Meet Laura – a portrait photographer based 10 miles west of Cedar Falls, Iowa. I first learned of Laura while hearing her and her family play at a homeschool conference last year and they were AMAZING!!! You seriously need to check out their YouTube channel. After looking at their website I found out she was a photographer. Perfect interviewee! I thought. After emailing her she sent me her answers to a few questions of mine. I hope you learn as much from her as I have!
ME: What is your story/background in photography? How did you get started? When did your love for photography begin?
LAURA: In 2006, I bought my first camera to take pictures of scenes to draw or paint. Since I wanted to learn to use my camera well, I started to study photography on my own. After realizing that I enjoyed photography even more than drawing or painting, I started learning more about photography for its own sake. Soon I was reading stacks of books, going to classes online and in person, getting my portrait certification and general photography certification, and launching my wall portrait photography business! It’s been an exciting adventure (filled with lots of long hours and hard work) ever since! It is thrilling to capture each family in a way that both highlights their personalities, and also presents them in a beautiful, flattering light. As to a specific moment that was special to me, I’d have to say that creating portraits of my grandparents was an all-time favorite! It was an amazing reminder of how important it is to capture beautiful portraits of our loved ones while they are with us!!! My grandparents have had a great impact on my life, and it is worth so much to me to have these portraits of them forever.
I am honored to be able to create portraits like this for other families.
ME: What technology/software/camera gear do you use?
LAURA: As a professional wall portrait artist, I have some expensive gear, but I didn’t start out that way. My business had to be able to pay expenses and earn enough money first. I specialize in large wall portraits and the camera I had before didn’t have high enough quality when printing at large sizes. The clarity in the little details wasn’t there. In order to keep growing my business, I needed to be able to easily produce portraits that are 40×60 inches. I love creating large portraits! The impact and depth is amazing on the wall! That said, I now have a Canon 5DS, a Canon 7D Mk II as my backup, a Canon 24-70mm 2.8, and a Canon 70-200 mm 2.8. Better gear doesn’t automatically make you a better photographer and it definitely doesn’t automatically help you earn more money!
To edit my portraits, I use Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom.
ME: What website/book/resource has helped you the most in photography? What resources do you recommend?
LAURA: If I was recommending a book to someone, it would probably be
Digital Nature Photography: The Art and the Science by John and Barbara Gerlach
As one of my favorites, this book is amazingly well written and everyone from beginners to advanced intermediate can benefit from it. It covers a huge array of subjects. When I read it several years ago, John better explained a few concepts to me and helped me brush up on what I had already learned in the past. Several of the photos in the book are quite striking and beneficial too. Another attractive thing is that the book is relatively new – copyright 2007, so the information is reasonably up-to-date.
Note: You will benefit most from this book if you have an SLR, or at least a camera that you can change the shutter speed and aperture. If you don’t have either of these, read John’s book anyway. :)
Since I know how hard it is to find wholesome, God-honoring photography books and tutorials, in 2012, I put together a list of books and websites I’d recommend:
http://www.laurachristineportraits.com/for-photographers-photography-lessons-learn-how-to-use-your-camera/ – the list of websites is at the top of the page and the list of books is all the way at the bottom!
It’s been a while since then, but there’s still some good stuff there and the principles and basic lessons in photography still apply!
ME: What is the single most important piece of advice you have for an aspiring photographer?
LAURA: Get your camera out every day (or at least every other day)! The only way you’ll get to be a Master Photographer is with practice. With so many lists on the internet for daily challenges or one photo per day inspiration lists, there’s no excuse for not having any ideas of what to try!
Laura from Laura Christine Portraits
ME: Thank you so much for taking the time to invest in me and my blog readers! Y’all, stay tuned for more interviews…