Got a Q? Need some A’s? Hopefully the below will be all you need to sort it out. If you’re still left scratching your head, feel free to shoot me an email via the contact form below.
Q: Can I use your photos for something?
Absolutely! I have no problem with fellow bloggers using my pictures in a post, so long as I’m credited & linked back to. However, I don’t allow my photos to be used for commercial purposes without explicit permission (i.e., email me
so we can work out a deal).
Q: What kind of camera do you use?
Although I upgraded to a D700 in the winter of 2010, I previously used a D300 and the very early years of this blog were shot with a Nikon D50. Lenses I currently use the most are the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 and Nikkor 85mm f/1.8.
When I shoot film I use a Nikon F100, Rolleiflex 2.8C, Diana+ and Polaroid Spectra.
Please check the What’s In My Bag? page for more details on what I’m currently shooting with.
Q: Do you take photos for a living?
In August 2011 I took a huge leap and decided to call it quits with my day job in order to pursue a full-time career as a photographer. While I’m calling it an “experiment” it’s my hope that I never have to go back to working for wages ever again. I enjoy my craft and it’s been a dream of mine to work for and support myself doing what I love most: making photographs.
I primarily shoot weddings and portraits, but in the past I have worked as a freelance food photographer for Foodily, Inc.
For my own personal satisfaction, I’m an avid cat photographer.
I am also a Getty Contributor.
Q: I'm an aspiring photographer. Any tips?
A: Take pictures every day, and lots of them.
I try (key word) to only shoot in natural light to avoid unfavorable color casts, and rarely take photos in bright sunlight. I tend to shoot at a lower aperture as I’m hopelessly addicted to bokeh.
I also sell my Photoshop actions, which I use often when processing my photos.
Q: What do you edit your photos with?
I shoot mostly in RAW and sometimes in JPG (for personal stuff). All photos are edited with ACR in Photoshop CS5. Typically I make adjustments to my white balance, exposure and curves. It’s important to play in Photoshop too, which is how I did most of my learning.
Don’t be afraid to ruin a picture; if things get out of hand, trash it and start over. That’s the beauty of living in the digital world.
Q: What is bokeh?
“Bokeh” is the term used to describe the part of a photograph that’s out of focus. This can be a soft blur, or the little round circles you often see in night time cityscapes
Q: Can you recommend a DSLR?
A: Because everyone’s needs are different, I really can’t. But I can offer a few tips when shopping around: Don’t get caught up in the Canon vs. Nikon debate. It’s a waste of time. Don’t buy a camera kit. Instead, buy a camera body on its own and put the extra cash towards a nice lens. You won’t regret it. Do your homework. Learn the in’s and out’s of the camera you’re thinking of buying. Know its strengths and weaknesses before you buy it. Don’t rule out compact cameras. If you’re just looking to have fun with a nice camera and don’t need anything super professional, there are some great bite-sized cameras on the market these days.
Q: Can you help me make a website for my art?
I’m no expert at the internets, but I have gotten by okay. If you’re building a portfolio for the first time and have a question, I’d love to try and help you out!
However, I can’t build your site for you, unless you want to hire me. Feel free to email me in regards to either one!
Q: What are your tattoos of?
My first two tattoos are from the video game Final Fantasy
. On my left shoulder (the cat-bat looking thing) is Mog
, a moogle from FFVI
, and on my right shoulder (the Gumby-pickle-dude) is a Cactuar
The most recent one is on my forearm — a blind contour drawing my husband drew of me.
Q: I'm considering schools in California. Do you recommend Humboldt State?
I absolutely loved my experiences at Humboldt and would recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone thinking of transferring as an art student. However, it’s important to keep in mind that HSU is an extremely small and isolated school that is very foggy and rainy almost year-round.
Because of this you may want to consider going to a larger school in a different part of California if you’re concerned about facilities, getting depressed in the winter or being bombarded with radically liberal tree huggin’ hippies. For me, the intimately small class sizes and cold weather were what drew me there. I just learned how to ignore the hippies over time.
While I can’t recommend them personally, I have heard good things about CCA in Oakland, Academy of Art in San Francisco and Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles. I also lived in Davis for 2 1/2 years while my mother pursued her B.A. in Fine Art at UCDavis and almost went there when I graduated high school (I didn’t go due to financial reasons).
Q: You went to Thailand/Laos for 2 months. Was it scary/did you get sick?
While I certainly wouldn’t roam around Southeast Asia on my own at night, I can’t recall a single moment during our trip where I felt threatened or in danger. Thailand relies so much on tourism that you’ll rarely have an unpleasant experience that can’t be chalked up to simple miscommunication. That said, you should always take precautions when traveling to foreign countries so as to not be taken advantage of. For me, this meant putting my important possessions (camera, passport, external hard drive) in one small bag that I could take with me everywhere and never let out of my sight.
The most expensive part of the trip was the plane ticket. It cost roughly $1,000, RT. While there, we slept in guesthouses, traveled by bus, train, boat and plane and made a side trip to Laos to renew our visa. Including our tickets there, we spent roughly $3,500 on our 2-month trip. It was worth every penny.
When visiting a country that is so drastically different than your own, it’s nearly impossible to not get sick in some form or another. Both my husband and I got sick about 1 1/2 weeks into our trip and spent a couple of days sleeping it off, presumably from some bad food we ate. Moral of the story? Don’t go to Thailand and eat Mexican food.
If you’re planning a trip to Thailand and would like some recommendations on cheap places to stay/eat or fun cities to visit (Chiang Mai! Chiang Mai!), feel free to email me! I’d love to help you plan your trip to this amazing country.