May 15, 2010

Libby's New Blog!

I am pleased to announce that I finally have my new blog up and running. I am not quite finished with it yet, but I will be posting to the new one from now on.
Please Resubsribe to my New Blog!

May 1, 2010

"The Basics" Workshop

I am getting ready to offer a photography workshop for anyone interested in "The Basics"! Let me know if you are interested. There will be more details coming soon!

April 14, 2010

Goodbye Winter!

I am officially saying goodbye to winter and all the gloves and hats that go with it! I took one of my classes to the Oregon District this winter to teach them about depth of field and shot this along the way. I was inspired by Rodney Urton of Rodney has quite a series of self portraits with a street photography feel that I was reminded of as I passed this window.

March 12, 2010

Interview with photographer Julie Roberts!

Before I moved from Tennessee to Ohio, I was lucky enough to have had a chance to get to know Julie of Julie Roberts Photography. She is one of the warmest people I have ever met and so easy to talk to! The first time we met we became instant friends and even ended up running around scouting for new locations until the sun went down. I have watched her grow leaps and bounds in a very short time as a photographer, so when I decided to start my series of interviews she was my first choice. I am so interested in the fact that each photographer's path is different, that I decided to start interviewing photographers. I wrote the questions down that I would want to hear the answer to and before I knew it, I was on the phone with Julie interviewing her. Since I started teaching photography, I find it even more important for new photographers to realize one simple truth. That when you are being hard on yourself and wishing you were shooting better, that is just confirmation that you are in the right profession. :)

Do you remember taking your first image? No, but I do remember my first camera which was given to me by my grand-daddy when his brother died. (the camera belonged to my great uncle Jimmy.) It was just a point and shoot but I loved taking it everywhere I went!

When did you learn the basics of photography? My sophomore year of college when I took Photography 101.

What first attracted you (specifically) to becoming a photographer? Even when I was really young I felt a certain responsibility to document moments. It came from an almost-fear that if I didn’t photograph something I would forget it later.

Who is your mentor in photography? I think I would have to say Nicholas Nixon. I learned about him from a lecture in college and I was so thrilled to see that he did really beautiful and interesting photos of his children and family. My favorite subject was always people and more specifically my family and baby nephews. But my professor had given me a hard time about them being considered “good” or “art”. He made a great point – that just because they were special to me didn’t make them interesting photographs. I had come to believe that photos of children and family couldn’t also be beautiful works of art that a perfect stranger would find interesting. Nick Nixon’s work opened my eyes to that possibility.

Which is easier for you...the technical or the creative? Creative!

Do you see yourself as an artist? Yes, but it’s not without hesitation that say that. Regardless of that little voice of doubt I really want to make every effort to do something that is more than just “taking pictures”.

Where are you in your development as a photographer? Never “there”. Constantly seeing things that I need to change, improve, and try.

What is your favorite part of photography? Least favorite? My favorite thing is catching one of those really honest moments between two people like a huge laugh, a tear, a look of surprise or any expression that is fleeting and significant. I get really excited when I get lucky and catch a moment like that especially when I get it in focus with a good exposure!
My least favorite thing about what I do is the sales side of business. Whether I am “selling” myself or whether I am dealing with someone else who is selling something to me … I just don’t like anything that feels insincere. Ugh!

Where do you get your inspiration? With fear of sounding really cheesy … the truth is that I am most inspired by people who are seriously in love and aren’t ashamed or afraid to show it. It could be a couple so happy together they just shine or a set of brand new parents who are just madly in love with their brand new baby. I think it’s those relationships and that kind of amazing love that makes life really special. It’s the only thing I have ever found worth photographing.

Who influences your photography the most? I think I am most influenced by my clients and how they interact with each other.

How do you prepare for a shoot? Make sure my batteries are charged! I don’t have any kind of significant “pre-game” dance that I do.

What is your strength as a photographer? I think my strength is my ability to put people at ease. People look better in pictures when they aren’t behaving like there is a camera in their face. So it can be a challenge but I think I do a good job at getting even the most non-photogenic person to relax and look pretty great.

What area do you want to work on as a photographer? Off-camera-lighting. Ahh!

Do you shoot for yourself? When and what? My favorite things to photograph are the details and the portraits of the bride and groom. I’m usually able to work in what I want through out the day. I always encourage my clients to set aside time for those portraits of the two of them and by the time we get to those I usually know what I want to do. Most of my clients trust me and I feel lucky because I’ve rarely ever had an instance where someone told me “no, I wont do that.”

What tip or trick did you learn that was the biggest help to you as a new photographer?
My college professor once gave me hell over this photo I had taken of the front of a building from the ground up. He wanted to know why I had taken a picture of that building and my only answer was that I liked it. He went on and said “What specifically did you like about it?” To which I answered “The door knobs, the gates, the window sills, the color, everything.” And he explained that a simple photo from the front didn’t say anything about my specific point of view. He encouraged me to think about how I could have photographed that building in a way that most people don’t already see it. His advice completely changed the way I looked at things. I no longer saw something and photographed it because I liked it … I began to ask myself why I liked it … and it changed the way I wanted to photograph things. I think that’s when I really began to develop my point of view – which is kind of the same thing as saying that’s when I became an artist.

What one mistake that you've learned from that you can share to help new photographers?
I jumped into the wedding industry with no guidance. As a result I made a lot of mistakes. Dumb ones. I advise new photographers to find a mentor or someone they can learn from instead of going at it alone. There are a lot of established photographers who need help and there is no reason to start out in the dark.

Why did you choose this particular image of yourself vs. another one for this interview? Because it hides my double chin!

If you weren't a photographer, what would you do? Be an actor or a teacher.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be? I sure do love the sunlight in California!!!


Camera tip/trick: Shoot in mid-day back lighting … with a wide open aperture and a super low ISO. This is my favorite kind of magical light!

PS tip/trick: Totally Rad Actions by the Boutwells.

Marketing tip/trick: Let who you are be the consistent thread that runs through your work and your brand. YOU are the only thing that makes your business special so just embrace that and go forward.

: 5D Mark II
Lenses: 50mm, 1.2 for almost everything : 85mm, 1.2 for close portraits : 70-200mm, 2.8 for ceremonies : 100mm, 2.8 for close details : 28mm, 2.8 for receptions.
Lighting equipment: 580 EX
PC/Mac: PC
Software (Lightroom or ACR): ACR

A special thanks to Julie for taking time out to do this interview!

March 7, 2010

Up to Know-Good...

Well, winter is almost over and so is my hiatus from blogging. I have been putting some time and thought not only into recharging my batteries, but also into some new ideas. When I think about what I want to do with my life as a person and as a photographer; the list is long, but exciting. So far in 2010, I am off to a good start. In a couple of weeks, I will be moving to a bigger place that will allow me to shoot inside more often. There will be more room for having friends over and working with even more talented people in my area. I am also looking forward to seeing Norah Jones, Cracker, and possibly Sheryl Crow in concert. Yeah! I love music. If that wasn't enough, I just found out that there is an increasing chance of meeting a couple photographers this summer while I am visiting my family on the west coast. Another Yeah! So those are all in the future...what about now? Today I started the planning process for a few shoots (editorial, fashion, bridal) that I've wanted to do for myself. It's amazing how many people I have met this year that I would like to work with and it's finally coming together. Last, but not least, I also had the opportunity to interview fellow photographer Julie of Julie Roberts Photography! I will be posting the interview on my blog as soon as I can. I learned quite a bit of new information about Julie including some photography tips and tricks that she is willing to share, so be sure to visit again for the full interview.

February 3, 2010

Top 10 Things I'm Thankful for This Morning!

1. Great Mark Knopfler interviews posted on You Tube.
2. Songbird music software that shows the Lyrics to the song your listening to.
3. Songbird music software that shows you news and videos about the artist.
4. Being able to sleep in this morning.
5. Having the laundry and dishes already done.
6. Having a reliable car.
7. Free time in the near future.
8. Boston Stoker.
9. Being so interested in photography
10. Students that do their best.

January 31, 2010

Just for fun...

I've been thinking quite a bit about a class I was lucky enough to teach this quarter called Photo Techniques and Aesthetics. In this class you explore different themes and processes to get yourself to think outside of the box. This particular group of students have done very well with their projects and they have left an impact on me. :) I am posting a picture from a demonstration I did using a grid to show a single image with many frames. I am very excited to see their work on the wall at the end of the quarter!