I had the honor of interviewing such an amazing photographer, I found her work some time ago and when I look at her work I have to remind myself to pick my tongue up off the floor and put it back in my mouth. She was a joy to interview and her passion for photography is evident.
I think one of the things I connect most with Anelle Richardson Photography work is not the obvious, it's beautiful no question, but she specializes in the same type portraits as I and her approach to photographing kids and families is just like me, so when it came to asking her a few questions I knew exactly where to start.
Me: You do a beautiful job with everyone you photograph from sweet little newborns to stunning head shots. If you had to photograph just one particular niche, what would it be?
Anelle: " What a lovely compliment, Marie. I think it would have to be families. I love photographing families, whether they are brand-new families with itty-bitty newborns or families where kids are already growing like weeds. I always remind moms that they should get out from behind the camera and in front of it – these photos are for us, but also for the generations to come."
Me: How long have you been a photographer and what in your life has inspired you to be a photographer and to then do it as a means of income?
Anelle: " I hate to use the whole since-I-was-a-child but My dad is a serious nature photography hobbyist and he fostered my passion for this beautiful and diverse form of art early on in life.
After school I studied journalism with photography as one of my majors. Those were the days of film and darkroom. I wish I could reminisce with the old timers about "the good old days" but truthfully, I don't miss the chemicals, the wait or the smell. I love digitalWhen I had kids my focus obviously changed and I started dabbling in photography again. I must admit that getting used to digital was hard in the beginning. Moving from hobbiest, to serious hobbiest, to business was kind of a natural progression. I’m very grateful for those photographers who took the time to teach me and show me that there is now need to rush into business: To make sure that you’ve got the basics covered, to get your business ducks in a row, and then to GO FOR IT!"
Me: Every photographer has a different approach to how they handle photographing families and kids, especially when it comes to small children. How would you describe what it's like to be photographed by you?
Anelle: "A photo session is supposed to be fun! I aim for no-one to ever feel stressed. I have a lovely young assistant who helps me out with my family sessions. The antics, puppets and our singing (it is terrible but we get real laughter) all help for a relaxed experience. I want kids to run and play. I love dad’s swinging their kids up high, mom’s cuddling and tickling. I love brothers and sisters laughing together. These sessions are all about memories – capturing them, but especially making them."
Me: I really love your studio sessions, the light is so clean and the main focus is in the subject rather than all the props, the one thing I struggle with in my natural light studio is the ever changing light, do you use artificial light or natural light in studio and can you elaborate on your lighting choice (why do you like natural over artificial or vice versa)?
Anelle: " Thank you! I’m fairly new to studio work. And I’ve always been a bit of a “natural light snob” but I’m actually loving studio lighting. It is easy and reliable and I love that I can move it where I want it to be. The sun doesn’t obey me! I shoot with an AB400 in a Westcott 50x50 Softbox. I’ve been playing with more dramatic maternity and I am thinking of adding some kind of hairlight in the mix."
Me: Going back to becoming a photographer, how long did you shoot before you actually started to charge and what is the best advice you can give to anyone looking to get into portrait photography.
Anelle: " I probably shot for a good 2 years once I started shooting again, before I started charging. In those days I was on a forum called I Love Photography and there was a huge emphasis on having decent technical skill, artistic vision and business basics in place before charging. I’m very glad I went that route. I believe that photography is a symbiotic relationship: Shooting from the heart and solid technical skills. One without the other is simply not complete!"
Me: Of course the question everyone always wants to know, what's in your camera bag and if you only had one lens to use which would it be?
Anelle: " Canon 5D markiii, a 85mm 1.8, 50mm 1.4, 28-70mm 2.8, a speedlight, some lens hoods, batteries, lots of memory cards, and a partridge in a pear tree…. I’m looking at getting the 135mm, but I’m a little undecided. If I could choose only one lens, I don’t think I’d be able to. I use my 50mm most in studio for newborns, and my 85mm outdoors."
Me: Marketing your business for every photographer is always a challenge, whether it be lack of funds, lack of confidence, or just lack of know how. What has been the best marketing strategy for you business?
Anelle: " Definitely word of mouth and then Google. I also a few marketing strategies planned for 2014, I’ll let you know how it goes!"
If you would like to learn more about Anelle Richardson Photography you can visit her website here. Follow her on Facebook here, check out what she is pinning here, and see what she has to say on Google+ here.