I’d love to introduce you to Tammy and her lovely work ♥
1. I love hearing stories about how someone’s journey began. Tell us about your journey, how your passion for photography began and how your business started.
I think the most wonderful thing about this business is that there is room for everyone and our stories, our experiences, shape who we are as artists.
Pictures were always important to my family growing up. My grandmother gave me a photo album of my life when I turned 16. It’s a beautiful history of me as a child. I can remember always having cameras around as I grew. They were never off limits. When I was 16 I traveled to East Asia and my father let me take his 35mm SLR. That was my first exposure to the magic relationship between ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture. I don’t think I really knew what I was doing but I had a great time and brought back enough images to bore my friends and family to tears. Ha, ha
Fast forward, twenty-plus years. I was a midwife on call 24/7 and it was destroying me. As a mother to ten children I wanted needed more control of my life. My sister had started a photography business a couple of years before and was having lots of fun and making money. She offered to loan me her backup camera and show me the ropes.
Suddenly I was a photographer. Yes, I was one of those moms everyone talks about. I started selling $50 CD’s. (so glad I’ve moved past that) But I knew that I needed more education and set out to find it. I purchased books, read blogs, and questioned my sister endlessly. I purchased a D7000, a 50/1.8, a 28-75/2.8, and a 70-200/2.8, enrolled in four workshops over a year’s time and never looked back!
It’s been wonderful to discover a medium that offers me a way to paint with light. I started photography as a means to an end, and I’ve fallen in love with it on the journey. I love catching a child’s personality, freezing a moment in time for their family to treasure forever, and filling my clients walls with beautiful memories.
2. Being in business is hard, but rewarding. What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone just getting their feet wet?
Get more education – from lots of sources. Challenge yourself to try new things, reach outside of your genre and style. I believe it keeps your work fresh and feeds your creative soul. When we first get started we know we like doing “THIS”. Finding your voice takes time and experimentation. There are soooo many wonderful ways to use photography to bring in an income and reaching out and trying new things will help you find what works for you.
3. Tell us about your most favorite session ever to date.
Oh my goodness, this is a hard one! Often that’s my latest session. Hmmm… I’d have to say it was a session I did in conjunction with a workshop I was assisting at last October in Florida. In Alaska we don’t have a golden hour very often. Because the sun is low on the horizon all winter and never sets in the summer we only have it for a month in the spring (while the ground is still covered in snow) and fall. Shooting with this beautiful light every day was a dream come true!
This location was gorgeous but full of tall grass. I’d been warned about snakes, alligators, and icky bugs and was scared to death to venture off the beaten path. But when push came to shove, the photographer in me waded into the grass, tromped it down and made lots of noise to scare anything hiding away so we could get the pictures we were dreaming of.
I recently upgraded to the D600 and added the 85/1.8 to my collection of lenses. I’m kind of a lens junky. I’ve got my eye on the 50/1.4 right now. I think that I’d have to stick with my D600 and the 50mm. I’ve found prime lenses to be my favorites and that combination would allow me to do most everything.
5. Your lovely work was featured on products for Paper & Camera. (yay!). What is your favorite product that your work is displayed on?
I adore gallery wraps! I use CG Pro Prints for my clients work and the images in my home. They are affordable, allowing me to pass that saving on to my clients – hence they buy more of them. Also the quality is amazing! I LOVE the finished back they include. I’d say the 20×60 is by far my favorite size to sell – it really makes a statement.
Tammy’s photos are featured on some of Paper & Camera’s best selling photo overlays.