Another Rhode Island local artist is joining us on our 2nd giveaway for the Featured Photographers Blog. It’s Jaclyn Murphy of Luniac Style – Accessories for Fabulous Women. Jaclyn has graciously offered to giveaway her GORGEOUS Egyptian Love Bracelet.
This bracelet consists of two mix and match goddess like beaded bracelets that have combinations of greens, ambers, golds and silvers. You can dress up ANY outfit with this stunning piece! Check out more views on this bracelet or place any other orders, visit her Etsy shop.
In order to be eligible for the giveaway, please do the following:
~ 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. Leave a comment here stating you subscribed!
~ Become a Fan (“Like”) of Luniac Style – Accessories for Fabulous Women on Facebook. Leave a comment saying you became a fan!
~ Follow Luniac Style’s Blog by email subscription. The “follow” tab may be hard to find so if you click the “contact” tab on the blog, you’ll see on the bottom of the page the icon to follow it via email. 🙂 Leave a comment to state you are a follower of Luniac!
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 Egyptian Bracelet by Jaclyn 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?
Leave a link to the tweet, forum or blog that you posted and EACH comment will be counted for a SEPARATE entry! So yes, if you tweet about it and leave a comment on your blog, that’s two more entries!
Remember, whether your a photographer, mom, sister, wife, brother, husband…we ALL know a well-deserving woman that would LOVE this! Win it for yourself or for a loved one! Good luck and the winner will be chosen by Tuesday night, announced sometime on Wednesday!
**please note: winner will be chosen by Random.org** Thanks!
First we can relate, as they are moms & pro photographers as well…so we really know how difficult and how rewarding it is to run a successful business. But with that aside, ALL of their work is stunning. I originally was going to choose them to showcase their portraiture but they are amazing, no matter what is in front of their cameras.
The sweet innocence that they capture of their newborns to the excitement and emotion of their brides. They have an amazing ability to REALLY capture each moment, no matter what they are photographing. When you view their galleries, it is evident that they have a true ability for all aspects of photography. The portraits of little ones have a great light, airy and fun feel to it and with the weddings, a classic..modern TRUE photojournalistic style comes across that just WOWS you!
Finding the right words to truly describe Twice The Focus is a little difficult, for I feel as though I cannot do them justice. But take a look at their website, blog and become a follower on their Facebook page and I assure you, you’ll be just as inspired as I am! 😉
Let’s start with a bio. Tell us a little about yourself.
Well first let me just say, that because our lives are both so very hectic, I, Melissa, am writing this for both of us. So I will start with myself.
Melissa: I’ve always loved art and photography. I’ve drawn, painted, and had a camera in hand as long as I can remember. I owned my first SLR in high school, but of course, never took the time to get to know it. It was given to me by my boyfriend, and I loved the gift so much that I married him. Kris and I will celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary this December. We have four year old twin girls, Maddie and Gracie, and a new little girl, Lillie Caroline.
Sarah: Sarah actually started out getting an art degree, but changed her major to Elementary Education. She is very creative, and she always has been. And after she changed her degree and got a job teaching first grade, she soon figured out she needed a job that allowed her to be more creative. She loved the kids, but the structure was a problem, as it is for so many artistic personalities. She has been married to her husband, Adam for six years. They have a four year old daughter, Kaylee Jo, and a one year old son, Bo.
Now…how our lives merged…
Our husbands have been best friends since kindergarten, so we met through them. We knew each other while we were dating them, but we weren’t particularly close. Then we all got married within months of each other. We had dinner together a few times, but it wasn’t until Sarah and I were pregnant together that we started to become close friends. The twins and Kaylee Jo are 9 weeks apart, so they are what we bonded over. As our kids grew and played together, we got to know each other, and we soon realized that we both had a love for art and photography. We kinda jokingly said, “what if we started a business.” And we NEVER thought we’d do it, but we did. Sarah always jokes that if it weren’t for me being so controlling and such a pusher, that it woulda just stayed a “dream.” So we started our business, and its grown from there.
What is your background in photography?
Trial and error, ha. Seriously, like many photographers do, we started out really enjoying photography, but knowing NOTHING. We thought we were good, and then we discovered ILP, and got knocked off our high horse really fast. So trial and error, forums, a lot of critique and practice. That is our background. J
What do you specialize in? What made you choose that as your specialty?
So far, we really don’t have a specialty. We do an equal amount of everything. I’d love to specialize in weddings or newborns. And we are trying to do more wedding based marketing this year.
Besides your specialty, what is your favorite thing to photography and why?
Well, I’ll just elaborate on weddings and newborns. We love weddings because each one is so different. Its really cool seeing how each couple marries, and being apart of what is one, if not the, biggest days of their life. And newborns, well we just love babies, period. It never gets old to me…each new baby is a miracle and getting to photograph them is just heartwarming. Yes, that’s cheesy, but its true.
Name at least one thing that most would be surprised to know about you.
Hmmm…well for me, Melissa, is that I have VERY few photographs on my wall. I’m really bad about ordering…I don’t know why, but I’m so busy, that I neglect it. And all the photographs that I do have in my family room are in black and white. Not a single color print.
As for Sarah, this is not photography related, but it still shocks me. She doesn’t own a hairdryer. Nope…not at all…she just has naturally perfect hair!
Is there a place you’ve been wanting to go photograph just for fun? Where would it be? How about your favorite place that you’ve already been to?
Lets see…Sarah and I both want to do beach sessions with our clients and our family. We live in a coastal state, but the beach is about six+ hours for us, so it would have to be a vacation, as well. One day, we will do that!
As far as a favorite place we’ve already been to, its not a grand place or out of state, but I think one of our favorite sessions to date, was a bridal session at the bride’s grandparents place. They had a big field with a hill that had nothing but blue skies and puffy clouds behind it. For some photographers that may not seem so grand, but for us, it was heaven. Here in Mississippi, we have plenty of fields…all with big, fat, obnoxious tree lines behind them. Finding one with an open sky was a dream come true.
In your opinion, what makes you stand out from the rest of the photographers in your area?
There are two of us working together. That’s a huge bonus for us. I mean, yes, we are perfectly capable of working solo, and we often do. But being together makes it so much better. We work together so well to setup shots…twice the creativity flowing. Its really awesome. Also, I think our crazy joking and fun personalities is what keeps people coming back. We always have fun…that puts our clients at ease.
If we could peek inside your camera bag, what would we see?
CANON. And an unorganized mess. We’ve got a 40D and a 5D. Of course a couple of speedlights, etc, but to get to the fun stuff…the glass; we have a 24-70 2.8L, 70-200 2.8L IS version, 85 1.2L, 100mm 2.8 macro, and a 15mm 2.8 fisheye. I think that’s all the glass…I feel like I’m forgetting something.
Is there some type of photography that you haven’t done that you would LOVE to try or gain more experience in?
Maternity. We have done a couple of sessions, but not enough to even say we’ve done them. I’d really LOVE to do more of those.
What is the best advice someone has given you (either pertaining to life itself or photography)?
When you don’t love what you are doing in anymore, stop. We love our job. Right now its doesn’t feel like work, but I think the moment it does begin to feel like a job, then we will cut back or stop altogether. I don’t foresee that ever happening though. 🙂
What is the best advice you would give someone starting or thinking about getting into the photography business?
PORTFOLIO BUILD. End of story. We didn’t even know what this was…it was too little, too late by the time we found out. God has truly blessed us in the fact that it didn’t hurt us more than it did, but we didn’t know what we were doing starting out. So if you are thinking about starting a business, please get some experience before you dive in.
If you could photograph ANY one person, who would it be?
Wow. That’s so hard! I’m going to have to say for me, my late grandparents, especially my Grandmother. I just don’t have enough photographs of them at all. I’m not sure who Sarah would pick, but I’m sure it would be someone inspiring!
I choose photographers for these interview because their work inspires me. What inspires you as an artist to create such amazing imagery?
Other amazing photographers, just like you! 🙂 We have our “go to” blogs and togs, ha. Work that we could stare at for hours. And our children. Their sweet little faces are what started this journey for us.
What has been your most memorable assignment and why?
For me, Melissa, I very recently photographed preemie twins in the NICU. That was amazing for me, not only as a mom, but as a mom of twins. We were very fortunate with my girls, as they came home with us without so much as a day of NICU time, but so many moms I know go through the NICU journey. It was just amazing seeing such TINY miracles. They were amazing…I can’t think of any other word!
I’m going to answer for Sarah. I think for her it would probably have to be getting to photograph a Military Dad being reunited with his family after almost a year overseas. One of our regular clients called at the last minute and asked us if we could do this, but we had regular sessions scheduled, so I stayed at the studio, and Sarah went. I know it was very touching for her to get to be apart of such an awesome reunion.
Have you ever had anything go wrong at a wedding or portrait session, and if so, how did you handle it?
We have. We had a bride’s grandfather die the morning of her wedding. It was very sad, and they chose to tell her before the wedding, which was devastating to her. We just had to do our best to keep her happy and smiling during those photographs.
What is your best kept business secret that you’re willing to share?
Honestly, I’m all about giving back, but I don’t think we do anything out of the norm. Being one hundred percent honest, our kids are our number one priority right now. They are all still little, so we try not to let the business run us. We have many ideas that we’d like to implement when they are older, but for now, we just try our best to take care of our kids and then our clients. I think it helps them knowing that we put family first. Sure we might leave off a print occasionally or have a little extra background noise, but they know its because we are home having tea parties or digging in the sandbox with our kids, and I think they respect that.
What do you think is the most challenging thing about photographing weddings and/or children?
I think being comfortable with the couple goes a long way. We always have more fun with the couples we’ve had time to sit down and talk with face to face, or done an engagement session with. there is nothing like building a rapport with people.
As for children, I mean no one is the same, right? But I do think candy, silly noises and faces, and an odd patience that comes for other people’s children over your own, are all VERY helpful. 🙂
If you didn’t become a photographer, what do you think you’d be doing for a living?
Melissa: Probably staying home with my kids and making jewelry on the side or something.
Sarah: I’m going to say she would have eventually gone back to teaching.
Most photographers network with other photographers, well-known or friends with other photography businesses. Who do you consider great inspirations to you?
I love Brittany Woodall and Carrie Sandoval aka Baby As Art. LOVE their newborn work. And I also love Gabe with PerspectivEye. His wedding work is amazing!
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
I think for Sarah and I both, I’d have to say God. Sarah has really been one of the greatest spiritual influences in my life, and we try to glorify Him in all that we do.
What is your greatest fear(s)?
Business wise, I’m afraid of fizzling out one day…that we will lose our mojo, ha. Trying to stay fresh and creative and new…it can be tough. We have slumps where we feel uninspired, but something always brings us out of that funk and our creativity renews itself. That permanent rut is what scares me.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Um…for both of us, I’d say pigging out. Our dining expenses can be quite embarrassing…I always hate turning that in to the accountant at the end of the year!
Name 5 words that your friends and family would use to describe you.
For both of us…
Goofy, Loving, Spacey, Creative (I hope), Driven.
What goals have you not yet achieved but hope to in the future?
MORE weddings. We are doing 15+ a year, and we’d LOVE to get that number up!
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.
HA. I remember both, vividly. Our first real session was with four boys. Please put down any liquids now…I don’t want you to have to windex your computer screen. We superimposed bubbles on the photo in photoshop…and yes, mom loved it. She bought a HUGE print, which I must shamefully say, she still has hanging in her house. Oh, the good ole days, ha.
Tell your funnies, scariest, most bizarre, most touching story from a photoshoot.
Our last wedding was at a historical home, where tours are given, and they ran a morning tour before the wedding. We were just getting started with pictures of the bride, when a man in a black shirt asked us if we were starting photographs now. We told him yes, and he said they would wait till we were done. We were thinking, “wait for what?” Then as he turned and walked away, the back of his shirt said…wait for it…”Mississippi Paranormal Investigators.” So they were about to go ghost hunting on her wedding day! So funny.
Do you have any website(s) you would like me to link to from this interview?
Main website: http://www.twicethefocus.net/
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):
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