Happy Friday Everyone! It is an absolutely stunningly super duper beautiful day here in NJ today! Puts mama in a good mood :) I would like to throw a little inspiration at you to start your weekend off on a positive note.
Today I would like to introduce you all to my very first "Featured Photographer"....
Dana Read of Firefly Photography located in Andover, NJ. I wanted to interview Dana because I love her passion, her enthusiasm and her drive! Nothing stops Dana. She's a tiny woman yes, but she packs alot of punch.
She has a unique style that is all her own. Earthy, whimsical and enchanting! Dana is a natural light photographer specializing in maternity and child photography and she is VERY dedicated to keeping her business eco-friendly.
BALM: Where did you study photography? Are you self taught?
Dana: I am finding that in the digital era, a lot of emerging pro photographers are self-taught. I have done coursework in fine art and design, but I haven’t studied photography in a formal academic setting. I have taken workshops and I study the art and technical side of photography every single day. The internet has really facilitated this. I will always have something to learn. When I’ve got it figured out, it won’t be fun anymore.
BALM: What influenced you to become a photographer?
Dana: Well the cliché answer is that I have loved photography since I got my first camera at 12 years old, but it’s true. I would photograph anything (like the newspaper lying in flattened flowerbed at the end of the driveway). I even followed my grandfather to one of his worksites to photograph him laying brick. My mother still has these pictures in a family album somewhere. Really, I have always been a visual artist whether it was photography, charcoals, pencil, colored pencil, oils, acrylics, or watercolors…..I am there!
BALM: When did you decide to go pro?
Dana: It’s strange, I don’t ever remember “deciding”. It just sort of happened. Seriously. Ironically that was just about a year ago now, and I never would have thought I’d be here right now.
BALM: What camera to you prefer?
BALM: What lenses do you use most frequently?
Dana: My 50mm
BALM: What do you always carry in your camera bag?
Dana: Backup gear!!
BALM:What is your biggest challenge as a photographer?
Dana: It’s actually not photography-related. My biggest challenge being a professional is balancing the right brain (being an artist) with the left brain (being a businesswoman). Throwing motherhood into the mix also doesn’t help!
BALM: What makes you a good photographer in your opinion?
Dana: I could give you the answer that I see beauty in everyday things, but the fact of the matter is that I am extremely driven to be the best photographer I can possibly be and I am always working on strengthening my skill set
BALM: What do you enjoy most about photography?
Dana: I get to be creative! I get to be imaginative. I get to have my ideas turned to reality. People get to enjoy the images I make for a very long time. And it happens to be a lot of fun!
BALM: What motivates you to do what you do?
Dana: (See #9)
BALM: If you could have a mentoring session from any photographer who would it be?
Dana: My inspiration is Barb Uil. I love her sunny, whimsical style. She is a master artist and master technician. She’s downright brilliant!
BALM: What would be your advice to a photographer just breaking into the professional field?
Dana: Learn everything you can – find it – there is free information everywhere from generous veteran photographers who want you to succeed. Also, find your own niche and be original. Be clear about who you are.
BALM: How do you stay true to your vision and keep your clients happy at the same time?
Dana: I have actually turned down jobs in an effort to stay true to my specific style. So my clients haven’t really challenged me to abandon my vision. I have been told that my style is very distinct. So I am assuming that the folks attracted to my work, respect my vision, and that has been my idea all along.
BALM: Where would I find you when you are not behind the camera?
Dana: I think a lot of photographers who are also mommies will identify with me here; Either on the computer post-processing images or cuddling with my son who is the light of my life. Sometimes he’s on my lap while I am on the computer.
BALM: What is your favorite quote?