The one thing that I love about blogging is being able to discover amazing people that I otherwise would have not known. I have been following Austin-lee from Bunch of Barrons since the very beginning of my blogging career and have watched in amazement at how her skill for photography has grown.
She is the one person I can say that I inspire to be like. The way she captures the moment actually allows you to be in her world it makes me feel such a connection to her. Her photos are truly stunning.
When I got the chance to be one of the contributors on this blog I knew that one of the first couple things I needed/wanted to do was interview Austin-lee and today I finally got too.
I asked her to send me some of her favorite photos but I also snuck some off of her Flickr.
(If that's okay Austin-lee... I couldn't resist.)
1. How did you get starting in photography?
I’ve been interested since high school, when I was using an old Olympus film camera that was my mom’s. I didn’t do much with it, just appreciated it from a distance, until I had my first baby. My parents gave me a nice DSLR for Christmas, and with the first push of that shutter button it was love. It’s just snowballed from there.
2. What’s in your camera bag?
I have my little Canon Rebel XS with its kit lens, a LensBaby, a
55-250mm f/4, and my 50mm/1.4. The 50mm rarely comes off my camera. It’s like my third child.
3. Do you use an editing software if so which one?
I have used Photoshop Elements 7 for a long time, but just recently got CS5 for Christmas, so I’m using that now.
4. Tell me a little about what “style” your photography is:
I think that’s a tough one. I would like to say it’s lifestyle photography for the most part. I love candid, unposed, real life moments. I love catching my kids when they aren’t looking, and love when photo shoots are natural and unscripted. I do love photographing nature as well, though. So much color and texture, and it’s much more relaxing for me than portraits, because it’s just me and the camera.
5. What person/blog inspires you?
Oh, where do I start? I absolutely love browsing around looking at other people’s pictures. There are so many different styles, and so many different ways of looking at the world. There really aren’t many that don’t inspire me. I do admire people who do “lifestyle” photography a great deal. I love how they capture real life, real moments, and do it beautifully.
I’d have to say my kids are my most favorite subjects. I love watching them through my lens. But I do love photographing nature, too. It’s so colorful and changes constantly, and plus it doesn’t run from me when I point a camera in its face.
Yes. I am doing a 365, but even before that I can’t really remember a day where I don’t use my camera, either my Rebel or my cell phone’s camera. Taking pictures is kind of like my journal.
Oh my, yes. Mostly just my kids, though. They have been known to literally turn their backs to me when I’m trying to take a shot, but at the same time, if they are doing something funny, they will ask me to take their picture. My extended family is the other extreme, and they get upset if I show up at a family event with out my camera. They look at each other like, “NOW who’s going to take pictures of us?”
9. Do you print out your photos and if so how often do you do that.
I’m really bad at printing. I rarely do it unless I get an email for free prints. (Snapfish is the bomb.) I would like to print more often, but I console myself with the fact that I have our blog printed up in a book form yearly, so all those shots aren’t just floating around in my hard drive.
10. Are you self taught or have you taken classes?
I am mostly self-taught. I did take one class in college, back when I was shooting with the Olympus, where we did our own developing in a dark room. SO much fun, but it was a lot of work. It did teach me a lot about doing your best work in-camera, so you don’t have to fix it later in the darkroom, or Photoshop.
11. What are some tips that you could share with us that you learned that you feel are invaluable?
Take pictures often. Don’t expect your photography to look like someone else’s. I’ve been guilty of this many times. You see someone else’s work, you love it, and you want to be just like them when you grow up. While getting inspiration and ideas from others is good, you’re going to beat yourself up if your shots don’t look like so-in-so’s. I’m learning that if I take a shot that is from my heart, that means something to me, that is a moment/detail that I don’t want to forget, it’s a good shot. It might not look like my latest photography crush’s recent shoot, but the beauty I saw is there, represented in my own way, and that’s going to be noticeable to the viewer. Sounds cheesy, but be yourself. Show people life the way you see it.
12. How and why did you start your blog/flickr account?
I started our blog on a whim, and didn’t think I’d stick with it. But people kept telling me I was funny and they loved reading my blog, so I guess my ego was a good motivator. Ha-ha. Now I keep it going because I want to remember all these details and moments, and because I’m really bad at stuff like scrapbooks/photo albums. I’d rather just blog about it. My Flickr account was started because I had started browsing Flickr and really admired the work I saw there. It seemed like a great community, and also an easy way to share your work without necessarily having to write a blog post. Sometimes I like being able to just post a shot, using what I saw instead of words to share a moment.
Thank you Austin-lee for allowing me to interview you. You truly are an inspiration. Everyone should take a moment and visit her Blog and especially her Flickr I could get lost in her photos for days.