It's the images that make a client or customer decide to stay on your website or start following your Instagram; that portray the lifestyle of your brand or capture the moments you want to celebrate. The images I create are used for websites, social medias, lookbooks and editorial features.
What steps did you take to get where you are now?
Growing up in Tennessee, I had the opportunity to work with several talented photographers in high school and college; my background in fine art and portraiture lends a unique perspective when capturing genuine lifestyle and editorial images.
In 2009 I started my own business which focused largely on family portraits and weddings -- two events which require constant observation, attention to detail, problem solving and shooting efficiently. These skills are what set me apart in the editorial and lifestyle genres.
While living in Ohio, I met a talented designer and hospitality blogger, Ashley Wilcox, and we launched Hart & Honey Collective in hopes to provide practical, inspirational and encouraging content for other creative/freelance folks. We wanted to celebrate people doing it well, and offer encouragement to those just starting out. This is when my love for working with other creatives and makers emerged.
In the summer of 2014, my tiny family and I moved to sunny Los Angeles where you can photograph 360 days of the year!
What are you working on right now?
As I continue to settle into the West Coast and rebuild clientele, I'm meeting as many creatives as possible. This city is full of folks pursuing what they love and that's such a contagious energy. In my experience, two heads are better than one so I'm committed to developing a tight-nit creative community in which we all feel encouraged, motivated and sharpened by one another as we continue to hustle. So let's hang out!
We are all Slashies with multiple skills, which one do you wish you could do more often?
I studied ceramics in college and just got a wheel. I'd love to have more time to play but it's been so refreshing to have a creative outlet with no agenda!
What is frustrating you right now?
Choosing whether or not to specialize. It feels like I have this conversation with myself every day. I see the value in specializing and recognize the success of those around me who do so. But I thrive on variety and can't see myself letting go of any one of my various pursuits. I think each one gives a perspective that strengthens the others (writing, photography, ceramics, blogging), and ensures that I don't get burned out. There, I convinced myself not to.
What task keeps landing at the bottom of the To Do list?
Tech-y things like transferring my website domain, getting nitty gritty with SEO, etc.
If you could hire someone for $20/hour, what would you have them do to make your day easier?
Do you have any mentors or peers? What do you chat about? How do they help you?
Peers are the coolest!
I meet with my Hart+Honey gal pal on a regular basis to brainstorm, problem solve and get fresh eyes on new work. And I've had the pleasure of meeting some Instagram friends in real life -- we chat social media, work/life balance and sometimes have enough time left over to go on 'photo walks' which always refreshes the brain.
If you could talk to an expert to gain more insight on something, what would it be about?
I'd love to take Jamie Beck of Ann Street Studio in NYC out for brunch - she and her partner Kevin Burg take gorgeous photographs and have worked hard to curate a really specific client list -- so I'd pick her brain about that process and maybe ask to try on all of her clothes... She also takes the loveliest self portraits.
What kind of opportunities/projects are you looking for?
Photographing people in their space. I love the challenge of finding good light, capturing their passion and helping folks feel comfortable in front of the camera. Whether the final images are for social media, an editorial spread or blog feature, this is some of my favorite work. I have a passion for story telling. And I've found that when brands and creatives share their story, the value of their brand only grows. When I'm photographing a maker I'm intentional about providing final images that show their space, their process, their product and most importantly who they are. These images remind their audience of the time and skill that gets poured into a product and helps to set their work apart from a slew of other's doing a similar thing.
What is your ideal client?
I'm currently photographing shops and restaurants in Los Angeles for Victoria Smith's blog, SF Girl By Bay, as part of her new "Around L.A." feature which basically entails going to my favorite spots and meeting the folks that run them. I love photographing people in their spaces so this is always a real treat and the project has made this giant city feel a little bit smaller. There are so many talented and passionate people that want to support and see other creative Angelinos thrive.
Do you allow yourself to say No?
Yes to no!
I have a three year old and my husband works long hours during the week so our Saturday and Sunday are pretty precious. It's hard work and a little scary to turn down work but we've gotten better at intentionally setting aside time to rest and play together. Additionally, if it's apparent that a client and I might not be the best fit, I kindly recommend a few other talented photographers. Everyone involved should be excited and ready to offer their best work!
What is your rate?
There really are a ton of variables that go into pricing but I have an editorial hourly rate (begging at $125) which alters a little bit depending on props, location, etc. Creating content is really quite project-specific but either on a per-post rate or a monthly retainer. I happily work with each client to customize a collection and schedule that works best for both parties.
How should someone approach you about working together?
Email is best and then we can schedule a time to grab coffee or cocktails and chat about your project or collaboration!
And this is how excited I'd be to hear from you :
But I promise to play it cool if we're out in public.
My Canon 5D Mark III but I have a soft spot for 35mm film and love utilizing it when the project is right. Couldn't live without my giant agenda. Google Drive like a boss.
I'm more of a magazine gal... copies of the most recent Traveler, Bon Appetit, Sunset and Darling Magazine are waiting for me on my desk.
Call Your Girlfriend
The Jess Lively Show
The TED Radio Hour
And I've got a pretty great honky tonk playlist at the ready when I'm feeling homesick for Tennessee.
This member profile was originally published in September 2015.