Spending lots of time taking photos, for me, is time well spent. I love art. Nature is art, and capturing it through a camera lens gives me incredible joy! Nature moves slowly giving me time to connect with it. I don’t create the beauty, I simply absorb it and that is what I do best. The ability to consciously connect with the beauty around me and fully take it in is what I consider to be one of my strengths. Often when you want to be successful at something you need to hone in on your strengths, and narrow your focus to take steps towards being great in your field. After thousands of hours of practice, of course ;-)
Striving to become a better photographer in one area, in turn helps you become better at photography in general, but it is very helpful to be aware of your particular strengths if you want to be unique and stand out as the best you. Nature is that narrower focus for me. It gives me a greater feeling of being one with the universe, and when I capture nature through a lens it often gives me a more long lasting appreciation of its beauty.
The biggest mentor for me in this area is without a doubt Peter Lik. I say mentor even thought I don’t know him because his work and unparallel ability to capture nature has had the greatest influence on my specific area of passion. From the first time I saw his work in 2003, before I had a clue about the name behind it, I was completely moved and knew I was forever changed. He is the master of his field, and someday I WILL own some of his fantastic work and hang it gleefully on my walls. It is on the bucket list!
Although I love taking pictures of my children, and my loved ones, it is not something I am particularly good at. Practice helps, but it is not my thing. Often when I am photographing people I feel like I am missing out on the moment, which makes it harder for me to connect. Connecting on a deeper level is important in creating your best work. Two of my favorite photographers that have great strength in this area are Kevin Patrick and Lenz Love. Their ability to capture the beauty and essence of people is remarkable and I completely ♥ their work!
Another aspect of photography involves setting up a scene and capturing it in such a way that it appeals to our senses. This is another area of weakness for me, evidenced by my food and product photography. Sometimes I cringe at what comes out because I’m not happy with the result, but it plays apart in some of the things I write about. I have tremendous appreciation for this gift. The most talented person I know whose ability to completely create a scene with stunning detail is Jessie Lynn. Honestly, if you are looking for a rising star in this field you would be very smart to scoop her up quick!
Two of my favorite photographs of hers, among many, are of toy cameras. You can see them here and here. It is particularly special to me because it reminds me of how much I completely LOVED playing Barbies with her as a kid. She was the Barbie queen and being able to go over to her house to play made me so excited it felt like Christmas. The toy camera photo reminds me of the adult version of us, now sharing a love of playing with our cameras instead of Barbies.
It also brings back memories of one of my absolutely favorite days ever. Spending the day with Jessie Lynn in Las Vegas, margarita in hand, taking photos All. Day. Long. Not many people would have the patience or want to spend an entire day doing that. The only thing that could have topped it would have been to have our extremely talented friend Rachel right there with us. Who I might add is also a very brilliant artist and great photographer. When I was with Jessie Lynn that day I remember thinking if we could make this our job I would truly LOVE what I do!
Nature is the subject that I connect on the deepest level with through a camera lens. Combining my love of nature photography with words that are powerful and teach love, is an area I am passionate about pursing. As the saying goes ‘many great ideas are not new’, and many beautiful places have been captured many times over, but when I combine messages that are important, from my heart, and have special meaning, with the art of photography, the result is my unique fingerprint on the world.
I hope you enjoy what I truly love doing!