I am a natural light photographer out of Tulsa Oklahoma. I have two beautiful little girls and a husband who is my biggest fan. I specialize in lifestyle newborn sessions, families, and seniors. Giving birth to my first daughter is what sparked my love of photography. I have a deep appreciation for the arts and nothing makes my heart sing like creating art in my camera. I love incorporating as many artistic elements into each session as possible. I am drawn to light and shoot 90% of my sessions backlit. I feel that my elementary education background has played a huge part in the success of my business. Parents love that I am able to connect and work with their children and appreciate the patience I have. I truly feel that I am living my dream job. I wake up with a thankful heart every morning that I get to do what I love!
How did you start your journey into photography?
I am not one of those people that can say that I always dreamed of being a photographer. I have always had a love and deep appreciation for the arts. I can’t draw, paint, sing, etc. I found my outlet through photography. Shortly after I had my daughter I wanted to be able to take pretty photos of my daughter. Once I started I couldn’t stop. I read every book and blog post I could get my hands on. I wanted to learn everything I could about my camera and photography. Thus my journey began…
What is one piece of advice you would give to beginning photographers?
LEARN YOUR CRAFT! Before accepting money, before marketing, before a website, you have got to know and feel confident with your camera and your photography skills. There is no easy road to success in photography, it takes a lot of hard work! I see a lot of beginning photographers shoot themselves in the foot by charging too much too soon without a consistent portfolio. You have to practice a ton in the beginning. I put lots of blood sweat and tears into building my business and did a ton of free sessions in the beginning to help me learn. It was all worth it because it created a strong foundation for my business.
How would you describe your style?
Deep, Rich, Vibrant, Soft, and Emotion filled.
How do you set yourself apart?
I followed my heart. I knew what I was drawn to and what made my heart sing. I wanted to create that in my photography. By being myself and shooting and creating what I love, it naturally helped me create my own style. My number one goal was for others to be able to recognize my work without having to see my watermark. Now when others tell me that, I know that all of the hard work was worth it. It is the biggest compliment someone can give me!
What gear would you take to a senior session?
My goal for a session is to capture beautiful editorial style portraits and to make sure and get at few “WOW” shots. By “WOW” shot I mean one where several elements of art are in place. For my portraits I use my 85mm 1.4G lens. It is my go to lens and is on my camera 90% of the time! For my “WOW” shots I use my 24-70 2.8 lens for dramatic wide angles and my 135mm 2.0 for dreamy ethereal style shots. I also bring a reflector and a step ladder. A step ladder is a must have at a senior session! It will help you create lots of different angles and perspectives from each pose. I shoot 100% natural light outdoors so I love my Nikon DF camera which handles low light amazingly well! For sessions with senior girls, I bring a basket full of hats, necklaces, jackets, shoes, etc. I love fashion and might be a slight shopping addict. 🙂 This allows me to add extra visual interest to shots and seniors have loved choosing from my treasure chest of accessories!
How do you tell Seniors to prepare for their sessions?
First I have them brainstorm what locations best illustrate and represent their style. From there we discuss outfits: One dressy, one date night casual, and one everyday wear. I tell them to include color, layers, and accessories. We also discuss any props that might want to be included in their session. I highly encourage them to get their makeup and hair professionally done! This is a once in a lifetime event and should be treated as a special day!
Do you have any tips on how to achieve deep rich colors?
I get lots of messages every week asking this question. I think everyone is looking for a simple answer. When in reality there are several components that work together to create the final product i.e. light, location, lens, camera knowledge, post-processing, etc. First I am picky about my locations. I find places that have lots of texture, depth, and color. I stay away from open areas where there is lots of sky. I drive around in the mornings and evenings looking for pockets of light and the colors it creates. Second I only shoot during the first two and last two hours of the day. The best color is produced when the sun is low in the sky. Third I have invested in high quality equipment to give me the ability to capture beautiful colors in camera. And lastly, I enhance my colors in Photoshop using a few adjustment layers. I have to make sure I have captured and created the foundation for the colors in my camera to be able to enhance them in photoshop.