with Courtney Slazinik
Have You Met Clare Gratz
Have You Met Clare Gratz

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.
    Tell us a little about yourself and your photography journey.

    Hi, I’m Clare! I’m 18 and live in a super small town about an hour southeast of Indianapolis. For me, photography has always been something that has been a part of my life. My dad always had a camera in hand and we have albums and albums of pictures from my childhood. I first started actually taking pictures when I downloaded Instagram and started to take pictures on my iPhone. My neighbors, who have always been more like family, were my favorite subjects. I started to use my dad’s camera and then eventually purchased my own, learned how to shoot in manual, and never looked back.

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  • No.
    What is the best advice you received so far on your photography journey?

    I think the best advice I have ever received is to not compare yourself to others. When just starting out (and even sometimes now!) it is so hard to not look at other photographers work and compare yourself! Honestly though when you do that it just leaves you feeling frustrated and discouraged. By learning to try and not compare my work to others it has made me so much happier and able to enjoy the journey.

  • No.
    Where do you find your inspiration?

    I find inspiration in a lot of things. I am inspired by each family’s unique dynamic and how they interact with each other. I am inspired by the ordinary moments of our daily lives that are so fleeting. I find inspiration in pretty light, movement, children giggling, and the love between a family.

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  • No.
    What type of background do you have? Self taught? Formal training? Mentor?

    I taught myself manual mode and the technical basics through lots of trial and error and a few online workshops. Last year, I was able to be mentored by an amazing photographer in my town, Jen Saner Photography. I was able to learn a lot by watching her work and see the “behind the scenes” of running a successful business!

  • No.
    Are you currently doing any photography projects? If so, what?

    Right now, I am not doing any specific projects but am starting to dive into the world of video. I hope to incorporate it into more of my sessions in 2016!

  • No.
    If you could only use one lens for a year, which would you choose?

    Hands down my Sigma 35mm. In fact, it already is on my camera 98% of the time.

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  • No.
    Share links to 3 of your favorite photography tutorials and tell us why.

    5 Secrets to being happy with your photography – I love this article for so many reasons. It opened my eyes to really shooting what makes me happy and not worrying about what other people think.

    5 ways to make the most of the natural light in your house – This is another article that I love because living in Indiana I have to do a lot of shooting indoors and this really helped me experiment and find light that I usually wouldn’t shoot in. I also love that these tips can be used when doing in home sessions!

    Move it: Summer Murdock’s secret to authentic photos – I love capturing authentic emotion and Summer Murdock is basically a genius on this topic! I love the different ideas she gives you and I use them in almost all of my sessions.

  • No.
    What is your favorite image right now?

    This is such a tough question! Right now I would have to say it’s this one because I just love how baby looks so content snuggled up to her mom. I love how she fits so perfectly on mom’s shoulder and how mom is rubbing her back.

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  • No.
    What type of camera and lenses do you shoot with?

    I shoot with a Canon 5d Mark ii and two lenses- the Sigma 35 mm and the 50 mm 1.4.

  • No.
    Let’s light someone else’s candle, who is a photographer you think we should check out?

    Jessica Thomason! I adore her work and the way she captures her own family and her clients. Her breakout honestly changed the way I viewed photography and learning from her at ClickAway was just incredible!

  • No.
    What is your biggest challenge when it comes to photography?

    I would say my biggest challenge with photography is shooting through the winter. I live in Indiana and it’s cold and gray from November till April! I don’t want to be outside and neither does the person I’m shooting. My goal this winter is to force myself to shoot more personal work and have some free in home sessions lined up to keep myself out of that winter rut!

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  • No.
    How do you display your photos?

    Oh, I am the worst ever. I have like 3 pictures that I’ve taken printed and have made one book from a family trip. I am so bad at it but that is something I really really want to work on in 2016.

  • No.
    What is the strangest thing you carry in your camera bag?

    Nothing exciting! Just my gear, some gum, and tissues!

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  • No.
    What is next on your list of things to learn this year in photography?

    Like I mentioned above, I really want to work on mastering video and learn how to incorporate that into my sessions next year! I think it adds so much to still photographs and is such a fun memory for that family to have.

  • No.
    If people want to follow more of your work where should they go?

    You can see more of my work at either my website- Clare Gratz Photography or my Facebook page.

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