featured artist|katie brenkert photography

Finding this weeks artist was a fortunate chance of serendipity. It just so happened a few weeks ago I found her page through a photog forum, fell madly in love with her work, and at that same moment she discovered my business page through a completely different forum. Even more bizarre, it turns out we live a mere minutes from each other. The rest is history and I absolutely love seeing her work in my feed. I have a feeling you will too.

name- Katie Brenkert
business name- For now, photography is a hobby.  I would love to do something with it in the future, but I am not yet sure what and the right door hasn’t opened, so for now, hobby it is.
email- katiebrenkert@yahoo.com
website- www.katiebrenkert.com
facebook – www.facebook.com/katiebrenkertphotography.com
areas you serve- Cincinnati

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how did you get started in photography?
Like so many photographers these days, my start happened because of my kids.  My husband and I bought our first DSLR around the time our middle child was born.  I wanted to be able to take pictures of our kids because it seems, when you have them, you become obsessed with them and want to take hundreds of pictures and share them all with your family and friends.  🙂  So, we had this big camera to take better pictures, but after having the big fancy camera, I got frustrated because I didn’t know how to use it the way it was intended.  I signed myself up for a 365 project, put the camera on M to make myself learn and jumped in with both feet.  I haven’t looked back since and my passion for photography has ignited since that first 365 project 4 years ago.
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what do you shoot?
My kids mostly, but I’ll photograph any kid that’s close, I’m not that picky.  If its my kids though, that’s just icing on the cake.  I love making art out of childhood, the way they see the world with so much adventure and freshness inspires me.  But really, I’ll photograph anything that jumps out at me at any particular moment.  Sometimes its buildings, sometimes its flowers, sometimes its just light.  I am in Boston for a few weeks and I might have to start photographing front doors!  They have some really beautiful ones here!

 

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who or what inspires you?
oh gosh, this is tough.  In life, there a lots of things and even more people that inspire me constantly.  My faith is a big deal to me.  I believe that this earth and all its beauty was created for us, so every day I look around, and there is always something that jumps out at me in all its amazing perfection.  I am surrounded by people that are so different than me, yet we were all created perfect.  That’s pretty inspiring isn’t it?  I love to see how people see and respond to the world differently than I do.  And my kids- they are these little people, with an entirely different vision of this world we share- they are so small but really, we have so much to learn from them.  They see the world in a way that has no negatives, no fear, no racism or bigotry, they see this world as having so much potential and I LOVE that.   As far as photography goes, my list could be very long!  I could search social media right now and I could find 100 artists that inspire me in one way or another.
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what’s in your camera bag?
I shoot with a Canon 5D mark II. I have a Canon 50mm 1.4, a Canon 28mm 1.8, and I recently just bought a Canon 24-70mm 2.8 which I LOVE! Oh, and I have a remote which doesnt get used nearly enough. 
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best advice you can give to someone starting out?

Shoot every single day!  Even if you don’t feel like it.  You will be surprised how much this will help you learn.  Don’t be afraid to experiment.  Sometimes you will miss the shot, but sometimes, you will nail it and it will be different than anything else you have done.  Dont let yourself fall into the trap of thinking you have to find “your style”.  Your style doesn’t have to stay the same.  The same is boring.  Find your rhythm and roll with that instead.
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lauren-webster-photography

Finding Wonder weekly update

We are soo impressed with your shares the past week & we just had to share our winning cover image + top 5 we just fell in love with! You guys just blew us away!

Our winning image this week comes from Lauren of Lauren Webster Photography! We love this sweet capture & you use of light, just stunning! lauren-webster-photography

Our favorites in no particular order!

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Tara’s favorite from this week comes from a client session, we’re just dying over this shot! Couldn’t get sweeter!

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Jessamyn’s favorite this week is her sweet little Isla Hope!

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featured artist|green and grey photography

You know that new love button on Facebook? Yeah well,  I feel like I am hitting it every single time I see a photo from Green and Grey Photography.  Her client and personal work is equally phenomenal. We are over the moon to have her featured on our blog this week, and her work is definitely one you will want to see over and over in your newsfeed! Sit back, relax, and get to know a little more about Amanda, the lovely lady behind Green and Grey Photography.

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Amanda Brooke
Green & Grey Photography

 

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I serve the Loudoun County, Virginia and Northern Virginia areas.
I am a natural light photographer and currently growing my roots in beautiful Virginia, although I grew up in Pennsylvania. I’m a lover of summertime, flip-flops, nature, yoga, my sweet family and coffee! I have a small coffee mug addiction and can’t resist buying them. I married a charming Englishman (he would prefer I said Yorkshireman) almost 5 years ago and we have two amazing little ones. Our daughter is 3 going on 13 and our son is a small but mighty 22 month old. The two of them are the most gorgeous things I’ve ever laid my eyes on and my biggest accomplishments in life, hands down. As a family, we love travel, adventure and food. I am an Art teacher by trade and taught drawing, painting and sculpture at the high school level for 7 years; 4 of those years in Pennsylvania and the other 3 in southwest England. I love all things art and could never imagine a career that didn’t allow me to be creative!
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How did I get started in photography? I’ve always loved taking pictures but my interest in photography was really sparked in college when I took my first course in it. That was before digital photography exploded, so I learned to shoot film with my Canon Rebel and loved the whole hands-on darkroom developing process. There was something so magical about enlarging a negative and then watching the image emerge on paper. Fast forward about eight years to the birth of my daughter in 2012 – that’s what really ignited my passion. Out of nowhere I developed this burning desire to document her, our lives, everything, and I wanted to be able to do it as beautifully as possible. My passion for photography grew to the point that I decided I didn’t want to go back to teaching – not because I didn’t love it, but because I found something I loved even more, especially because it would allow me to be my own boss and stay at home to raise our children and that was everything to me. From there I became a sponge and started to learn as much as I possibly could!
In my business I shoot families, maternity and lifestyle newborns. I shoot a lot in my personal life as well and decided to take on a 366 project this year, which has been fantastically rewarding and challenging at the same time.
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What inspires me? Oh goodness – so much! I’m inspired by my family, by light, nature, movement, connections between people; I really could go on and on. Maybe it’s easier to list things that don’t inspire me – like mathematical equations and cleaning my house. Who inspires me? Again – way too many to list. I’m constantly in awe of the talent that exists out there in the world. Two photographers whose personal work never ceases to stop me in my tracks are Summer Murdock (Summer Murdock Photography) and Katherine Heise (Lamb Loves Fox). I could scroll through their photographs for hours upon hours…and I have!
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In my camera bag you’ll find my Nikon D750, my beloved Sigma 35mm, a 50mm, 85mm, 60mm macro, and most recently a Lensbaby Sweet 35 (which is currently making me pull my hair out, but I’m determined to tackle it). My Sigma 35mm rarely leaves my camera for both personal and business use.
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I feel like my business is still very much in its infancy, so I certainly have a lot to learn myself, but I think my biggest nugget of advice to someone just starting out would be to dig deep into yourself, get to know what makes you tick as an artist and stay true to that. For example, if you don’t like shooting weddings, don’t do it! You won’t be happy if you do. Figure out what you love and what will continue to inspire you and push you forward and focus on that. It’s so easy to get lost in the work of others and to compare ourselves, which can be inspiring, but the comparison part can also be extremely self-destructive. If you’re just trying to recreate what others are doing you’ll never be completely happy with your work – look to others for support and inspiration, but leave comparison at the door!
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featured artist|banjos and bows

I fell in love with hobbyist, Banjos and Bows, the first time I laid eyes on her work. Her work is real, raw, and has us absolutely swooning! And, I think we can all agree her two year old has some of the best hair we have ever seen 😉

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Name: Amanda Barrick

 

Business name: Banjos and Bows Photography although I’m still very much a hobbyist.
Website: I mainly use Instagram to showcase most of my photos.  https://instagram.com/Banjosandbows/
Areas I serve: I mostly shoot inquiries for friends, but I’m located in NW PA and have many ties south of Pittsburgh.

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A bit about me: I am a stay-at-home mom as well as a hobbyist photographer.  I married my high school sweetheart nearly 6 years ago and we have created this beautiful, messy life together!  We have one rambunctious 2 year old son and a corgi that would eat all the food in the house if she could reach it.  I worked as a high school physics teacher until my son was a year old, then my husband and I made every effort and sacrifice for me to stay home with my son.  Since then I have really fallen in love with the art of photography, finding light, and documenting as many memories as I can.

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How did I get started in photography: My passion really started once I had my son, but pictures have always held a lot of meaning in my life.  My mom always had a camera in hand; nothing fancy, just enough to capture everyday moments.  When I was just a little girl, I lost both of my parents in a car accident.  Those photos are all I have of the details of life with my parents and I’m so thankful for them.  I knew immediately when my son was born that I had to capture the everyday scenes as well, because we all know how important life is and that it can certainly end when we aren’t ready for it.  I started learning manual mode through Internet articles and soon my hobby with a reason became much more than that for me.  Eventually I started seeing everything in a new light and found the beauty in the mess of life.

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What do I shoot: Oh, ya know, EVERYTHING!  Well, kind of.  I love shooting natural interaction between people, between kids and toys, between kids and dogs, etc, but I also love seeing a rain drop on a blade of grass in a new light.  Whatever catches my eye at any particular moment is what I want to capture with my lens.  I much prefer a lifestyle/documentary approach to photography over a posed/perfect approach.  These real moments tell a whole bigger story than “picture perfect” scenes for me.

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Who or what inspires me: My number one inspiration is my son.  I want to remember the little details of his favorite train, or the way his crazy, curly hair glows in the sun when I’m too old to remember much of anything (or even tomorrow).  I want my son to see his childhood come alive again when he looks through these photos.  This is the reason I do what I do.  Another huge inspiration for me is my awe of God.  When I see a sunset, or the petals of a flower, or my son’s eyelashes (the boys ALWAYS get the best lashes), I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with the beauty that God has created.  Although God’s beauty, and memories with my son are ever present, I admit that sometimes I get in a rut.  When this happens, a source of inspiration for me is social media and following other photographers.  Instagram has become a huge creative outlet for me and the Grammers I follow blow me away with inspiration.  I recommend checking out various Instagram hubs and go from there.  You won’t be sorry!

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What’s in my camera bag: I shoot with a Canon 7d.  Someday maybe I’ll go full frame, but I’m still on a stay-at-home hobbyist’s budget.  Because I know I’m sticking with my crop sensor, I (actually my hubby) bought a Sigma 30mm, f/1.4 ART lens that really hasn’t left my camera.  The focal length and f-stop is perfect for shooting indoors.  I also have the “nifty fifty” 50mm, f/1.8.  Really, between these two lenses, I don’t use anything else.  I do have a Sigma 18-250mm zoom lens that I rarely pull out, but I have it.  I also have a speedlight in my bag, but it usually stays put.

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Best advice I can give to someone starting out: Be YOU!  I still struggle with this sometimes and need to center my mind on who I am as a photographer.  As much as I adore and am inspired by someone else’s style, I remember that I am messy, I am clutter, I am color.  I remember that I am my own style and I can’t change something to fit someone else’s mold of what is beautiful.  You can only capture something beautiful if you see the beauty in it yourself.  Capture those moments and capture them often!  Don’t worry about the quality, don’t worry about perfection, don’t worry about technique.  That will come in time.  Learn who you are and learn what you love.

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FEATURED ARTIST|ERIN VONRUDEN KEOGH

 

I could not be more excited to feature and introduce, hobbyist, Erin VonRuden Keogh. I love the authenticity of her documentary style work with such vibrant colors, interesting perspectives, and eye catching scenery.

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ErinVR

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About Me: I’m a hobbyist who lives in Minneapolis, MN with my husband and two boys- 5 and 2. I work in healthcare, specifically program development for individuals with disabilities. My husband works in video, so we’ve always had a nice camera. After my second son was born, I took a few online classes and started learning how to shoot in something other than auto. My husband bought me Lightroom and it’s kind of spiraled from there. My goal is to capture good, authentic pictures of the boys- ones where their personalities shine through.

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What Inspires Me: I want to be able to look back and remember my kids exactly as they are right at this moment- the good and the sometimes not so good. I guess I’m also inspired by a desire to always be improving- I want to learn more, to know more, to become a better shooter. I’m still very green, and it’s exciting that there are so many resources out there.

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What’s in my camera bag: We just upgraded to a Canon 5D Mark III (yay!). I shoot mainly with a Canon 24-70mm 2.8 and a 35mm 1.4. We also have a 50mm 1.4 and a Lensbaby Edge 80, a speedlight, which I never use, and just bought an ExpoDisc, which I am trying to convince myself to learn to use.

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Best Advice: Utilize your resources! There are so many resources and online tutorials out there- and many of them free. You just have to invest the time. And become part of an online community. I think that’s been the most fun part of this whole learning experience. Meeting other photographers (even if only virtually) and having people who share a similar interest, are always willing to provide support and answer questions… it’s been invaluable.

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featured artist | lauren mitchell photography

lauren-mitchell15We are over the moon with the incredible real life style that Lauren Mitchell Photography captures soo well! We know you will fall in love with her!

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I’m available in the Central Florida area, including Orlando and the Space Coast. I’m also available for travel.

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I live on the Space Coast of Florida with my 4 year old daughter, my husband and our dog and cat. I would probably describe myself as the most confusing mix of neurotic-worrier-meets-free-spirit. I love music, dark humor and listening to podcasts and audiobooks. Being on the road is where I feel most at home.

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I took photography classes throughout high school and college. I was really into George Hurrell in high school and used to make all my friends pose the way he did with the silent film stars. Mostly though, I had my camera with me as a fun hobby for when I traveled or when my husband’s band performed at local venues here in Florida. Like a lot of moms, once my daughter was born 4 years ago I started getting much more serious about photography. I wanted to document her life in a real, honest way, but I was still having trouble letting go of my expectations of what I thought our lives should actually look like. It never really occurred to me that I could photograph my life in the same way all the street and documentary photographers I admired so much did. Through some online classes, meeting like-minded photographers and more experience shooting, I began to find a voice that felt most like me and what I had been trying to say all along. A year and a half ago, I officially started my business, and last summer I quit my full time job to pursue photography completely.

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For clients, I shoot weddings and documentary family sessions. Personally, I like to do a mix of documentary and street photography — telling the story of us in a personal way as well as by incorporating the story of the community and the world around us.

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Just life in general. Inspiration is everywhere — like the way that complete strangers on the street are standing or moving and they have no idea how beautiful they look in terms of depth and space and the way light is hitting them. As photographers we have the ability to create compositions, but part of our duty is to also observe and capture the ways other people have created beauty for us.

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what’s in your camera bag? I carry all my equipment in my Langly backpack: Canon 5D Mark II, Sigma Art 35mm 1.4, Canon 24mm 1.4L (my favorite lens!), Yashica Mat124G and my iPhone.

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best advice you can give to someone starting out? Surround yourself with like-minded creative people who are as passionate as you. Build each other up. Be kind to yourself. You are going to have failures, or times when you feel like giving up, but these are best lessons to learn from. Also, the path to where you want to be is not a straight line — it zigzags, it goes backwards, it zooms forwards, it stalls out. Take each obstacle as it comes and know that it won’t last forever…most importantly, learn to pause and really appreciate how far you’ve come and all you’ve done.

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featured artist | horse and feather photography

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We have Kelly Sutton from Horse & Feather Photography with us today and we literally couldn’t be more excited to share her talent with you all! The documentary style that is Horse & Feather has us swooning all over, we promise you will be in love with her!

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

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I am a Southern California native, raising my two young boys, along with my wonderfully supportive husband, in the same neighborhood I was raised. There’s something really special about watching them run around under the warm California sun, and majestic oak trees I also played under as a kid. When I’m not spying on my kids with my camera, you will most likely find me drinking coffee or eating ice cream, and listening to NPR.

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In high school, I wanted to go to art school. At some point, during my Junior year, I let the fear of failure as an artist consume me, and I gave up drawing completely. I still don’t draw…well, I’ll doodle with my kids, but that’s not the same, obviously. After high school, I found my dad’s Vietnam Era AE-1 Canon, and his bag of lenses and decided to enroll in the my community college’s photography class. I was hooked. The peacefulness, the art, the intellectual challenge were exactly what my creative soul needed. I spent countless hours in the dark room, taking every photography class I could. At the same time, I discovered my passion for working with at-risk kids and decided on a career path as a teacher.

When I moved to San Francisco for graduate school, I knew I wouldn’t have access to a dark room, so I left my AE-1 behind, and put photography on hold. I shifted all my creative passion to my teaching. Honestly, I kinda forgot about photography.

Several years later for Christmas, my husband surprised me with my first digital camera. I would mostly play around in Auto. It wasn’t until my first son was born just over four years ago, that I really wanted to get back to creating art the way I did during my dark room days. I put myself through my own form of photography boot camp, to relearn everything I once knew, just shy of twenty years ago. The more I immerse myself in photography, the more I am humbled with the amount of knowledge I have yet to learn.

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Stories. The authentic, honest, from the heart stories of real life. Whatever happens to unfold in front of me, while I have my camera in my hand, I document it….tears of frustration, smiles of happiness, the quirky kid moments, the “oh my goodness I can’t believe he just jumped off of that” moments, the lying in the sun moments, the falling in the puddle moments, the “we only made it half way to the top of the mountain” moments. No words necessary. The feelings, the movement, the exact split-second moment in a person’s history, captured in one frame.

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I am inspired by capturing the chaos and beauty of our every day lives, the timelessness of childhood, the humor of life, and the true love of my family. In other photographers’ work, I’m most inspired by an independent artistic voice…the artists who push the boundaries of their art, and create imagery that can stand apart from the crowd.

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Canon 5d Mark III & my beloved Sigma Art 35m 1.4

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For photographers just starting out, be inspired by others, but don’t be afraid to be different. If anything, push develop your own artistic vision…be your authentic self. If you really want to make a jump in your work technically, shoot everyday. But most importantly, shoot from your heart.

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featured artist | jessica max photography

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We’ve got the immensely talented Jessica from Jessica Max! We are consumed by awe, her work is absolutely stunning! From her incredible self portraits to her beautiful babes & their adventures to her client work! Nothing but amazing. We know you will fall in love!

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

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I photograph in the state of Michigan, in Puerto Rico + available for travel elsewhere.

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I grew up in Michigan + currently live in Puerto Rico. I am a lover of pizza, travel, and small details. I home school our two small children, and we are a huge fan of “un-schooling.” I must be near water or it stresses me out.

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I got started with photography about 6 years ago, initially photographing my husband at freestyle snowmobile events or practicing in our back yard. That transitioned into family photography, then weddings, and here we are.

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Client work, I shoot unposed family sessions, couples and smaller weddings. I also shoot some low key boudoir. Personal work, I am always always always photographing my family in our surroundings.

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Everything inspires me, but particularly books. Music. Movies. I incorporate a lot of movement in my photographs and a lot of that for me is that I see things in my head in motion. I’ve been playing with video on my DSLR lately!

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My camera bag is very simple. I carry an antique cognac Capri bag from ONA bags + it was the best investment I’ve ever made. I shoot with a Canon 6d, and a Sigma 35 ART lens. I also have a Canon 50mm 1.8 STM lens. Probably a bunch of candy for bribes in the bottom of it, my remote, + extra batteries and cards.

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Best advice for someone starting out would be to commit to a 365! That, and online learning. Workshops. And find a mentor!

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featured artist | ella lu photography

We are just tickled to have Kristin from Ella Lu Photography with us today! Her work is absolutely inspiring, we love the stories being told with each image. True talent and ability to capture the love and energy of each moment, just incredibly special. We’ve been swooning over her work for sometime now and we know you will find inspiration here too!

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

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Serving Central Florida but I have family in Greenville South Carolina and Southern California that I visit often so I frequently shoot there as well!

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I am a wife to an amazingly supportive husband who truly pushed me to pursue this dream of owning my own photography business. I am the mother to 3 littles. One little boy who is no longer with us but who will always have my heart. He passed away shortly after he was born from a heart defect that went undetected by ultrasound. My husband and I had tried for a baby for a year when we found out we were pregnant with Lucas. We were over the moon and so ready to be parents. When he died our lives were completely turned upside down and a part of me died that day. I didn’t know what to do next. I spent many nights sobbing on the bathroom floor. We have a handful of cell phone pictures of Lucas which I cherish so so much. Fast forward 8 years and we now have 2 healthy and wildly beautiful little girls, Ella is 6 and Aubrey is 4. The day Ella was born the hole in my heart wasn’t completely filled but that teeny 6lb screaming bundle brought me back to life. I never want to take a single moment for granted and want to capture as many of the fleeting moments in my children’s lives as I can.

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My photography journey isn’t anything extraordinary. It started much like many others. I always felt the need for an artistic outlet but could never settle on anything I felt truly satisfied with. I dabbled in photography in high school. My grandfather gave me his old film camera and I loved it!! Fast forward a few years and for our one year anniversary my husband bought me my first DSLR. I didn’t REALLY start taking it seriously until Ella was about 6 months old. I realized just how quickly the time was passing and how much she was changing and I was determined to freeze those precious moments.

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I shoot lifestyle photography primarily families and births. I LOVE documenting the real moments.

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Emotional connections are what move me. Sadness, happiness, love, joy…..they all inspire me and drive me to do more. If it doesn’t make me FEEL something I lose interest and I NEVER want to lose interest so I am constantly pushing myself. I discovered where my true passion lied when I started printing my OWN family photos for my walls. I found what I loved most and what moved me most were the shots of my family’s CONNECTION. Very rarely will you find a photo up in my house where we are all smiling and posing for the camera.

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I shoot primarily with my Canon 5D mk iii and 35 1.4. I shoot 95% of my work with that. I also have a Sigma 50 1.4 ART lens which I never use (LOL) and a pancake lens (40 2.8) which I use on my camera when I take it on trips and I don’t want to lug around my heavier equipment. I also have a Mark ii which I use as a backup camera.

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Shoot what inspires you and shoot OFTEN! Learn and understand the importance of LIGHT. You can be shooting in a crummy location and 99% of the time if the lighting is stunning and you use it RIGHT it won’t matter.

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featured artist | Sherida Rae Photography

We are so delighted to share some incredible work from Sherida Rae Photography today! Sherida is based in Vancouver Island, British Columbia in Canada! We are really swooning over her moody beach shots, and the images of her babes are just so perfect.

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I am married to my best friend (who is my personal comedian) and a mama to three adventurous & amazing little kiddies 13, 4 & 2. We live on Vancouver Island where you can usually find us on a beach, hiking or camping. I have a secret addiction to home baked chocolate chip cookies & I love a good glass of pinot noir (not together of course!)

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I have always loved powerful images, even as a young girl. I remember going through the pages of National Geographic in awe of what I was seeing. In grade 11 I took a photography course. I used my moms old Pentax camera and we developed our own photographs in the dark room. I would stay after school for hours. I was in love. In 2010 My big brother gave me his Nikon D80. He has always told me I was naturally talented & encouraged me to learn more about photography. He really made me feel confident. I am very lucky to have a brother like him. He tried to explain manual to me but for some reason I just didn’t get it!!! It had been years since I had to adjust a shutter speed, f/stop & ISO; So, I shot in Auto. It wasn’t until 2014 a girlfriend of mine forced me to learn manual. I am so grateful she did. She explained the triangle and all of a sudden it just clicked. That is when I really started to learn my craft. Thank you Emily!

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My first love is documentary style photography. It is powerful & emotional. I really enjoy capturing my kids as they are; in the moment. I also shoot lifestyle & fine art.

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Photography is very emotional for me. Love, happiness, sadness; they all inspire me.

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what’s in your camera bag?
I am a Nikon girl! I shoot with a D610. In my bag I always carry my 50 f/1.8 (which I mostly use to freelense) a 35 f/1.4, 28 f/1.8, an ExpoDisc, extra memory cards & an extra battery. I also have a 70-200 f/2.8, Macro 105 f/2.8, 85 f/1.8 and a Lensbaby sweet35.

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best advice you can give to someone starting out?
Don’t let the camera create your image. Learn how to create your own image. Learn manual. So very important. It changes your world. Also, make sure to shoot everyday, but, shoot to learn. Don’t play it safe day in & day out. Try new things. Use different lighting (window light, hard light, shadows, backlight etc…), slow down your shutter speeds (your whole image doesn’t always have to be in focus), and use different f-stops.
The best advice I got was ‘Know your light’ (Thank you Amber 😉 ) Once I understood light my images went to the next level.

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