I am working on adding more interviews back into the mix this year. I love seeing other photographer's work and hearing their stories.
I have had the honor to see Crystal grow over the last year and half. She captures true emotion in her images and pushes the boundaries on compositions. I love the angles she uses and her unique perspective on how she sees things. I hope you are inspired as I am. Thank you for sharing, Crystal!
How long have you been shooting and what inspired you to begin with?
I've actually only been shooting 17 months. A couple of months before I purchased my first DSLR, (which has been upgraded since), I didn't even know what a DSLR camera was, or how it compared to any other camera.
I was inspired by two things, my children and blogging. I was blogging for a few months, and realized I needed images of my children, to go along with my stories, and post. So, I started using my phone, and I begin to get more and more creative with how I captured things. That's when the photography bug came and bit me. I've been happily infected since. haha
What is your current favorite image and why?
Ahhh, this is a hard one. My current favorite would be from a recent high school senior session I had at sunrise about a week ago. It's my current favorite because in this image alone, you should be able to know so much about who I am as the photographer. The light, and the shadows. When I saw the light peeking in the barn, while playing a dance with the shadows, I knew I wanted my senior client to stand half in the light, and half in the shadows. That sums up what I see visually at every moment of my day. I'm constantly seeking the light, and fascinated with it's relationship with darkness.
Describe your work in three or four words.
Oh that's another hard one too. haha. First word that comes to mind is, genuine. moody. Wait, am I describing my work or myself here. haha. Okay back to the question. I'd say genuine, moody, light-inspired and, story-telling. I'd like to think I'm evoking some kind of emotion.
What is in your camera bag and favorite lens to shoot with?
A rental lens receipt! hahahaha! No seriously I've rented different lenses the past year, and now I'm ready to make a few purchases. My favorite lenses are the 35mm Sigma ART f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4 Nikon, 70-200mm f/2.8 Nikkon,(which give me the BEST sun flares) and my trusty ole 50mm f/1.8. I've decided that I'm a prime lens kinda gal. All shot with my D610 Nikon DSLR.
How/Where do you find your inspiration and creativity?
I am inspired by my surroundings, the connection/relationships of my clients/subjects, weather, but most of all where my source of light is coming from. Light, for the most part inspires every single thing about how, where, and why I shoot. The very first thing I do when I'm at a session is follow the light. I'm inspired by the relationship of light and shadows. My favorite quote is, "Both light and shadow are the dance of love" ~Rumi. I'm inspired by wind as well. I love wind just as much as light. I'm known to "hear" the breeze/wind before I feel it coming. Wind brings life to any image. Wind is an embrace, a movement, powerful, that's the only way I know how to describe it.
I would also say one of my intriguing creative things are angles and framing. Angles to me are what I would called "perspective". From which perspective do I want to tell the story. If I want to tell a more quiet, thoughtful story from the subjects "perspective", I'll usually stand on something and do a "bird's eye view". If there are leaves and trees, I'll pull a tree branch down and put it in front of my lens as if peeking through. I do that if I want to tell a "secret". As if you're peeking in on a gracious moment you shouldn't see. I'm working on using prisms, and other techniques to become even stronger with this.
What are your current goals?
My goals now are to continue this workshop/business course on Senior photography. I want to take my time with it. I want to make slow smart business decisions that will ultimately lead to me being known as the senior photographer of both North and South Carolina.
One word of wisdom that you would like to offer or encouragement to fellow photographers?
I hope this is wise, because it's worked for me. Be you. Don't compare yourself to other photographers. What has helped me is that I don't follow any photographers, unless we're friends or networked, because I want to show my support, and encourage. I think this is very wise. I admire so many wonderful artist, and their work, but I picked my top 2 photographers, and truly followed them on different social media outlets, only to inspire myself to dig deeper, and because they would mention how far they've come, which gave me hope. Other than that, I don't know who's who, most of the time. I think this is very wise. I want to stay true to the vision God gives me, and it's hard to do that when I'm downloading my brain with so many others.
Website : www.crystalcofiephotography.com
Facebook:Crystal Cofie Photography