It has been a little while since we have done a inspiration interview and it is definitely something I am wanting to do more regularly. Thank you to Jenni M Photography
for sharing with all of us today! I adore her work and I know you will be inspired as well.
How long have you been shooting and what inspired you to begin with?
I got my first "nice" camera when I was 18 but it wasn't until I took a black and white photography class in college 2 years later that I began to shoot in manual mode.
My "inspiration" came in 2 different stages and they weren't close together at all... One of the requirements in that photography class was to learn how to develop your own film in the dark room. That is when I first fell in love with photography. I realized that I had the opportunity to take something that is literal and change it in to a piece of art. However, as much as I loved the process I just couldn't get really excited about the images I was producing. In hindsight I realize that I was missing the emotional connection since all I was taking pictures of were landscapes and objects.
Fast forward 10 years and a LOT of point and shoot cameras later, my 2nd child was born 1 day before my birthday. I came home from the hospital and my husband had installed (as a birthday gift) Aperture (an editing program) on my computer. I was SO excited after realizing I could do everything I was doing in the darkroom and more! The only problem was that my "nice" camera was film so I just tried my best to edit photos from my point and shoot.
Fast forward another 2 years and I had my 3rd child 4 days after my birthday and my husband bought me a used Nikon D40 with a 50mm 1.8 lens. OH MY STARS!!! My love of editing and love of my kids and desire to capture every little detail fused together and I have been obsessed ever since! (that was almost 5 years ago) :-)
What is your current favorite image and why?
This one is my favorite right now. I love that it draws you in to his imagination. I love the lighting. I love the colors. I really love that he is mine. <3
Describe your work in three or four words.
Sentimental, New-Classic, Emotional, Relationships
What is in your camera bag and favorite lens to shoot with?
I shoot with a Nikon D750 and I love it. My absolute favorite lens is my Sigma Art 35mm 1.4. Just about ALL of the images on my website are shot with that single lens. I also have a Nikon 28-70 2.8 that I keep in my bag for those rare occasions that my 35 wont work for the situation (but that's not often) ;-)
How/Where do you find your inspiration and creativity?
I shoot 100% with my mommy emotion and "magical" childhood lens! For my family sessions, I normally walk in and focus on the things I want to remember about my own kids and my own family. The look from my husband that makes me weak in the knees, the light in my kids eyes when they look at me, the way my littlest looks at her older sister with pride and all of the little details that I never want to forget.
What are your current goals?
My goals are a little different than most... I of course want to continue growing (my skill as well as my business) but I also have a goal of keeping balance.
I think of it kind of like the golden triangle. (Exposure, ISO and Aperture) Mine is Money, Skill and Family. If one of them is out of whack then my whole life turns in to a big mess! I have 4 kids and I home-school them. As much as I love this business like crazy, I have to continually remind myself that my family commitments are more important. If I want to pursue this beautiful and personally fulfilling thing called photography, it is my responsibility to maintain balance. (Which is seriously difficult for me!)
With that said, I am on track to publish a workbook on "How to make your photography business fit your life!" this coming year. ;-)
One word of wisdom that you would like to offer or encouragement to fellow photographers?
First: Shoot what you love and never stop learning. <3
Second: Give yourself a break! New photographers constantly hear about being profitable and figuring out pricing on their financial need. This sets an unrealistic expectation that you must immediately be profitable. I am all about making money, but the problem is that it takes 3-5 years on average for ANY business to become profitable... Those first years need to be an investment in your skill, gear, marketing and education. There are so many fantastic photographers out there with a new businesses who feel like complete failures because they "aren't making enough". My advice is to keep working hard, invest your extra pennies in yourself and your business and it will pay off. It just takes time. :-)
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