I was down 5 pounds on the scale (but do not worry, it was back the day after!). As soon as I got there and started photographing the bride getting ready, the butterflies in my stomach went away…I was officially in “go” mode! Everything went very well and with each wedding that followed my pre-stress seemed to go away!

What advice do you have for individuals interested in pursuing a career in photography?   Go with your gut…There is so much information out there and so many people that have opinions…I think you should take it all in, sleep on it, but go with your own gut instinct in the end. You need to do what works best for you!

Tell your funniest, scariest, most bizarre, most touching story from a photo shoot!   I have a funny, scary and embarassing moment all rolled up into one!! I was shooting a wedding with my friend Sarah, and I was photographing the bride and groom as they were coming back down the isle. I was walking/jogging backwards while clicking away. We were in this adorable church with all wood floors, but for some reason they had a large piece of carpet on the floor at the entrance. I understand that it was there for the purpose of wiping your feet, but I learned first hand that it was just a random piece of carpet and not a door mat! As I stepped backwards onto it, the carpet flew out from under my feet…for a split second, I was actually in the air and I could see that I was parallel to the floor! Amazingly, I landed on my feet but the rug slid again and I landed half in the church and half on their front step! Luckily, I was fine and so wasn’t my camera! The bride and groom were laughing and Sarah and I haven’t stopped laughing since it happened! Luckily, there was a BIG floral arrangement at the back of the church, so only a few of the guests actually saw my tumble! Thankfully I won’t end up on America’s Funniest Videos – but I bet I could have won some money with those moves!! 

Is there anything you would have done differently in your photography career so far?   So far, I am happy with the path that I am on…I started slowly and have continued to grow. I would never say that my path is the right path for everyone, but it has worked for me. I DO struggle with finding a balance of my personal/family life and my work, but I am TRYING to find ways to make it work!

 Do you have any website(s) you would like me to link to from this interview?

Main website: www.heatherchickphotography.com

Blog: www.heatherchickphotography.com/blog

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/North-Attleboro-MA/Heather-Chick-Photography/116902897771

***Don’t forget to follow her blog and become a “fan” on Facebook! :)***

An Idea Emerges…Be Inspired.

Being online, reading blogs, reading photography magazines, we tend to see the same photographers featured with their bios, stories, successes, etc etc. While all these are GREAT photographers and are WELL-WORTH the recognition that they get, I thought it would be a neat idea to take the time to research every state in the US and see what photographers are out there that are pros, who may not be well-known and their work is very worthy of being recognized.

I know that this will be a lot of work on my end, researching all the states but I think it’s a great idea to network, giving them the recognition they deserve, showing their work to other photogs for inspiration, possibly help them bring in more clients by doing this, etc.

And seeing that there are a MILLIONS of photogs around the US, I’m sure it may be difficult to find just a couple to interview. So, if you would like, feel free to email me a great photographer’s contact info for any state if you think they are inspiring.  If I have a hard time finding a great photographer (or just need help narrowing down the options) for your state, I may look to you for guidance. If we need help, we will in turn, showcase YOUR business with the same info and interview we conduct on the other photographer.

Ideally, I think it would be great to showcase one portrait photographer and one wedding photographer, as they are two completely different fields of expertise. But we shall see what each state brings.

I’ve asked a great fellow photographer friend of mine, Lynette of Exalt Photography, to help me with this, and together….we hope it becomes a FUN and INSPIRING journey. So stay tuned in the next week or so for the very first “Featured Photographer”!

Teresa Sweet   www.teresasweetphotography.com

Lynette Lipke   www.exaltphotography.com