This week’s featured photographer is JoAnna, from JoAnna Robbins Photography.
Check out her interview!
What made you decide you wanted to be a photographer?
I’ve always had an interest in photography. I studied it in high school from grades 10-12 (back in the film days) and absolutely loved it. I still have dreams about being in the darkroom. I considered majoring in it in college, but ultimately became a kindergarten teacher, which was a career I really enjoyed. Interestingly, at my high school career day, I attended presentations of 2 professions: teachers and photographers.
After my first daughter was born, I was lucky enough to be able to stay home with her. I started getting more interested in photography at that point…using my DSLR rather than my point and shoot, but it was after my 2nd daughter was born that I really got back into it. I discovered some photography forums online, and thanks to the guidance and constructive criticism I received, my skills grew. Last fall, I took pictures for a friend of mine who happens to be a blogger, and after she posted about it, I started getting lots of inquiries, and things just took off from there!
How would you describe your photography style?
I hope my style comes across as natural. I strive to capture natural smiles, natural poses, natural interactions. This can be difficult, because most of us are conditioned to stiffen up and say “cheese” when a camera is pointed at us. 🙂 My edits are typically pretty clean (though I occasionally throw a creative edit out there) and I aim for a timeless look.
What kind of camera do you shoot with?
Canon 5D Mk ii
What is your favorite lens?
That I own? 85mm 1.8. That’s I’ve rented? 100L 2.8.
What are a few things you wish you would have known when starting your own business?
I’m still pretty new, so I’m sure I’m making all kinds of mistakes. I wish I had listened to more seasoned photographers more, especially when it comes to portfolio building. Portfolio building shoots should be mutually beneficial for both the photographer and the client. They get a few pictures, you get the experience and images that you need for your portfolio. If you don’t need them for your portfolio, don’t give portfolio building prices!! Seems pretty obvious, right?
What do you find is the best way to promote your photography business?
Word of mouth, for sure. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to control that! I also think it’s extremely important to have a strong presence on facebook and to blog often, which I’m still working on. I’m several sessions behind on my blog!
What is your most favorite photo you have ever taken and why?
I feel a bit guilty choosing a picture of one of my girls over the other, but the picture of my daughter’s little hiney on the beach is my absolute favorite picture I’ve ever taken. It was the first time a picture came out exactly the way I envisioned it. I took it after a rainstorm towards the end of last summer, so the light was soft, the beach was empty, and it was a perfect end of summer shot.
What tip would you give aspiring photographers?
Shoot every day! Find a forum where you can get honest critique, and listen to what other photographers are telling you. Sometimes critique stings, but without it I would not have grown nearly as much as I have. Always appreciate that other photographers are sharing their time and talent to help you improve, and try to apply what they suggest.
What is your favorite photography quote?
Photography to me is catching a moment which is passing, and which is true
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