Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Inspiration Tuesday...Featured Photographer!

I got behind a bit so I am sharing some inspiration posts throughout this week. Today's feature is Abbi of One Sock Pictures. Beautiful natural lifestyle images. Her style is clean, bright and soft. Please take a few minutes to read about Abbi and see some beautiful imagery. 

 How did you come up with your business name?

I wanted something that would reflect my raw style of shooting with kids and families.  While working with a friend, bouncing around ideas for names, my youngest son walked in and he was only wearing one sock.  It reminded me that he is usually only wearing one sock, and I'm always finding random socks around the house in the oddest places.  I laughed and said, "I should call it One Sock Pictures because that sums up our life!"  And that was it.  The name stuck with me, and became the perfect fit.

 What brought you to photography?

We purchased our first DSLR about three years ago.  When using the auto settings became aggravating, I threw myself into learning manual.  As I started shooting more often for my own family, friends began requesting that I shoot for them also.  Eventually, I decided to start a business.  It's been a character-defining journey for me in so many ways, having to find my own groove and learn to shoot what moves me.  I had a rocky start!  God has used it to bring me to myself and cause me to work on things I didn't even know were there.  Photography also came into my life at a very low point, and having something to focus on and work at that only involved myself was therapeutic.  I started seeing my life in a new light, noticing the details that made it unique and special even in the midst of the chaos.  

 What do you like to shoot?

Real life!  Real interactions, things that go unnoticed, details that will long be forgotten if they aren't documented.  I love the mundane and ordinary because it really is extraordinary.  In shooting kids and families, there is so much realness there.  Daily life can be so messy when you are raising a family!  It creates beautiful stories.  If I had more time and opportunity, I would like to try street photography.  

 who is you favorite muse?

Well, I have three boys, so you can imagine the things they get themselves into.  My teenager prefers to stay out of the way my lens, but my younger two and their antics get captured quite often.  Never a dull moment!  Aside from my own children, I have several amazing friends in my life with younger kids and I have nearly as many photos of them as I do my own.  Two adorable girls, in particular, grace the pages of my blog and fan page on a regular basis and have become part of my brand, along with my own boys.  Each of them have their own little personality and I always look forward to the chances I get to capture them.  It's like opening the pages of a familiar story book and finding out what will happen next.

 What is in your camera bag?

I keep it simple - a Canon 5D Mark II, a 35mm 2.0, and an 85mm 1.8.  Although the 85mm makes beautiful portraits, the 35mm rarely leaves my camera body.  I want to get as much of the story as possible, so a wide angle works best.  There's also a lens pen, battery charger, extra battery, card case, and some contact solution in there.

 What type of camera bag do you rock?

A Jo Totes satchel-style bag.  It's the perfect size because it holds the equipment I use with just enough room for a few miscellaneous items.

 photoshop or Lightroom?

Definitely both.  I start out in Lightroom and finish up in Photoshop.

 Jpeg or Raw?

This might get me kicked off the island, but I almost always shoot Jpeg.  Given the right situation, I would choose RAW, but for what I do on a regular basis Jpeg works for me.

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


 Top 2 favorite photographers and why?

Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman hits the top of the list.  She is the first real life documentary shooter I came across, and opened up a whole new view of photography for me.  Her work is incredible.  Aside from that, she is a kick-butt teacher who pushes me to stay true to my own voice.  If I need a realignment, she is the go-to person.

The other would be Molly Flanagan.  Her hard core storytelling style amazes me.  She takes daily life and turns it into something that hits you in a deep place.  I end up going back to her images several times, soaking in all the details of life they encompass.

 Favorite season to shoot and why?

Anything but winter!  I am not a fan of the cold at all and have very few outdoor winter images.  Considering Indiana weather, that doesn't leave me much!  Summer is probably my favorite, though.  There is so much to do and so many fun things to shoot.

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

Dr. Pepper, chocolate, a good book, and Netflix.  

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

Before I realized my niche is in-home storytelling, I tried imitating what was popular on blogs and Facebook with props and posing.  I agreed to do a newborn shoot even though I had zero experience with it.  Needless to say, it was not a success.  I was awkward, unsure of what to do, and drenched in sweat from the stress of it all.  It was embarrassing and almost made me quit photography altogether.

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

Stay away from all the Facebook pages and blogs that cause you to doubt yourself and compare!  How can you tap into your own creativity if your mind is being filled with everyone else's stuff?  Those pages are great when you can share and be inspired or supported.  But when it gets to the point that you feel defeated, weed it all out.  Make space and time for figuring out your own style and voice, and be content in the journey of growing your skills.  This is something I still struggle with, and wish I would have been more diligent about in the beginning.

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

Fresh out of high school, I started college to become an editor and writer.  Although that was never finished, I think I would still enjoy something in that avenue of work.

 What is your goal for photography for the next 3 years?
Grow my business to the point of having a steady client base, keep learning new skills and practicing the ones I have, and just enjoy what I do.  It means so much to me when I can help families see and document the special things about their life.  Mostly, I want to keep shooting.

If you would like to continue to follow Abbi's work follow her Facebook page here, One Sock Pictures. Go show her lots of love. Until next time, XOXO!