Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Inspiration Wednesday...Featured Photographer!

You are in for a real treat today. You are witnessing some serious magical work. Sit back and read a bit about Julie Mcgann of Julie Mcgann Fine Art Portraits Her work is a real treat. Absolutely amazing imagery!

How did you come up with your business name?

My business name used to be Julie Marie Photography, until I realized that there are a million other Julie Maries in the world.  I wanted to stand out from the rest, so I decided to go with my own name...Julie McGann. Since I create a more unique style of photography, I decided to go with Fine Art Portraits.  So, that is how I came up with my new name of Julie McGann Fine Art Portraits.  

What brought you to photography?

Although my formal educational background is in music education and music therapy, I have always been interested in the visual arts. It wasn't until my children were born that I realized just how much I loved taking pictures. Not only did I enjoy photographing my children posing for me, but I began to chronicle their daily activities. That is when I got my first DSLR camera and really began the process of learning about photography.

 What do you like to shoot?

I am drawn to magical storybook fairytale-like photography from reading many books to my children when they were little. I loved the stories portrayed and how my kids would want to be friends with the characters. Since childhood, I have approached life in a positive way. When I make portraits of children, I like to channel my inner little girl, because it brings me back to a happy place. I love seeing the joy in each child's face when they describe the details of their most fascinating fantasies! 

I bring children's imagination to life worldwide through Illustrative Portraiture. Each picture is completely different and custom made to the child's imaginary vision. The possibilities are endless! I love to share the child's imaginary idea on Facebook, so everyone can see how we worked together to make their very special portrait! The photo sessions we have together are the most unique sessions they will ever experience! The best part about my job is that I can offer these unique portraits to any child in the rest of the world through use of their personal photos! 

I create whimsical fantasy portraits for newborns, babies, toddlers and young children. I create nursery art from the imagination of parents for their newborns and babies. The toddlers and young children are the ones that tell me their wildest dreams and I make them come true! This is the age when they have the greatest imagination ever!  I am always open to special requests.  Recently, a request came from a pet owner who loves her dogs as if they were her children. She really wanted to have a portrait of her dogs having an elegant tea party, so I made that happen for her!    

 who is you favorite muse?

My children are my inspiration! They have such vivid imaginations when they are little and I just wanted to capture their adorable thoughts at that moment and hold onto them forever! Soon they will grow older and realize those dreams were a fantasy and can't happen, because they are not real. I decided to write down their thoughts and ideas and turn them into whimsical fantasy portraits that can be revisited for a lifetime. Children are dreamers and I really wanted to find a way to make their fantasies come true just once by capturing the art of childhood. 

 What is in your camera bag?

My Canon EOS Rebel T2i. Believe it or not, for most of the pictures I take, I only need to use my kit lens, because I create backgrounds from various pictures blended together. So, all I need is a nice sharply focused picture. However, if I am taking traditional portraits, I absolutely love my 50mm 1.4 lens. 

 What type of camera bag do you rock?

A Crumpler 3 Million Dollar Home Camera Bag

 photoshop or Lightroom?

I use Photoshop only! I love Photoshop! 

 Jpeg or Raw?

I use RAW and jpg, because I tend to be a worrier. This will make absolutely certain that I get that perfect shot!

 In three words only how would you describe your photography style?

Whimsical Storybook Fantasy

Top 2 favorite photographers and why?

I love the childlike whimsy of Barb Uil from Jinkyart Photography's portraits. I love how she adds animals to some of her pictures and her zebra picture is one of my favorites! I however, can not afford to rent a zebra, which gave me the idea of doing composite photography. I could then create whimsical photography with animals, like the zebra, without the need to spend a lot of money on props, renting and all the problems that come with safety around animals. My pictures always include an animal in some aspect, usually doing something unusual!
That is when I started learning about composite photography and photo manipulation. I came across Cindy Grundsten on DeviantArt, on which I am also a premium member ( HYPERLINK "" I was immediately impressed by the breathtakingly beautiful imaginary world she created in each image involving children and animals. It was then that I decided to create my own imaginary whimsical world for children with animals.

 Favorite season to shoot and why?

My favorite season to shoot would most definitely be Spring!  My style of photography is Whimsical Fantasy Portraits. I bring children's imagination to life through Illustrative Portraiture. Part painting, part photograph, my portraits have a pastel watercolor feel so that children can see what they might look like on a page of a storybook.  Springtime is an amazing time for capturing those pastel shades of nature.  

 what is your non photography related down fall? (example:  chocolate, soda..)

Oh definitely Cheez-Its and Ghirardelli Dark & Mint Chocolate Squares!

What is your most embarrassing moment at a shoot to date?

I would have to say my first shoot doing this style of portraits outside my family would be my most embarrassing moment.  I was not fully prepared with the idea that a small child thought I truly was going to bring a zoo animal to their house.  She was terrified when I entered her home, thinking I had an enormous creature.  Eventually, she understood that we were just pretending, but now I like to make sure they know, in advance, that we are really just making a super awesome pretend picture!  

 What is your one best piece of advice to give someone just starting out?

Once you have discovered your passion for photography, be sure to test out every area. You need to have tried everything to find your niche! Once you find what you enjoy, learn as much as you can about it. Take workshops and learn from online tutorials. Find a photography style that sets you apart from all the other photographers in the world. 

 If you weren't photographer what would you be, any dream careers?

Before becoming a photographer, I was a K-12 Special Education Music Teacher for children with Emotional Behavioral Disability. Music served as a calming source to soothe anxieties and stimulate non-verbal communication and self expression. In return, they show improved self esteem. I enjoyed bringing smiles to children's faces in the midst of their emotional turmoil. I feel the same way with my photography.  I can make the impossible possible for children...just as I brought on the smiles for these children. Photography is my dream job!  I couldn't imagine doing anything else!  

 What is you goal for photography for the next 3 years?

Because my style of photography is so different from anyone else out there, my goal is to find out where I belong and how to take my photography to the next level!  I am super excited about finding my niche!  It brings me great joy making these pictures for children. I hope to bring smiles to each child's face when they see their impossible dreams become realities on paper! I want to capture the art of childhood...make a keepsake that parents can cherish forever. Kids are only little for a short time before those imaginations become less spontaneous and free. I find joy in being the one to document each child's early fantasies as a keepsake for the entire family. 

To continue to follow Julies work her Facebook page is the place to be. Julie Mcgann Fine At Portriats Go show her some love. Until next time, XOXO