Exposure: Interview Series

exposure
Next up in our interview series is Amanda Stewart with Chasing Lilies Photography. Read on to learn more about her and visit her site to see her work! www.facebook.com/pages/Chasing-Lilies-Photography      www.chasingliliesphotography.com/
1)      Who are you and where are you located?
My name is Amanda Stewart and my company name is Chasing Lilies Photography named after two of my Children Chase and Lilly. I am currently located in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
2)      Do you have a home studio, rented space, or are you on location?
I had a home studio and recently moved due to my husbands military status to a city which does not allow them which was a set back. I have found a space to rent along side another local photographer until I can find the perfect space to call my own. Traveling with all my equipment and props can be tough but I will say my furs from custom photo props are perfect for having to travel to clients homes. They are so much more lightweight and portable than a flokati rug and photograph just as beautifully. (www.customphotoprops.com/Faux-Fur-Newborn-Baby-Photography-Props)
3)      What subjects are your primary focus and which do you enjoy shooting the most?
I focus on newborns and maternity. I have currently started shooting a hand full of weddings also. My favorite would have to be newborns. I adore them and I adore the art behind posing and setups that go into every session.
4)      There are so many different kinds of camera’s out there! What do you use and how did you decide on that particular one?
 I shoot with a cannon 5d mark iii. My husband got it for me for my birthday a few years back knowing I was dying for all those focal points. It’s my baby.
5)      While we’re talking about equipment, what lens do you prefer to use and why?
For newborns my 50 1.4 it’s tack sharp and a great focal length to still stay close. For maternity and outdoor session there’s no lens I love more than my 70-200 2.8  it just creates such creamy bokeh.
6)      We hear a lot of debate on natural light vs. studio light, what are your thoughts on the subject?
I don’t understand the debate. Natural light is beautiful. Studio light is beautiful when properly done. There’s just some times the sun isn’t cutting it in the studio and I turn on my alien bee. I only use natural light for outdoor locations but weddings just are extremely difficult without the speed lights so I bring them. I like to say I’m a natural light photographer who isn’t afraid of artificial light when the situation calls for it. I’m proud to be capable of both.
7)      How did you learn to be a photographer?
  I just loved taking photos since high school. I even had the super old school digital camera that took a floppy disk (how times have changed). After my move away from my home state I was feeling very homesick and my husband got me my first decent dslr after my first little girl was born to help give me something to do. I was hooked. I tried some classes which helped me learn a lot about aperture, exposure, shutter speed and ISO but honestly lost Interest and dealt artistically I learned more and more just getting out and experimenting on my own.
8)      What or who inspires you? Do you have a photographer you look up to?
I love Rachel Vanoven and Erin Tole for newborns they have created such a unique and beautiful style without following the “rules” that’s stands out as their own. As far as editing ljholloway is spectacular and I would love to sit in on one of her workshops one day soon.
9)      When you’re doing a photoshoot or working an event, what is your favorite part?
Oh goodness my favorite part? I love the looks on my clients faces when I show them the back of my camera hands down my favorite part. Before I even edit to know they love it just from that small screen makes me feel like my work is appreciated and loved as much as I’m loving doing it.
10)   What have you struggled with the most while having a career as a professional photographer? Any tips for somebody who is just starting out?

The business side of it. Moving around is toughest because there  are new laws and new taxes every place I go. Once I get use to one states its on to the next. This year my goal is to keep better track of spending, income, etc. my tips for anyone starting out is to please do it legally. Get your license, pay your taxes, carry insurance. We charge what we do to cover all these necessary expenses the clients don’t see so when others are breaking the rules its frustrating.

11)   Do you have any unconventional tips or tricks for getting your little clients to cooperate during a shoot?
I have my in case of emergency iPhone clip. It clips to my camera and I can play songs on you tube etc… It’s especially good for special needs children. That’s only for emergencies though. I’m a fairly silly person due to my background as a preschool gymnastics coach and can capture little ones anntention pretty easily. I was always better with children then adults
12)   Where would you like to see your company in the next five years?
I would love to be in my own commercial space and at a place where i am helping provide for my family rather than sinking everything i make back into my business. Where I will actually be in 5 years is a mystery because my husbands career will have us relocating again. I would love to find myself at a place in my career to be mentoring new photographers also. I love teaching and watching others grow in their success.
roie2cora2

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