I recently completed a photography course by a friend of mine ( Jyotsna Bhamidipati) called, “Capturing Mood: A Four Step Process to Evoking Character in Your Photographs.” It was wonderful and I highly recommend taking it, you can check it out here! In this course Jyo asks us to ponder the question, “ Are we artists, or photographers?”
There is a special kind of magic that comes with outdoor, fall photo sessions. The leaves lightly falling and the autumn light create a lovely backdrop for any photo session. I sought out some amazing artists and asked for their best tips on creating beautiful fall imagery and here is what they had to say….
This weeks featured photographer is Holly Awwad ( Holly Nicole Timekeeper on IG) I am always in awe of every single image she posts! It’s like every single image gets better and better ( if that is even possible!!) She’s absolutely, insanely talented! I adore the storytelling in her imagery , it really draws me right in. Please enjoy getting to know Holly, then go and follow her on IG
What got you started in photography?
While I've always known the importance of taking pictures, when my son was born in 2013, things got real. My own parents passed away when I was 9 years old, and growing up, photos of us became incredibly important to hold on to the memories of the details of our everyday life. Becoming a mom made it even more important to capture memories for my son to look back on in the future. Eventually I started to fall in love with the art of photography and I've been trying to capture our memories with that in mind ever since.
It's been a couple of months since I last posted and I have been dying to get back to it! I have lots to share. It's been a busy few weeks with moving onto our new land and living in a camper while we prepare to build again.
I am so excited to start up this series again and share with you one of my all time favorites, Michelle Lourenco. Enjoy getting to know this amazing artist!
What got you started in photography?
My husband bought me an entry level dslr several years ago, but I never really learned how to use it. It wasn't until I had my sons that I really wanted to learn how to document their childhood through photography. Cell phone pictures just weren't good enough anymore!
What three words describe your photographic style?
Moody, light inspired (sorry that two words), and raw.
What’s your favorite compositional technique?
I'd probably say minimalism and simplicity. I like clean, clutter free images the best.
Tell me a bit about your biz! Are you only personal work, or a mix of personal and client?
I mostly do personal work, but I'll also photograph families, seniors, couples, and children as the need arises. I don't really market myself, I let people come to me. I have this fear of over doing it and then not really enjoying photography anymore. It's become such a passion and form of therapy for me.. I never want it to be a source of stress.
How would you describe your ultimate dream shoot or personal project?
One where my boys would do everything I asked them to! Haha. Photographing kids is definitely my favorite. I've always wanted to get a diverse group of children today and photograph them in some gorgeous light just playing and enjoying each other without the stereotypes of the world. I just think it would be beautiful. Kids are so pure of heart.. I love watching them interact with one another. Also, I'd love to do a patriotic shoot! I'd love to get a service member from each branch of the military in their dress uniform and photograph them together symbolically showing a united front.
What’s one of the most interesting experiences you’ve ever had in a session or personal project?
Hmm.. I can't say that I've had anything crazy happen, but I've definitely learned to roll with the punches. Kids don't always act how you want them to, clients show up with extra family members for their session, dads can be stiff and grumpy.. I find that the more I let go of the image I had imagined in my head, I can capture the real raw moment and that's where it's at.
What’s your favourite image you’ve ever taken (please share, and tell me the story behind the image)?
My favorite image isn't exactly the most spectacular image, but it is the first image that I felt really proud of. For the first time since I had seriously started learning photography, I felt like I was going to be able to capture my family how I had always dreamed of. I've never been looking for perfection, just progress and real moments. (I'll attach the image below).
What advice would you give to someone wanting to get started in photography?
Learn your camera and learn the basics. Don't settle for shooting in auto.. It'll never get you the photos you desire. Most importantly, never give up or compare. Photography is your own artistic expression so what is beautiful to you may not be beautiful to someone else and that's okay. Comparison will kill your progress quicker than anything else. Just work towards being a better photographer than you were yesterday; it'll all fall into place that way.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
You know, I'm really not sure! I have a bachelors degree in psychology and social and criminal justice, but I never worked in those fields. Photography has been the first career path that I've found such great passion in. I'm mostly a mom, but I'm hopeful that one day I can find a good balance and have a thriving business as a photographer.
"Beauty is not in the face, beauty is a light in the heart." -Kahlil Gibran
LR or PS?
Definitely lightroom. I use photoshop very minimally... it's rather overwhelming still.
Any favorite presets?
I started out using tribe red leaf and I'll still go back to them sometimes, but lately I've mostly been using Mastin Labs Porta Pushed presets with quite a few tweeks.
Photographer/photographers who has influenced you the most?
Our first family photographer back in San Diego inspired me a lot! Her name is Amber Craig of Amber Craig Photography. I found myself so awestruck by her images and knew I wanted to have a similar style. I'll still message her with questions or just to chat about photography. In general though, I'm really inspired by photographers who capture real moments.. not so much staged with carefully picked out outfits. Also, photographers who have a dark and moody style.. that's my favorite! You and Cynthia Dawson are two of my favorites for sure!
List any articles you have written, contests you've won etc... brag about your self!! can I get the links?
Eeek.. I don't really have a lot of brag worthy awards. I did enter shoot and share this year with one image placing as a finalist (364th out of 35,570 photos). I also had 10 photos in the top 10%, 10 in the top 20%, and 6 in the top 30%. The year before I only had one image in the top 10% and one in the top 20%.
And there you have it!! Isn't she fabulous? Please go and check her out on Instagram and give her a follow HERE!