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 not longer accepting applications for this series.
No.01Tell us a little about yourself and your photography journey.
Hi, I’m Tish! I am married to my husband, who is also my very handsome best friend, and am a mama to two beautiful teenage girls, 16 and 14. We have a sweet boxer and a sometimes bipolar kitty. We live in central Pennsylvania, though our heart is really in the South. The winters here seem to get more brutal as each year goes by. One day we plan to live near the ocean, where we can enjoy the sand, water and warmer temperatures.
My girls were both competitive gymnasts up until a few years ago. I wanted to capture their skills, so we bought our first DSLR, a Nikon d40 with a kit lens. I was unsatisfied with the blurry hands and feet that seemed to plague nearly every photo. My husband did some research and in 2010, he gifted me a Nikon d7000 with a 50mm prime lens for Christmas. This is where my photography journey truly began. I determined since he bought me this nice camera, I would learn how to use it. I started by reading the manual. I then scoured the internet, reading anything and everything I could, which is where I found Click It Up a Notch. I was learning photography basics, but this is where aperture, shutter speed, iso, etc. finally clicked and made sense to me.
I started a personal photo blog to track my own progress and posted my entries to my personal Facebook page. After some time, one of friends asked me to photograph their one-year-old daughter. While honored that she had that much confidence in my ability, I kindly let her know I “didn’t do that”. After much reassurance from her that I could, I shot my first real session. That day marked the beginning of my photography business, a path I never dreamed I’d be walking yet loving so much!
70-200mm f/3.5 SS 1/800 ISO 400
No.02What is the best advice you received so far on your photography journey?
Don’t compare yourself with others. It is something that is difficult not to do, but our “journeys” are not all the same. There are crazy good artists out there and there will always be someone better with more experience under their belt. See them as inspiration, but shoot for you. And keep some sort of log of your work. I’m amazed at the growth I see in my own work when I look back at where I started and where I am today.
No.03Where do you find your inspiration?
Photography has opened my eyes to the smallest of details. Observing light and how it changes throughout the day, golden fields and changing leaves, all of it can set the mood and tone of a photo. The weather can inspire a good photo, the softly falling snow or even a rainy day and the droplets that form on a flower or tree branch. There is so much beauty all around us, if we just take the time to really find it.
70-200mm f/4 SS 1/1250 ISO 800
No.04What type of background do you have? Self taught? Formal training? Mentor?
I would say I am mostly self-taught … with help from photographers online gracious enough to share their knowledge. When I made the decision to learn my camera, I wanted to learn it all, not just stick it on auto and shoot. I scoured websites and blogs and practiced all-the-time. I entered photo challenges weekly. I have taken a few breakout sessions through Clickin Moms and also did a fall workshop with Lisa Furey of LizzyRose Photography. That weekend was amazing! I learned so much from her. To me, that weekend really marked a turning point in my work. Lisa is such inspiration and has unknowingly become a mentor to me.
No.05Are you currently doing any photography projects? If so, what?
I am not involved in any formal projects at the moment. I contemplated doing a 365, but felt certain I would not be able to keep up with it daily, so I didn’t want to set myself up for failure. I did, however, upgrade from Photoshop CS5 to the Creative Cloud which includes Lightroom, so I guess you could say my latest project is learning how to navigate and utilize Lightroom before my Spring photography season really kicks in.
70-200mm f/3.5 SS 1/1000 ISO 1250
No.06If you could only use one lens for a year, which would you choose?
Hmm, that is a tough one. I suppose it would have to be my 50mm 1.4. I used this lens almost exclusively until last summer when I purchased my Nikon 70-200mm. I love it for portraits. It’s sharp, creates beautiful bokeh and is pretty versatile. It’s lightweight and I can carry it easily if I’m traveling as well. However, if I could get away with using the 70-200mm indoors and tight spots, this would be my choice.
No.07Share links to 3 of your favorite photography tutorials and tell us why.
How to Shoot in Manual Mode – The Basics from Click It Up a Notch – I love this tutorial because this is where I started! It all finally clicked for me and I have referred many people to Click It Up a Notch and this tutorial specifically.
Metering modes explained and how to know which one to use from Clickin Moms Blog – This tutorial does a great job at explaining different metering modes and how to use them because metering has a direct effect on obtaining proper exposure.
5 Tips to Capture True Emotion from Click It Up a Notch – This is what I am working on at the present time. I want those who view my work to really feel the emotion in the photo.
No.08What is your favorite image right now?
This photo of my girls is probably my favorite at the moment. I took it last spring, as everything was starting to bloom and the weather was warming. I love their closeness, their soft smiles and the way their eyes are smiling right back at me. I’m pretty emotional right now as my daughter’s junior year is coming to an end and we are preparing for her final year of high school. I am thankful to have captured these types of soft moments to cherish in the future.
50mm f/3.5 SS 1/250 ISO 400
No.09What type of camera and lenses do you shoot with?
I recently upgraded to a full-frame camera (woohoo), a Nikon d610. My collection of lenses include a Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 VRII (my absolute favorite at the moment), Nikon 50mm 1.4 and a Nikon 35mm 1.8.
No.10Let’s light someone else’s candle, who is a photographer you think we should check out?
Melissa Bliss Photography – I came to know Melissa through her blog “Serendipity is Sweet” http://www.serendipityissweet.com right from the start of my journey and she has encouraged me in my work even to the present day. She does an excellent job at capturing emotion in all those she photographs.
I know she’s been mentioned here before, but you need to check out Lizzy Rose Photography. The way she captures life through photos is true artistry.
No.11What is your biggest challenge when it comes to photography?
I would have to say my biggest challenge is perfecting white balance in camera. As times goes on, I feel I am getting better, but it seems as though it’s still a thorn in my side.
No.12How do you display your photos?
No.13What's the strangest thing you carry in your camera bag, and why is it in there?
Probably the strangest thing in my camera bag is a bag of Smarties candies. Sessions with small children can be challenging at times. Did you know Smarties can completely turn a session around or help get that one last photo you were hoping to capture?
No.14What is next on your list of things to learn this year in photography?
I have started studying emotion … I am hoping to capture more in my work this year. I want my photos to tell a story and emit an emotional response from the viewer.
No.15If people want to follow more of your work where should they go?
You can find my professional work on my Facebook business page, https://www.facebook.com/TishOConnorPhotography. I love posting to Instagram https://instagram.com/tishoconnorphotography/ somewhat regularly and though I’ve neglected my personal blog for quite some time, you can check out my photography journey here, http://lemiefoto-writingwithlight.blogspot.com.
70-200mm f/4 SS 1/1250 ISO 800