Archive - November 2012


Nancy Higgins, Nampa, Idaho, United States

How long have you been a photographer?

Much of my life, but seriously for the last eight years.

What first piqued your interest in photography?

My love of photography began with a school project in the fifth grade. It has grown into a love of light, shadow, and waiting for special moments to happen.

What is your photography forte?

My four daughters would say food from my kitchen! I do love still life. Many times my family had to wait to eat while I took pictures of food just prepared or just out of the oven that looked beautiful! I also love to take vintage photographs of people in special period clothing and print them as old photos.

What tip or trick have you learned along the way that made the biggest difference to the quality of your photos?

Using a tripod, even though it makes it hard to be spontaneous, can make all the difference. It makes for much sharper pictures, especially in the beautiful low light of early morning or evening. I'd also recommend taking pictures from all different angles and lots of them. Something I like to do is walk around the subject and decide what the best shot is. Then I take a picture, step around and shoot again, and continue until I am satisfied with what I see.


How do you decide what to shoot and how to shoot it?

I take a great deal of photos, especially of people on special occasions, waiting to capture their natural look, the candid shot of who people really are. I prefer the non-staged photos, but sometimes you have to set up spontaneity!

What is your favorite lighting?

Natural. Always. You can have a great shot but ruin it with a flash.

Have you had any memorable photography shoots?

Recently I was in Yellowstone and was fortunate enough to see dozens of animals, many of which I was able to take great photos of.

What do you love about photography?

Creating something beautiful that has never before existed.

What advice would you give to new photographers?

A professor I had once said that anyone can take a picture; it takes a special eye to take a photograph. You have to take a lot of pictures in order to get one photograph worth keeping sometimes. Just keep shooting and practicing. Taking classes to help you "learn to see" can be a great help.

—Nancy


Irene Jones, Lake Stevens, Washington, United States

How long have you been a photographer?

Thirteen years.

What first piqued your interest in photography?

My mom loved to photograph us when we were kids. There never was an important moment missed. She taught me the value of photography as a medium for sharing love and family history.

What is your photography forte?

I specialize in family and event photography

What tip or trick have you learned along the way that made the biggest difference to the quality of your photos?

Understanding lenses goes a long way. A lot of times people will invest a lot of money for a quality camera but spend little on the lenses. The true creative power is in the lens, not necessarily the camera.

What about photography inspires you?

I love that photography is a way to show the world your own perspective and that it's accessible as an art form. Anyone can pick up a camera and, with a little training, learn to communicate on a different level. Painting, drawing, and many other art forms take a lifetime to master, but anyone can be in the right place at the right time and capture an amazing photograph.

How do you decide what to shoot and how to shoot it?

Since I work as a photographer professionally, I meet with my clients and try to learn as much about them as possible. Getting to know my subjects dictates how I photograph them.

Where is your favorite location to shoot?

I share a studio in Ballard, Washington, with other photographers. It's like a Hollywood backlot. It's bigger then my house and full of really cool stuff. There is even a stuffed African lion!

What adjectives best describe your photography?

I think my work can be best described as deliberate, methodical, and calculated. I do my best to make it look natural and spontaneous, but a lot of pre-planning goes into each shot. Most of the time I draw diagrams and make very detailed plans before I shoot. Then I let things go and photograph what happens. Because I work with people, I understand that a portrait is a collaboration between me and my subject. 

What advice would you give to new photographers?

Go to school! I have a degree in commercial photography. The time I spent in college has paid for itself a thousand times over.

How important is photo editing software to your final image?

I like my images to look very real. I try to make them look unedited. I want my images to feel timeless, not trendy.

What is your favorite lighting?

I use all kinds of lighting. I love strobe combined with daylight best of all. I bring my entire studio lighting kit with me everywhere I go.

Where is your dream location to shoot?

Anywhere with less rain! I live close to Seattle and spend a lot of my time waiting for the rain to stop. 

—Irene