Q+A #1

Side note: I most of the questions and written a bajillion paragraphs and everything but then the web page reloaded and I lost everything that I had written. And I almost cried but now I’m eating a bowl of frozen yogurt and telling myself to man up so it’s gonna be okay.

Now, onto the questions!

Instagram questions:

What caused you to do photography? Inspiration, classes, etc.

My mom is a professional photographer and started assisting her when I was 6ish. I’d just hold the reflector, and then as I got older I learned how to help set up lights for studio shoots and stuff like that. She loaned me one of her cameras, a Nikon d200, a few years ago and taught me about ISO and aperture. That was the summer of 2010, so I was 9. I clung to that camera and still have it today; so now you know not to loan me a camera because I will never give it back haha.

When I was 12ish, I stumbled upon this website (that no longer exists) and it was written by teen photographers. I distinctly remember an article from that site written by Brian Oldham and it was about how he does self-portraits. The photo he used in the article was this photo and that was the first time I ever saw conceptual photography created by a teenager. I followed that photo to his Flickr page and then other Flickr pages and discovered Rosie Hardy and Alex Stoddard. A year later, I discovered Alex Currie.

The four people mentioned above (Brian, Rosie, Alex, the other Alex) are basically the reasons I started taking photography seriously. If y’all are reading this, THANK YOU SO MUCH. After seeing their 365 projects, I thought about doing my own. August 2014, I got my own camera, a Nikon d3200. In December 2014, I started my 365. I started out doing conceptual photos and have moved more towards editorial.

I’ve never taken photo classes, but I did a meetup with Rob Woodcox last summer and that was super fun. I’d like to do more meetups or workshops or take a class though!

For inspiration, I look at the editorial photos in Vogue, Teen Vogue, Nylon, etc. And I love museums and photography books. Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, and Pinterest are all wonderful too!

How long does it take you to edit your pictures?

I download them into Lightroom and go through and pick the ones I like, and then I do minor exposure/color adjustments and crop. Sometimes, that’s all I do, but most of the time I do more in-depth color editing and that fun stuff in Photoshop after the photos have been run through Lightroom. For a full shoot, like this Rookie shoot, that totals up to about 2 hours (and sometimes more depending on the shoot). For one photo, like this outtake from a bigger shoot, it takes under 5 minutes. 

I used to do conceptual photos more, but they take sooooo long to do and that’s hard when I have to do other stuff like schoolwork and non-conceptual photos. I think this photo took an hour to edit. And this one took maybe half an hour.

What’s your favorite thing about photography?

I’m still trying to figure that out! My favorite thing so far has been how happy photography makes me.

What kinds of cameras and editing tools are you using?

For editing, I use Lightroom 4 and Photoshop 3 (or it might be 4, I don’t know) on a very old MacBook Pro that is currently not working. So I’m using my mom’s laptop to write this and I’m gonna get a used Macbook soon and I’ll have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription on that, so it’ll just be newer versions of Photoshop and Lightroom

I use a Nikon d3200 and Nikkor 35mm f1.8 lens. I got the camera on sale from Adorama and the lens is used from B&H. I have a Nikkor 18-55mm f3.5 lens (or something similar) that came with my camera but kit lenses aren’t that great and I prefer prime lenses. The biggest thing I do is shoot RAW files (which isn’t essential) and always use manual mode (which is very essential). Here's a comparison between auto mode and manual mode; it explains why I always use manual now.

Other questions I’ve been asked recently that I feel a need to answer:

Can you look at my account?
If it’s not on private, I’m always happy to look at your account! But please don’t ask me to look at your account if it’s just photos of scantily clad people.

Your bio thing on your website is super pretentious. And not very accurate.

This isn’t a question, this is a statement. But yes, I know it’s pretentious. It’s an artist’s statement and I wrote it as a joke and then I needed a bio. I just used the artist statement because I had already written it. So my bio is basically a joke combined with my photography goals for the future. I’ll change it eventually…

Update: I changed it.

What music do you like?

I’m listening to Halsey right now (let’s be real, I’m always listening to Halsey) and I love Fall Out Boy and Twenty One Pilots so so so much. Panic! At the Disco is the best, too. Troye Sivan is everything I aspire to be, and I wish I didn’t have anxiety so I could go to one of his shows. Lorde is awesome, but I don’t have a lot of her songs on my phone and consequently don’t listen to her music very often. And I’m not ashamed to say that I love Taylor Swift.

That’s all folks! Thank you for asking wonderful questions.