When did you first become interested in art, in general?
I first had an interest in art when I was a small child. My first recollection of the intrest of art was when my daddy took a brown paper lunch sack and drew the face of a cougar on it. I was so drawn into that it stuck. I have been interested in it ever since.
When did you first become interested in photography, specifically?
When I was ten. My grandmother had an old 127 film camera. I can still remember the first image I ever took with it. A white kitty is a peck basket. My grandmother had to hold her there to get her to stay and, in the background, was my German Shepherd dog, Ginger, jumping across in the back ground. I took over the use of that camera until I got a small 110 camera of my very own.
In what other forms of art do you also work, if any?
I have recently been introduced to the world of fractal art and I must say I am hooked! I love it. The wait for it to render is currently the only down side of it. I look forward to creating more every day. I also do a fee based photo editing of other artists files to get the print ready or if they have sold one that is at risked of being canceled in a sale I try my best with their file. Sometimes it is a reshoot for them and then more edits for me. I like to help others get sales as well and breaks my heart to see ones loose a sale due to an inferior image file
On which style(s) of photography do you specialize?
You know this changes. But I love Food photography as well as Pet photography Some of my favorite photo pieces currently are that of food and pets. I give my hand at portraiture but with the current tank in the economy I did not get established soon enough to have full time portrat clients but I love that too. A lot of work but when you see the final images. Wow! it is so rewarding.
Has your style changed from when you first began? If so, why?
I would have to say it has changed only in that I am more skilled that when I was starting out. I was only 10. But that first image was a cat. I am still photographing cats to this day. Photography changed more than I have since then. but I love it! I just love it and can not get enough of it. I am in my second year of a daily photo project. Some are great others are silly and just for fun but I hope that each one I take makes me better at what I love to do and that is photography!
What kind of equipment do you use?
I currently use a DSLR Nikon D90 with a kit lens. I also have a 50MM lens as well. If I can make photography be more profitable I will get more equipment. I use Adobe Photoshop CS3 for most of my edits. I shoot raw so I have the most info to retrieve and use. I also use Lightroom 3.
What made you choose that equipment?
In my film days my first SLR was a Nikon and so I stayed with that. Many camera are great I went with what I knew in my price range. My first DSLR was Nikon’s D50
How do you choose what you’re going to photograph?
With portraits it is of the client. I have also done 4 weddings. But do not take those on at this time. But I photograph what I like. Food and pets mostly. Sometimes a moon or sunset grabs me in and if I can get a good shot I will take those.
What kind of editing do you perform on your photographs, if any?
Basic retouching. I like adding a small pop to them. Contrast is one I love. I am not fond of the dull lifeless images but I try not to add too much. It is all about balance and the image itself. Some ask for more others not so much. I will also convert to BW or I have a coffee action I love to use as well.
How much time (on average) does it take to complete a work?
Tough question. I have no idea I spend a lot of time if I have taken a lot of images and I will get so lost in it that the time passes and my eyes are blurry for the computer screen. But I love it!
How do you know when a piece is finished? Is it easy to walk away?
Sometimes it just feels right. Other times I am guilty of over doing then will need to go back and start over to get a better look and stop when I should have before. As for walking away…no it is not easy. I have been known to find old files and try to rework them once again. Many times nothing more comes if it but, I was just not happy with it the first time. Even tho I have so far to go. I am a perfectionist at heart so that makes it tough when it does not feel right.
What do you do to overcome a ‘block’?
I don’t really know how to answer that. I know if I am really stuck I have to do something else. Walk away and come back to it. Some times months or more will pass.
How well do you take criticism and how do you make use of it?
I hate it if given without asking. It makes me feel bad. One thing I am still trying to work through. If I have asked for opinions that is different and, as long as it is given in a kind way and, someone does not say I do not like this, or that, in a rude way, I can Learn from it. But, it is hard to get the criticism that is not asked for. Or, if I do not feel they are right. Those will really irritate me. Because those normally come down to their taste and not skill level.
Who is your favourite photographer?
I really do not have one. I always focused on myself when I was a kid so I never really studied the masters of photography. I know there are a lot of good ones out there. Many images I like I have no idea who took them.
I have always loved cookbooks with lots of photos. I love those but have no idea who took them. Also food ads. Some great ones out there most times I have no idea who took them. So I guess the behind the scenes photographer who never gets the big break but is just as good without the fame.
Which one of your photographs is your favourite?
Ususally one of my most recent pieces. Until the next one comes along. But I would have to say most of the ones in my pets gallery of my cats and my Grand Kitty. She is my avatar on FAA at present.
Will your work be included at any upcoming contests or galleries?
I enter smaller on-line conest on Fine Art America all the time. I also have one in the community area on 1stAngel.
What are your plans for the future?
To keep using my camera ever day. Working more on my Fractal art and abstracts. Do a few pet and portrait sessions when they come. I would love to make this my full time form of income.
What advice do you have for budding photographers?
If you can…do it when you are younger. And as often as you can. Take a photo every day and take small classes from good instructors.
Have you done any courses to help you?
My first was in my film days the year I shot my first wedding. Then a few community ed classes recommend those highly! Especially for those with little funds to take a longer class.
What do you do to market your work?
I am limited with what I chose. I tried FaceBook and that did not turn out.
I am really terrible at that.
I just ordered some new business cards and postcards to leave a few places.
Do you use social networking in your day to day life?
Nothing worth writing home about at this time apart from 1stAngel Arts Community where I run the Photography forums.
Have you got hobbies?
Where are you based?
In the USA In the State OF Missouri.
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