Britni Call, New Braunfels, Texas, United States

How long have you been a photographer?

Five years.

What first piqued your interest in photography?

I have always loved taking pictures, but when I had my first child and had “shoots” with her, I knew I was in love with photography.

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

Patience! When I struggle with the light or a child who doesn't want to be there, I take a deep breath and remind myself to have patience—it will all work out!

What is your photography forte?

I truly enjoy capturing children playing in their element and capturing families making memories. 

What about photography inspires you?

Usually the people in front of the camera. There are so many great people in the world, and I love working with them and seeing them come to life when taking their picture.

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

Anything that is beautiful or I feel I can make beautiful. I look at all the angles before I shoot it and usually already have some in mind.

Where is your favorite location to shoot?

Along the river here or in an open field.

What do you love about photography?

I love working with people and capturing the beauty that I see in them.

What adjectives best describe your photography?

Fun, happy, peaceful.

What advice would you give to new photographers?

Have fun and don't take yourself too seriously.

How important is Photoshop in your final image?

I love Lightroom (LR) right now. I spend time in LR on every image that I am giving a client.

What is your favorite lighting?

Sunset.

Where is your dream location to shoot?

All over Europe! 

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

Temple and children pictures.

What is one tip that you would like to share?

Be you and shoot what you like and want!

—Britni


Kristin Anderson, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

How long have you been a photographer?

I’ve owned a camera most of my adult life. They were just your average point-and-shoot cameras up until a year ago, when I got my first SLR camera. But I really got interested in taking time to shoot “better” and with thought put into it over the last few years.

What first piqued your interest in photography?

I started a family blog in 2007 and started following other blogs as well. I noticed how much nicer some people’s photographs looked on their blogs containing the same subject matter as mine (our kids). So I wanted to learn how to make mine look better. And then I wanted to make my subject matter more interesting and then expand to other subjects besides just my children.

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

Sometimes I just want to try something I’ve read about, to practice blurring the background or stopping water droplets. Sometimes I want to capture a memory like the first day of school. Sometimes I just look at something and think, “Wow, that’s beautiful, or has nice texture or pattern to it—it would look great in a photograph.” Sometimes I just want my kids to do something funny or messy or … whatever, so I have something to blog about.

Another thing I focus on, in general, is taking pictures to share with our son’s birth mom. We adopted him when he was five weeks old, and although we have an open adoption, we aren’t that close to his birth parents and don’t even live in the same state. I know his birth mom checks our family blog to see how he’s doing. So I always keep her in mind, knowing she just wants to see what his day-to-day life is like and that we love him.

 

What is your photography forte?

Hmm. I’m definitely not a professional and really don’t plan to be. I mostly take pictures of my kids and our outings as a family. But they move a lot—so I wouldn’t say kids are my strong suit, just the main focus. It’s much easier to take a picture of an object holding still! So I love to practice my skills on things in nature, like flowers and fall leaves turning color.

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

READ the camera manual, and then practice. I love reading photography tutorials online. I finally got an SLR camera for Christmas a year ago. I have scoured the Internet reading about how to capture light better, make my shots more interesting, and enhance them in Photshop. It’s amazing to look at the quality of my photographs when I’m stopping to think about what I’m doing and taking my time to get the shot I have in my head, versus snapping away haphazardly in auto mode. Also as a mom, sometimes you only have time to grab a quick snapshot without thinking. This happens a lot, and I’d rather have a few so-so photos than none at all! So I think every photo that has my family in it will be treasured in the long run, whether it has an artistic value to it or not.

What about photography inspires you?

I love making an everyday moment into a memory. And if it turns out a little more pleasing to the eye, even better!

Where is your favorite location to shoot?

I prefer to shoot outdoors. One of my favorite places to go every spring is the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, UT. I can spend all day there taking hundreds of photographs.

What do you love about photography?

I think the thing I love most about photography is that it’s the way I do genealogy. I don’t write in a journal. I have a blog, with lots of pictures that capture the everyday “stuff” we do as a family, along with the big events. I print it yearly in book form. So as the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

How important is Photoshop in your final image?

I edit most everything in Photoshop Elements. I use most of my images on my blog. I rarely print anything for framing. So I generally do a quick once-over on all the pictures that will be used on the blog. Some pictures, especially those with people in them, generally get more editing. It seems my lighting is always off just a bit. I feel I’m better at composing the picture than getting the lighting right, so I love that I can fix what I’m not good at.

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

Most of the photos I have submitted are of my son, Max, who has Down syndrome, and his sister, Piper. I have a friend who is serving a service mission in the Disabilities Services Department, and she said the Church is always looking for photos of people with disabilities, so I started submitting some.

What is one tip that you would like to share?

You don’t have to be a professional to be a photographer. If you love taking pictures, do it. Once you own a digital camera, it is such a cheap and fun way to express yourself—and a great way to record your family history! Another great tip I read somewhere is to be happy with the equipment you have. Don’t get discouraged because you can’t afford a $2000+ camera setup. I just have a basic DSLR camera (it’s a Sony SLT-a55) and used a point-and-shoot up until last year. Learn how to use what you have to get the best photo you can. Even many point-and-shoot cameras have a manual setting. Learn to use it! I have seen some truly amazing photographs taken with a simple point-and-shoot camera. So just have fun and shoot what you love.

—Kristin