Brend Authier: What was your first photo shoot?
My first shoot when I started playing with the idea of starting LPC was with a couple friends. I took photos of their kiddos and some of my friend Jen who was pregnant at the time.
Here are a couple photos.. WARNING... This is not pretty!
Katie Hayes: How many hours a week do you work?
You know what they say... When you become an entrepreneur you stop working 40 hours a week for someone else so you can work 100 hours a week for yourself!
Tiffany SHine: Where do babies come from?
Misti Wilkening: What kind of camera would you recommend to a mom who loves to take pictures of her kids?
I will soon have one on one lessons available to moms who have DSLRs and would like to learn how to use them to get better photographs of their children! I'm hoping to have this launched sometime in February 2014!
Misti WIlkening: How did you get started in photography? How do you lean more about photography? Do you take classes over time?
I haven't taken any photography classes.. I'm 100% self-taught. I learned everything I know from trial and error, YouTube, Google, following other photographers' blogs and Facebook pages, online workshops and tutorials, and researching EVERYTHING I had a question about!
Davie Meredith: How do you juggle four boys, married life and work and still maintain such a positive attitude?
My typical day starts out getting my older boys off to school. They choose to eat breakfast at school with their friends, so that makes things a little easier. I usually pull my computer out and do some work in the living room while the little guys wake up, eat breakfast and drag out every toy imaginable... I'll usually stop working mid to late morning and do a sweep of the house to pick up the morning mess and I'll play around with them until it's time for lunch. I fix lunch, lay the baby down for his nap and my 3-year-old goes into my bedroom or hangs on the couch with me while watching Disney Jr. and having his "calm down" time (he decide to stop napping a couple months ago). I'll pull my computer out and do some more work while the house is somewhat quiet then put it back and hang with the little guys when the baby wakes up. They get all wild and crazy for a while, but usually calm down just before the older boys get home from school, when the little guys follow them into the bedroom and they all hang in there for a while (or outside when it's nicer out!). Sometimes they wander into the living room, but they usually are pretty good about letting me work for a bit. When my husband gets home, I'll usually work for a while again then stop to help get kids ready for dinner, baths, homework and have some lounge time with the big boys. Once the kids go to bed, Adam usually zonks out on the couch and I work until midnight or so... Then it's off to bed and back at it the next day :)
Sundays are our lazy days. Adam and I try not to work much, if at all and we all hang around the house in comfy clothes and do a whole bunch of nothing together! Adam and I find time to spend together on Saturday evenings/nights usually... We have drinks and play games like a little old couple :) For now, it works for us!
It gets exhausting sometimes... Okay... All the time... But I love it. I lose out on my dearly beloved sleep, but I'm able to keep my clients, kids and husband happy. 2014 is the start of a more set session schedule for me, so there will be more order and less scheduling chaos, which should help things run a little more smoothly :)
Here are the crazy, sweet, handsome, perfect men in my life! :)
Kelly Peterson: WOuld you ever consider having an apprentice? Why or why not? Would you enjoy teaching someone else in their journey to becoming a photographer?
I didn't have this luxury when I was learning what I now know, but I know how much easier things would have been on me if I had someone who was willing to help. I have an amazing relationship with my clients, so the fear of them leaving me for someone I taught just isn't there. Sure, there will probably be some people who go to a newer photographer because he/she is cheaper, but most of my clients are very dedicated to me, so I know I'll keep the ones who are meant for me! :)
Bree Holland: How did your photography journey start?
Kathy Dake: What are your preferred camera settings?
Here's a nice little cheat sheet I found on Pinterest for you :)
Kathy Dake: What is one other job you would want to pursue?
I never saw myself doing something I wasn't completely passionate about, which is why I can tell you with 100% certainty I will never switch careers. I didn't even know it was possible to be so in love with a career until LPC took off!!
Mandy Ware: What's your favorite Dave Matthews Band song? What's your favorite moment from a DMB show? How many shows have you been to?
I've been to 11 shows I believe... Apline Valley every year since 2008, Des Moines in 2009, Wrigley Field and Farm Aid 25 in 2010 and the Caravan in 2011 (2)... Here are some pics!
FAVORITE SHOW MOMENT!!
Here it is, Mandy! The best moment of any DMB show I've been to! This photo was taken in Des Moines in 2009 (obviously my camera settings weren't correct.. This was before my photography days!) during the Ballpark Tour about 30 seconds before Dave rubbed my pregnant belly (yes, my son, Jett has been blessed by the touch of Dave). He squeezed my mom's hand and we both looked at each other, screamed and started crying from excitement.
We're losers, but it was awesome!!
Here's a close 2nd for "Favorite Moment!" My husband and I were at Wrigley Field with my little brother and his girlfriend in 2010. Mitch and Ashley went in to watch Jason Mraz, but I insisted on standing by the busses until it was cloer to showtime... My waiting paid off! Adam and I met Tim Reynolds and he was the nicest guy ever! SO humble and polite (and super short!!).
A couple hours after we met Tim, I saw a man walking up the sidewalk and thought, "Wow, he really looks like Dave!" Next thing I know he says, "Excuse me." and rubs by me to get to the bus entrance! Only Dave Matthews could throw on some sunglasses and a hat and walk down the sidewalk outside Wrigley Field at one of his own shows without anyone noticing! SO glad I was prepared to snap this :)
...Again... Before my photography days!
Oh, wow! We all look so young! Anyway, this is Farm Aid 25 in Milwaukee in 2010. Our friends Whitney and Brandon joined us for this trip. It was cold, windy and rainy, but we had a blast! It was awesome to see Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, WIllie Nelson and Nora Jones :) Too bad for the boys, we stuck them with the nosebleed seats!
These guys made our day at Alpine 2013! They had an extra VIP parking pass and gave it to Mom and me as we were in line to park.. We ended up getting parked right next to them! There was another guy parked on the other side of us selling REALLY goo tickets, so we bought those and sold the tickets we had... THEN these guys wanted the new tickets we bought to be closer to the edge of the row where their group was... We ended up swapping tickets and they gave us $100.. We ended up 2 rows ahead of these guys in the VIP section (our original tickets were in the very last row of assigned seats) for an extra $30 each. It was an awesome show!!
Ooh.. And I painted my mom's toenails while we enjoyed drinks in the sun :)
Mandy Ware: What's one part of photography you wish you had the skill/time/patience for?
I don't have the patience for weddings (brides, rather), but that's fine with me... I don't wish I did them nor do I wish I had the desire to do them. I'm so happy with my clients and the type of photography I do. Of course, I'm always learning new skills and always wanting to make my next session better than the last and I hope that never stops. If it ever does, I'll know my carrer as a photographer is over.
Kim Browning: Would you recommend photography as a full time career? Does it pay well?
A photography business isn't just about photography... Running a business is hard. Really hard. As a small business owner, my job is that of Head of Marketing, Payroll, Accountant, Receptionist, Human Resource Manager... The list goes on and on! I currently work about 70 hours a week and I'm still investing money into my business so I see little to no income from sessions and packages. Some people assume running a photography business will be a great way to make some fast or easy money.. Hell, no! It's not fast and it's not easy... I don't just "push a button all day" like some people may think.. Actually.. Only about 5-10% of my time is actually spent shooting sessions. Building any business takes time, skill, patience and dedication. There are plenty of times when I felt like I'd been kicked to the ground, but I always got back up and dusted myself off. I've sacrificed a lot of time with my family and friends and learned the hard way that, although my business is incredibly important to me... My family comes first.
If photography is your passion and you're ready and willing to put countless hours into learning the latest techniques, finding your "right" client, pricing yourself, etc... Then YES, I recommend photography as a full time career. I am happier than I have ever been and I know 100% that photography is for me. The best advice I can give anyone interested in starting a photography business is to be prepared for the bad that comes with the good... And deal with people saying things like this to you allll time time...
Luke Green: How many times have Adam and I beat you and Becky at Catch Phrase?
LOVE YOU, BECKY!
Crystal Loy: What's your most embarrassing moment?
Crystal Loy: What's the most user-friendly editing program you've found? DO all/most editing programs have layers? (I hate layers!)
I always edit to make my subject's eyes pop.. Now, if I didn't have layers and layer masks to work with, I wouldn't be able to focus on just the eyes. When I do something like this, I run my changes and add a black layer mask (white reveals, black conceals.. Remember that when working with layer masks!) I use a white brush and paint over the areas I want the changes from that layer to appear and voila!
Miss Isla has gorgeous eyes as is on the left, but I did a little work to give them a little extra pop and sparkle on the right.. Thanks to LAYERS! :)
Crystal Loy: What's been your favorite Mini Session so far? What's your dream Mini Session you would like to create?
Lindsey Gilbert: Do you ever want to tell critics to F off even though it's wiser to be the bigger person?
Larin Larson: WHen you are taking newborn pictures and you have someone hold the baby, how do you edit the hands out?
You can find many tutorials on this process online... That's how I learned! :)
THAT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!