Excited about our Have You Met series where I showcase YOU, the photographers of our community. We had over 400 photographers apply for the series in less than a week. I can’t wait to showcase the talented photographers. There is a mix of hobbyist and business owners as well as full-frame and crop sensor users. This may be my new favorite part of the site.
This post contains affiliate links. Thanks in advance for supporting Click it Up a Notch. I am no longer accepting applications for this series.
- No.01Tell us a little about yourself and your photography journey.
What a sweet honor and surprise to be featured on a site with so many wonderful photographers. My name is Cassie and I am a birth photographer. I am married to an amazing man and mom of 2 little girls. My interest in photography began back in high school after taking an “easy A” photography course. The first time I set foot in a dark room and saw my images transform from what was seen in a tiny view finder on my camera to a piece of glossy paper – I was hooked. I am now a birth photographer and absolutely LOVE my job. While I loved those dark room days I am beyond thankful for the beauty of DSLR’s and my lovely computer screen for editing.
- No.02What is the best advice you received so far on your photography journey?
“Do what you love.” My sister was such a huge encouragement and motivator for me to take my love for birth photography from shop talk to a hobby and then into to a real job. Between my sister and my husband I have the biggest prayer and cheer squad a woman could hope for. I knew from the get-go Birth was a rare and very specific type of specialization, but it is what I truly love capturing, so that’s what I do. I also do occasional breastfeeding/baby wearing stories and lifestyle newborn shoots. I’m not comfortable posing people, it isn’t natural for me (major introvert speaking here) so lifestyle sessions are the perfect balance for me.
- No.03Where do you find your inspiration?
This one is easy; the parents and families I document. I love capturing the small details that no one really notices. A mom rubbing her daughters feet during labor, that last ultrasound photo on the fridge while mom is working through contractions in the background… There is so much raw and real emotion in pregnancy and birth and each family has a different story that I want to freeze in time for them. I am a huge fan of natural light photojournalism, and birth gives me all the inspiration a gal could need.
- No.04What type of background do you have? Self taught? Formal training? Mentor?
Aside from a basic photography course in high school, I am self taught. Well, that, and a ton of youtube videos and checking out blogs galore online (especially from your site!)
- No.05Are you currently doing any photography projects? If so, what?
I am actually doing the 365 Project and it has been so much fun! I went into it with real expectations for myself, knowing between work, being a wife and mom, and everything in between, everyday probably won’t happen, and that has really helped motivate me to keep going when I miss a few days here and there. My kids love seeing the photos I get of them and I know our 2015 family album will be a real memory maker!
- No.06If you could only use one lens for a year, which would you choose?
My Sigma 35. I’ve had it for almost a year and it hardly ever comes off my camera.
- No.07Share links to 3 of your favorite photography tutorials and tell us why.
1-One of my top go-to sites is Cole’s Classroom: http://www.colesclassroom.com/category/top-photography-tips/ He has some awesome tips, presets and videos.
2-This couple is one of my favorites. They make learning the basics, and advanced stuff so easy to understand: http://photographyconcentrate.com/
3-This isn’t a tutorial so much as it’s a blog that I just LOVE: http://www.lifeinmotionphotography.com/photoblog/ It’s real, and has kept me clicking away in my own 365 Project.
- No.08What is your favorite image right now?
I have a photo I snapped of my youngest daughter, Elanor, sitting on the counter eating a peanut butter sandwich. It was late when she woke up from a night terror and we had the sweetest cuddles with little conversations and giggles in the kitchen. I hope I never forget those type of long and tiring nights with my kids, and I know I will cherish that photo forever.
- No.09What type of camera and lenses do you shoot with?
I shoot with a Canon 6d. It took a lot of early-on photo sessions to scrimp and save up but boy was it worth it. I mentioned before that I hardly ever take my Sigma35 lens off, but I also carry my Canon 50mm in my bag, and am hoping to have the Canon 24mm join it soon :)
- No.10Let’s light someone else’s candle, who is a photographer you think we should check out?
Hilary Mercer is amazing. She has been doing the 365 Project for years and her images are just awe inspiring. She is currently in North Carolina, so if you or others you know are near her area you should definitely take advantage of her services while they are on the east coast!
- No.11What is your biggest challenge when it comes to photography?
Printing my personal photos. I am the worst at getting images from my screen to in my hands. I give photo calendars and photo books to our parents and families for holidays but rarely ever order myself any. It’s something I’m [continually] telling myself to improve on.
- No.12How do you display your photos?
Well after that confession in the question above I guess the most up-to-date way I display photos is on my fridge [as I hang my head in shame]. When I randomly get a photo either given to me from my mom, or printed at an event (like last years halloween trunk or treat at a church) those beauties go straight on the fridge. My girls love to carry them around, so they actually get kind of beat up after a while. Yikes, the more I talk the worst this gets :/
- No.13What is the strangest thing you carry in your camera bag?
A hygeiene kit. I live in Florida and it can get so hot and muggy and humid. Having a toothbrush, floss and deodorant has been such a game changer. It isn’t even as much for the families I capture as it is for myself, just so I can feel fresh and clean. It’s strangely rejuvinating, especially after a sweltering day or long labor. If I happen to sweat between a parking garage and a hospital, or at the park with my kids I am set. Noone wants stinky armpits in/around, especially if you are adjusting peoples hair or getting in some of those strangest shooting positions to get THE shot.
- No.14What is next on your list of things to learn this year in photography?
How to use flash. Seems weird to admit publically but I bought a speedlite from a fellow photographer, Neely Fox, a few months ago and it is still sitting in the box. For some reason it terrifies me. I think it’s the thought that I won’t figure it out. That, and the idea that a midwife will give me the death stare when trying to bounce light off a ceiling or wall during a birth. I’ve only ever used natural light (thanks to some low SS, high ISO’s, the great 1.4 aperture on my 35mm and if I’m honest, secretly adjusting lights when midwives aren’t looking ;) shhh). I want to be prepared for the just-in-case, so maybe I’ll open that box sooner than later – especially with the early sunsets of fall approaching and quite a few home births during fall and winter.
- No.15If people want to follow more of your work where should they go?
I’m currently working to get my most recent births posted after a website revamp. Anyone else behind on session posts?! My website is www.newlightbirthphotography.com and it’s full of birth photography info and a lot of families beautiful birth stories. I do keep my business FB page updated pretty regularly: https://www.facebook.com/Newlightbirthphotography