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Member Spotlight : Lori Gail Tolsma

5 Apr

Lori Gail Tolsma
Weddings, Newborn Portraiture

Are you a morning or evening person? I’m a NIGHT person to the extent that you might even call me an EARLY morning person! Thankfully, my family is able to enjoy a later schedule with me. Midnight hot-chocolate read-alouds are more fun to us than groggy mornings.

Coffee or tea? I adore both, and all hot drinks have a place of honor in my home – but a proper mocha is my first love.

Something that’s overrated: Any “art” that’s ugly or putrid. It’s just moody and self-important. I want art to elevate me, not disgust me.

Something that’s underrated: Old school rules of composition — there are reasons why these rules have visually compelling results. Also underrated: Tailors. Parsnips. Mondays.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Hmm…a few favorites. My twin-sister’s chicken pot pie — oh, it’s gourmet. In-N-Out Burger. And I like pear-flavored jelly-beans for road trips.

Website/blog(s) you visit daily: Five of my close friends and I started a private Facebook group. (I really recommend this.) I’m there daily for a meeting of minds…and some belly laughs. I regularly check Style Me PrettyNikon RumorsBurns Auto PartsLa Petite Fleur, friends’ personal blogs, and a few political and theological blogs. I visit Kiss the GroomJose Villa and Liz Banfield for my film fix!

Who is the photographer that inspires you most? Am I really limited to one? There are so many angles (so to speak) to admire and so many photographers. Technically, Susan Stripling and Cliff Mautner are masters of light, especially under the pressures and constraints of a wedding day. On business and art, Karen Carey conveys such feeling in her work and combines that with shrewd business sense. I’m fascinated by good, interesting portraiture, like Annie Leibovitz’s older work and Ben Baker’s. One of my favorite photographers is Toddlertoes’ (aka Heleen, a Flickr member). She sees what is exquisite in the ordinary every time. That’s inspirational to me.

Tell us about your very first shoot: My first shoot was too easy! I photographed a high school senior who happened to be gorgeous, photogenic, and happy. Couldn’t ask for more.

What is the one thing in your bag you would throw yourself in front of a speeding train for? As much as I love my Nikon D3s (it’s an incredible tool), my Dad’s old Nikon FM has the most sentimental value to me. He worked hard for that camera and shot many rolls of film with it — with no meter!

I am passionate about: Handfuls of dandelions, little teeth under pillows, fresh linens, rim light, jagged newborn hair, dessert, all four parts of a hymn.

To tweet or not to tweet: To tweet! I love Twitter. In the right hands it’s brilliant. But I haven’t jumped in yet myself. I’m considering it… @lorigail

What are the top 5 things on your “photographer’s wish list”?

Fun! I wish to:

– purchase the new Zeiss Distagon T* 2/25 Lens. Yes, I would.

– hire an office manager.

– have a wedding published in Real Simple Weddings. It’s such a lovely publication. There are so many good publications but I love their clean look.

– shoot a wedding with FILM only. (Digital is so wonderful, don’t get me wrong.)

– As long as I’m dreaming, I’d also like one of those high-end espresso makers. Can I include that? Because I’m sure it would help my work. : )

What do you find most difficult about being a photographer?
For me, being a photographer also means being a business owner. Since I have a very robust home life with many welcome demands on my attention and time, I chase balance and good priorities every day. That is work and and it’s an ever-moving target.

What do you find most rewarding?
What I find most rewarding is when someone responds emotionally to my photography. I’m moved by good photography and good art, so when my work resonates with people, I feel a sense of accomplishment.


Member Spotlight: Susannah Gill

27 Jan

Susannah Gill Photography
Weddings & Family Photojournalism

Are you a morning or evening person? Evening for sure!

Coffee or tea? 100% English… can you guess?

Something that’s overrated: Yellowy old-fashioned looking images. How will they look when they really are old?

Something that’s underrated: Being nice to others.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Hmmm, a toss up between grilled cheese and tomato soup or nachos.

Website/blog(s) you visit daily: Facebook, its great for business and I also love seeing other photographers’ work! I can get lost going from one blog to another! I love the blogs, I guess I really enjoy the writing and seeing current work.

Who is the photographer that inspires you most? I loved Sally Mann’s work of her children. Currently I’m into Elliott Erwitt – I saw him speak a few years ago and I loved his personality. Some man stood up and said,”Sir, what ISO were you at in that shot?” Elliot laughed and said, “I don’t know! I saw something interesting so I took a picture!” That’s my kind of photographer – he shoots from the heart!

Tell us about your very first shoot: I shot a 4-hour wedding with one camera, 1G memory card and no extra batteries. I had to use the bathroom a few times just to delete images from the card! Towards the end my battery was dying! Live and learn – til this day I still learn something on every shoot that I bring to my next shoot – sometimes it is about gear, lighting or people.Thats one of the things that is so amazing about photography and being a location photographer – its never the same thing twice – even if it is the same location, the people and the light are always different!

What is the one thing in your bag you would throw yourself in front of a speeding train for? Nothing, that is what photography insurance is for. I use Hill & Usher, they give me great peace of mind – plus some reception venues insist that you have it! But the one thing I would be totally bummed if I forgot at home would be what I call my “baby”, the 70-200mm lens. It allows me to get far away from my clients so they can relax and interact with each other more naturally.

I am passionate about: Women taking advantage of living in a country like ours that allows women to have the same rights, privileges and opportunities as men. I have traveled and studied in places were woman are not so lucky and when I see women who CAN but DONT, it upsets me. We get one spin on this Earth, live your dreams if you can!

To tweet or not to tweet: Ugh, my husband tweets for me but honestly I don’t get it – though a few jobs have come in from Twitter…

What are the top 5 things on your “photographer’s wish list”?

1) Complete knowledge on how to use EVERY aspect and EVERY function and EVERY button on my camera.

2) To have ALL my clients call, email or text their appreciation when they see something they like (their happiness is the most wonderful fuel!)

2.5) To be ok with it when they don’t – at times it make make me really sad and disappointed – especially if I really love the work I created for them.

3) To have perfect color correction abilities – if only I could correct for each and every monitor that the images are seen on!

4) To have a flash that keeps up with me on wedding days!

5) To have a group like the Betties here in NYC!!!

What do you find most difficult about being a photographer?
Oh I am sure there are tons of things technologically speaking and emotionally speaking – but honestly I love it so much even the difficult parts are exciting to work through!

What do you find most rewarding?
When the image you captured in your camera is just how you saw it with your eye. A moment forever suspended in a rectangle.

Member Spotlight: Katie McMenamin

1 Dec

Katie McMenamin
Katie McMenamin Photography
Newborns, Kids, Families, Maternity, Couples

Are you a morning or evening person? Definitely evening. I’m ashamed to admit it but I’d sleep until 10 every day if I could.

Coffee or tea? Coffee, iced lattes in the spring/summer and 3 pump, nonfat, pumpkin spice lattes in the fall/winter.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Mashed potatoes with lots of butter. Yum!

Something that’s overrated: Saying that things are “amazeballs.” That is not a word. What is up with that?

Something that’s underrated: Cute flats. Why are all cute shoes heels? I’m on an eternal hunt for non-boring flats.

Website/blog(s) you visit daily: Facebook. Crappy Pictures – I don’t even have kids and this site cracks me up. Smitten Kitchen – I’ve recently started cooking more and this site is great for inspiration, although it makes me a little sad that my kitchen never looks as neat as her’s when I’m cooking.

Who is the photographer that inspires you most? Top on my list would probably be Tara Whitney; her photos just have such an easy feel. My dream is to have kids and then have her photograph my family.

Tell us about your very first shoot: If we’re going non-paid, my first shoot was 4 friends, in a park in 80s prom dresses. I think my style has evolved a bit since then. 🙂

What is the one thing in your bag you would throw yourself in front of a speeding train for? All of it. I’d tell the train to take me and save my gear. Just kidding!

I am passionate about: If I could, I’d have a huge house full of rescued animals. As it is, I have two dogs and two cats!

To tweet or not to tweet: Well, considering I don’t even have a twitter account I’m going to have to say “not to tweet.” I wish I were better about social networking, but it’s just not my thing.

What are the top 5 things on your “photographer’s wish list”?

Natural light studio. That is all.

What do you find most difficult about being a photographer?
Most difficult is definitely the feeling of constantly having something that I could be doing; a photo to edit, an email to respond to, an order to place. It can be a bit exhausting.

What do you find most rewarding?
The most rewarding thing is working with my clients. There are not too many jobs where people pay you and then write you a thank you note. It’s pretty great.

Member Spotlight: Maria Mack

17 Nov

Maria Mack
Maria Mack Photography
Weddings, Portraits and boudoir

Are you a morning or evening person? Evening!! Although ever since I had two kids they keep making me get up in the morning!

Coffee or tea? Coffee, and lots of it!

Something that’s overrated: Long strolls along the beach! Just kidding…what isn’t overrated! Everything is overrated.

Something that’s underrated: Customer Service. I can’t stand dealing with companies that don’t get the meaning of good customer service and the effect that it has.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Cheese….Brie, goat, Feta, Cheddar…the list goes on!

Website/blog(s) you visit daily: Facebook, pinterest, and different bridal blogs…style me pretty, elizabeth ann designs, wedding chicks, ruffled. I think it’s really important to stay visually inspired everyday.

Who is the photographer that inspires you most? Right now I have three, Elizabeth Messina, Stephanie Williams and Jose Villa. But if I had to pick one, I would say Stephanie Williams from
There is a certain mood and softness in her work that I absolutely love!

Tell us about your very first shoot: My first official wedding was my husbands best friends wedding. Which I shot in film, I didn’t have the right lens for when we were in low light situations, so a lot of the images where grainy from using high speed film to compensate. Overall I guess it came out OK.

What is the one thing in your bag you would throw yourself in front of a speeding train for? Although I am fully insured I might still be tempted if it was my 85mm f1.4. she’s my favorite!

I am passionate about: My kids, the love of my life Ray, my work, friends, family, keeping my clients happy, trying to find balance in my everyday life.

To tweet or not to tweet: I tweet occasionally.

What are the top 5 things on your “photographer’s wish list”?

-Nikon 70-200mm f2.8

-another full frame body

-finding more time to spend on branding

-being able to afford a studio manager

-as a mother, balancing work and home time

What do you find most difficult about being a photographer?
My constant need for my next shoot to be better than my previous one. I really struggle with this. I like pre visualizing a shoot and having a game plan beforehand, but there’s times when I have to let go and realize that I can’t control everything.

What do you find most rewarding?
The reaction I get from some of my boudoir clients, although most of the time the session is for their significant other, it’s very rewarding to know that I made a client feel beautiful! I even had a client that was separated from her husband, get back together, after he saw the images from her session.

For my wedding clients I realize time and time again what an honor it is for me to capture one of the most important days of their life. I feel blessed to being doing what I truly love (full time). It took me years to figure out what area of photography I would enjoy the most, at times I find myself tearing up during a ceremony! That is how I know that I am addicted to shooting weddings!

Member Spotlight: Laura Pensack

3 Nov

Laura Pensack
Laurajane Photography
Weddings, Portraits (High school senior portraits are my favorite!)

Are you a morning or evening person? Afternoon. It’s hard to get me to accomplish much before noon, and once 9pm hits I just want to lounge around. I’m definitely the most productive between 2pm and 8pm.

Coffee or tea? Most definitely tea. Peppermint, earl grey, and irish breakfast are my favorites.

Something that’s overrated: Getting a college degree to be considered a smart and successful member of society. I’m such a rebel.

Something that’s underrated: Taking the time to put together an outfit, put on makeup, and doing your hair every day even if you know you’ll just be home editing pictures all day.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Potato chips are my weakness.

Website/blog(s) you visit daily: Facebook is pretty much what I view daily, but that does leave me wandering around to various photographers’ work, which usually leads me to Katelyn James’ blog because she updates almost daily. Oh and who can forget Pinterest!

Who is the photographer that inspires you most? Right now I’m really inspired by the work that Stephanie Williams does for the clothing website Ruche. But in general I’m very inspired by Sarah Danaher of Ampersand Photography. She has been such an encourager to me through out this whole photography journey. She invited me along to second shoot a wedding with her even when she only knew me as someone who commented on her blog. She hosted a workshop in D.C. with the super awesome Rebekah Murray that taught me so much about photography and life. And she continues to speak truth into my life when everything in me says I should give up.

Tell us about your very first shoot: Well I’ve been doing “shoots” my whole life, starting from setting up my American Girl dolls with props and outfits and whatnot to create my own American Girl catalogues (even though I only ever got as far as the photos). But my first official paid photo shoot was with a family that found me through my parent’s church. I had never met them and I was terrified, I made my mom come along with me because at that time I still had terrible people skills. There were maybe 20 people in this family, since it was an extended family that hadn’t all been together in the same room in about 10 years. They wanted to document that time together (talk about added pressure). I probably babbled and shook nervously way too much. But in the end I was pretty pleased with the photos and the family loved them. And now they’re still one of my most loyal clients.

What is the one thing in your bag you would throw yourself in front of a speeding train for? Well I live nowhere near any speeding trains so I don’t really have to worry about this, now do I. 🙂 Nothing I have is really worth that much risk. Maybe if there was a human life involved, that’d be a different story.

I am passionate about: Jesus. He’s my reason for everything. I couldn’t imagine not loving Him. I’m also passionate about working with teenagers, play music, and photography of course.

To tweet or not to tweet: Eh. I have it set up so every time I post a new blog it posts a link on my twitter feed. And if I’m ever watching “Secrets of a Stylist” on HGTV and need to ask Emily Henderson a question she always tweets back almost right away. She’s just awesome like that.

What are the top 5 things on your “photographer’s wish list”?

In no specific order:

1. Professional rebranding. You know the whole shebang; logo, business cards, website, blog, everything

2. A Showit website (

3. A 35mm 1.4 lens

4. A prop stylist, wardrobe stylist, and possibly some kind of art director to work with to make my portrait sessions absolutely gorgeous

5. And maybe a cute photographing boyfriend who turns into a cute photographing husband 😉

What do you find most difficult about being a photographer? For the longest time I had a hard time getting people to take me seriously that this is my job and not just my hobby, which probably has something to do with the fact that I started this crazy photography journey at 19, and most people assume that I’m still 17. But now I think it’s getting that stupid comparison voice out of my head. For some reason I feel like I should be in the exact same place that all the other photographers that I admire, even though they’ve been out there working on their business longer than me. Accepting that I’m where I’m supposed to be is not an easy task.

What do you find most rewarding? I love making people feel valued and beautiful, especially the teenage girls. They’re always so self conscious when we start shooting and then by the end they turn into little models. Then they get so excited when I post their photos for them to see and they plaster them all over Facebook. One girl told me that she had no idea that she was that pretty. I just love that.

Member Spotlight: Christina Campbell

6 Oct

Christina Campbell
Nina Lily Photography
Wedding / Fine Art Photography

Are you a morning or evening person? Evening. Always evening. I put my camera down after college and had a beautiful romance with bartending for a few years. Things have changed a bit since starting my company and my hours have shifted to those of a day walker but I still enjoy lounging in the morning, enjoying my garden for an hour or so and then getting down to business. I tell my clients in advance to expect late night emails!

Coffee or tea? Coffee! Coffee. Black. Lots.

Something that’s overrated: Being a morning person.

Something that’s underrated: Facetime. Social networking has really helped me out but there is nothing like one on one interaction with potential clients. I still get butterflies and hate talking on the phone… but nothing beats making those personal connections.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Mac n’ Cheese! Anytime… anywhere.

Website/blog(s) you visit daily: Check out Junebug Weddings. Endless inspiration.

Who is the photographer that inspires you most? Yikes! I am traditionally biased towards female photographers because I admire the women who can find that elusive balance between art, work & life. But right now Sean Flannigan inspires me. I really appreciate his seamless approach. I’ve also been known to check out Erik Clausen’s work.

Tell us about your very first shoot: Nothing to see here folks! I had many growing pains on the road to becoming a wedding photographer. However, my first” shoot” took place circa 1989. I took my little hot pink point and shoot out and made my 7 year old sister model for me in her swimsuit in front of my Dad’s classic car. I can’t believe that my Mom actually developed that roll of film! However, the photos are still epic.

What is the one thing in your bag you would throw yourself in front of a speeding train for? Not worth it. I’m insured and my cards are always safely stowed away in my pocket!

I am passionate about: Family. Everything vintage. Vintage family members?

To tweet or not to tweet: My Facebook page tweets for me.

What are the top 5 things on your “photographer’s wish list”?
1. My husband to suddenly want to be the other half of my (imaginary) wife/husband super team!
2. Re-branding including a custom website & blog.
3. An office manager to get me organized. (All I want to do is shoot!)
4. New camera body.
5. 85mm, 1.8 lens.

What do you find most difficult about being a photographer? Balance. Finding the balance between delivering a wonderful experience for my clients and living a wonderful experience in my own life can be daunting.

What do you find most rewarding? I am forever grateful to my clients for allowing me to share in the special, intimate and awesome moments that define their lives. Being a documentarian comes with responsibility that can be overwhelming but having the opportunity to experience the trust that these people have in my artistic vision drives me to be better with every moment. The most rewarding aspect of being a professional photographer is experiencing the support that I have from family & friends & clients who become friends.

Member Spotlight: Heather O’Mara

22 Sep

Heather O’Mara
Heather O’Mara Photography
Weddings and Portraits

Are you a morning or evening person? I am all about the early am. I love the feeling of Carpe Diem and crafting my list for the day.

Coffee or tea? Coffee! Ah, the stronger the better. Not for the caffeine, but for the aroma.

Something that’s overrated: Texting. Don’t get me wrong, it is great for quick notes to one another. But I feel there is something to be said about human connection.

Something that’s underrated: Handwritten notes

What’s your favorite comfort food? In the fall I LOVE going to Starbucks and getting a Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte–Yum!

Website/blog(s) you visit daily: I try not to obsess over any one Website or blog. I use the PhotoVerse app on my phone to direct me to interesting places on the Web.

Who is the photographer that inspires you most? This is so hard to pinpoint. There is no ONE person because there are many talented photographers. But if I narrowed it down to light, craft and passion, those individuals would Cliff Mautner, Bambi Cantrell and Joe Buissink.

Tell us about your very first shoot: One of my son’s nurses in the NICU saw all the photos I had taken when I had been there with him. She loved viewing the images I had taken from different courses. She hired me on the spot to do an engagement shoot. Was I scared–yes. But, in the end, I surprised myself on the work that I did.

What is the one thing in your bag you would throw yourself in front of a speeding train for? That’s crazy talk, I have insurance. But if I lost my Nikon d700 I would hope there would be a serious defibrillator around.

I am passionate about: Life. I am so thankful for it. Photographs help us to remember what and who we are, those we love and the most wonderful moments in our lives.

To tweet or not to tweet: I started because I “had to”. Now it is not so bad. It is a nice way to keep in touch and get information.

What are the top 5 things on your “photographer’s wish list”?

1. 10 more hours in the day.

2. No more Weddings with 95+ degree temperatures, I believe that to be my brain’s shut down point.

3. Nikon D3s, like 3 of those.

4. Endless supply of candy for crying flower girls and ring bearers at the Weddings.

5. I have quite a long list of Workshops that I want to take. So I would love to find a pillowcase filled with money. We did find a paint can filled with money in my grandparent’s house you know… Who does that?

What do you find most difficult about being a photographer? Like anyone, I can get frustrated. I can doubt myself. I start looking at too many blogs.

What do you find most rewarding? I love photographing Weddings and capturing moments, real moments.

Member Spotlight: Jennifer Parke

8 Sep

Jennifer Parke
Jennifer Parke Photography
Newborn, Maternity, Engagement and Family Photography (for now!)

Are you a morning or evening person? Morning all the way!

Coffee or tea? Iced Coffee! My new fav is the carmel mocha iced coffee from DD!

Something that’s overrated: Working a day job!

Something that’s underrated: Family dinners. They are so important and it seems that they just don’t happen anymore.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Chocolate, specifically chocolate with peanut butter!

Website/blog(s) you visit daily: Facebook, Mama Cheaps and Google I freaking love Google!

Who is the photographer that inspires you most? There are so many that inspire me every day but the photographer that originally sparked my interest was Dorothea Lange and her amazing portrayal of the great depression.

Tell us about your very first shoot: My very first shoot was actually for my friend Jim from Sleepy Hollow Photography. I photographed his daughter and it I was super nervous and Jim had better gear than I did and I felt so foolish!

I had tried to scout out the location before hand but it was the Green Lane Park and they took me to a section of the park that I had never seen before! YIKES! I thought I was going to die, right there, right then. I have been taking pictures my whole life but all of the sudden I had no idea what I was doing! All I could do was start shooting and hope for the best. I might not have loved all the shots but one of the photos from that shoot is still in my list of favorites to this day!

My second shoot has a much better story…crazy mom, 4 kids, lots of screaming and one of the dogs bit my hand. Good times. Thank god the sessions got better after that or I would have quit photography all together!

What is the one thing in your bag you would throw yourself in front of a speeding train for? My full memory cards, because those can’t be replaced everything else is insured!

I am passionate about: Being a MOM! I have an amazing 18 month old son, Rickey who pushes me everyday to be the best mother that I can be!

To tweet or not to tweet: I tweet, but not often…it’s on my to do list though!

What are the top 5 things on your “photographer’s wish list”?
More TIME! A real office space/studio! A better 50mm lens. This might be silly but one of those super cute camera straps. Someone to be in charge of all of my marketing (yeah that would be great!)

What do you find most difficult about being a photographer? The thing that I find most difficult is not being able to be a full time photographer. There is just so much that I want to be able to do and my day job is always getting in my way!

What do you find most rewarding? The most rewarding thing is the excitement that clients have when they love their images! I know how excited I get when I take a great shot of Rickey and I love being able to provide that for others!

Member Spotlight: Amanda B. Young

25 Aug

Amanda B. Young
Swoon Over It
Portrait and Wedding Photography

Are you a morning or evening person? I’m not sure to say “evening” would even be fair. I’m a night girl all the way. I’ve frequently said that my best work is accomplished from 11PM-4AM. If I could make these my business hours, I totally would.

Coffee or tea? Coffee. Preferably an overly sugared, highly caffeinated white chocolate mocha from Starbucks.

Something that’s overrated: I think one of the other Betties said it before and I couldn’t agree more: television. If I were the only one living in this house we wouldn’t even have cable. I never turn it on: I don’t have time!

Something that’s underrated: Free time. Ohh, how I miss thee.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Ice cream. It’s not really a comfort food, but it comforts me, so that counts, right? Ben and Jerry’s Phish food, please!

Website/blog(s) you visit daily: Is it embarrassing to admit that it’s not a photography site? I’m stalkingly obsessed with kind of addicted to Young House Love.

Who is the photographer that inspires you most? I could never narrow this to one person. I’m inspired by a lot of photographers in totally different ways. I love Cliff Mautner’s ability to draw drama out of every photo. I am inspired by Tony Hoffer’s ability to capture every image in a completely unique way. I adore Isabel March’s ability to draw out the personalities of all of her clients in their images. I love Lindsey Tropf’s clean, organic style. I admire Jasmine Star’s business and marketing that led her to rise to success so quickly. See? I could never pick just one.

Tell us about your very first shoot: I was second shooting for someone as a trial run. I had shot plenty of things before – for fun – but never a wedding. I was nervous, excited, confused… oh yeah, and did I mention nervous? Luckily, I was shooting a wedding where they hadn’t hired a second shooter, so there was, quite literally, no pressure on me to perform. (FYI – In my opinion, this is the best way ever to learn to shoot weddings.)

At the beginning of the day, I casually asked a question to the primary about her shooting settings and she said something along the lines of “well you really should be shooting in manual.” From that moment on, I switched my camera into manual mode and never switched it back. From that wedding on, I knew that I had finally found my passion, and never looked back.

What is the one thing in your bag you would throw yourself in front of a speeding train for? My memory cards, assuming they were full of someone’s wedding images. Everything else can be re-bought or replaced (hey, that’s what insurance is for, right?), but not the images.

I am passionate about: Too many things of a completely random to list. For starters… my family, my house, my dog, helping others, animal welfare, documenting life, teaching, being true to yourself, and always, always having an open mind.

To tweet or not to tweet: Is this even a question? To tweet, the answer is always to tweet.

What are the top 5 things on your “photographer’s wish list”?
I only get five? Hmmmm. A dedicated space to meet with clients; an organized closet to hold all my boxes, bags, and files; unlimited amounts of time; an IV of diet coke; and a clean inbox.

What do you find most difficult about being a photographer? THE FINANCES. I have a Master’s in business. I have taken courses in accounting. I get it. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I have said many times that if I could hire someone to manage them entirely, I totally would. Just tell me what I owe and when and I’d be happy. Ugh. If you know someone, hook me up.

What do you find most rewarding? When a client becomes a friend, well, there are really just no words to explain how grateful I am to do what I do.

Member Spotlight: April Ziegler

11 Aug

April Ziegler
April Ziegler Photography
Pet and Wedding Photography

Are you a morning or evening person? Evening. Without a doubt.

Coffee or tea? A whole lotta coffee. My favorite is Harry & David’s Moose Munch.

Something that’s overrated: Twitter. I tried to get into it, I really did.

Something that’s underrated: Gratitude. It seems that ‘thank yous’ are hard to come by these days.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Just one?? I have an unhealthy love for Peeps. I stockpile them.

Website/blog(s) you visit daily: Facebook and my ever-growing list of blog addictions on my Google Reader.

Who is the photographer that inspires you most? Erin Vey. When I first came across her work back in 2007, I fell in love with both her amazing talent and the idea of pet photography. I just adore the artful way that she captures pets and their people.

Tell us about your very first shoot: My very first pet session was with a very energetic Jug (Jack Russell+Pug mix) named Cody in January. It was FREEZING and even started snowing. I was terrified. Fortunately, Cody was easy to bribe. Despite the numb fingers, I was so happy photographing that smooshy pug face, head wrinkles, and curly pig tail. After that session, I knew that I had to photograph pets. It remains one of my very favorite sessions and the black and white pug tail photo here belongs to Cody.

What is the one thing in your bag you would throw yourself in front of a speeding train for? If anything, I’d say my 35L because it’s my favorite.

I am passionate about: My family… my hubby, our furbabies, and our little nugget that’ll arrive in December.

To tweet or not to tweet: I try and fail. My life just isn’t that eventful.

What are the top 5 things on your “photographer’s wish list”?
1. TIME – It’s so hard to find a good work/life balance. It’s so easy to let this business consume you.
2. An assistant
3. The 24L

What do you find most difficult about being a photographer? The most rewarding part of this job? It’s FUN! I get to play with puppies as part of my work. I’m a lucky girl.

What do you find most rewarding? The most difficult part of what I do is when clients lose their pets. It’s heartbreaking, and I can only hope that the images that they have are a little comfort during a very difficult time. We all know that pets are with us for far too short of a time, so it’s an honor to be able to give people something to look back on to remember the pet they love so much. Obviously, my clients are huge “dog people” and have a very deep bond with their pets. Many of them have had their pets through deaths, marriages, divorces, moves, so many life changes… And that pet is their one constant. Last year I photographed a Weimaraner with stage 4 cancer. It’s an honor, and a huge responsibility, to be the one chosen to document what may be some of the last images they will have of their pet.