Archive - September 2012


 

Olivia Bidleman, Seattle, WA

How long have you been a photographer?

Nearly four years. 

What first piqued your interest in photography?

The sunlight. The way that joy could be captured. 

What is your photography forte?

People at ease in natural settings. Natural sunlight is my best friend. 

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

Stepping outside my comfort zone. Trying new things. It can be scary and daunting, but the results have been so great for me. 

What do you love about photography?

I love to be able to create. The feeling of being on a cloud after a great shoot. The satisfaction of creating a compelling story. The honor of being able to inspire others. 

What adjectives best describe your photography?

Young, dreamy, warm, soulful, and in many ways, quite personal.

What is your favorite lighting?

Natural lighting by far, particularly when a sunny day is drawing to a close, and that sweet bit of rosy light that lingers on the horizon as the sun is setting. My heart swells. It's during times like that when I feel such gratitude for the beauty of the earth. 

Where is your dream location to shoot?

I'm dying to go to Europe. I'd love to go to London and Paris for the fast urban environments. For more drama in the landscape, I'd like to travel to Scotland for those rolling green hills. Outside of Europe, New Zealand has that striking scenery that would be so glorious. Sooner or later, New York City is a must. 

Do you have a favorite subject to shoot? 

People. Not much else can communicate what human beings can. 

What types of photos have you shared with the Church and members?

I am a recent convert, and I'm so eager to participate in the Church in any way that I can. When I heard that I could contribute and serve with my greatest talent, believe me, I was so thrilled, and I still am! I've contributed pictures of my wonderful friends, because of their shining countenances, and I know that they would represent our faith in such a brilliant way. I've also shared my images of the temple and temple grounds. I have such a testimony of the temple, and to me, it is one of the greatest ways that Heavenly Father expresses His love for us. I use my gift to glorify the temple as much as one earthly being can. 

Will photography always be a part of your life?

Always. 

—Olivia


Kevin Christiansen, Mesa, AZ

How long have you been a photographer?

In May of 2011, my in-laws bought me a DSLR as part of a college graduation gift, and I’ve been enjoying the hobby ever since.



What first piqued your interest in photography? 

My grandfather was a World War II photographer and later worked for a newspaper, where he met my grandma, who was working there as a journalist. While visiting my grandparents as a child, I always enjoyed looking at the black-and-white photos he took while in Europe and back home. In eighth grade I took a photography class in school and was super excited when my dad said that he would let me use his Nikon 35mm camera instead of the one provided by the school. Even though I was never good at drawing or painting, photography showed me that I could still create my own kind of art.

What is your photography forte?

Taking pictures of my 10-month-old son. 



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

I’ve learned that lighting is the biggest thing to consider when taking a photo. There are plenty of places on the web (even create.lds.org) that talk about how to make beautiful pictures just using the light around you. I only have one Speedlight with a cheap snap-on diffuser, so I have had to learn to make the best of what light is already available.



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

I've often heard that the best way to improve your photography is to just get out and take lots of different kinds of pictures. Well, with work, a newborn son, and other responsibilities in life, I wasn’t getting out as much as some aspiring photographers might, so I ended up taking lots of photos of my son around the house. I learned that you don’t have to go far to see your world in a new light, and when you’re taking lots of pictures of the same thing over and over, it forces you to be creative—or go crazy. =) Don’t convince yourself that you could get great pictures if you could just go to China or see the sun rise in a national park.



How important is Photoshop in your final image?

Almost every single photo taken can benefit from some form of editing in post-production, but it can just as easily be ruined by it. Pretty much every photo I take gets some kind of adjustments in Adobe Lightroom. I’m still learning how to make every photo have more “pop” to it without pushing it into the unrealistic category, which can happen easily from adding too much contrast, saturation, or any other adjustment.

What is your favorite lighting? 

Natural lighting is my favorite light to shoot in. If indoors, I take photos near a window. If outdoors, my favorite time to shoot is at sunset in the soft glow of the sun. If it’s more in the middle of the day, I like to put people in the shade with the sun behind them and use some kind of fill flash.

—Kevin


Elizabeth Gomm, Utah, USA

How long have you been a photographer?

A couple of years.

What first piqued your interest in photography?

I have loved taking photos for as long as I can remember, but it has developed into more of a passion these last couple of years. I received my DSLR camera as a Christmas present and became fascinated with the idea of capturing images already visible, yet doing so in a completely unique and creative way. This is still so inspiring to me.

What is your photography forte?

As I am continually learning and developing my own style, it's hard for me to pinpoint a specific forte. I love shooting the unexpected—whether that may be a crack in a wall or a candle flame. It's these seemingly minuscule and unimportant details that captivate me. When you look closely, you realize that every element of life contains beauty. 

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

Be a fearless photographer! Don't worry about having an ideal subject, but instead capture things that might seem ordinary or trivial; ask yourself what you can do to bring out the beauty.

For example, zoom in extremely close, shoot from an unexpected angle (whether that's lying on your back or standing on a chair), and trust your instincts! Also, don't get hung up on the technical aspects of photography. They shouldn't supersede your own innate creativity.

How important is Photoshop in your final image?

I use Adobe Lightroom as my editing software and love it. Many of my photos go through an editing process in one way or another, though I try not to be too drastic. I don't want to change my images as much as enhance them. Photography is my art, and a good editing program is simply another medium that I use.

Where is your dream location to shoot?

My dream would be to document the different sights, colors, and cultures of the world.

—Elizabeth