As I have mentioned before, I have five amazing photographers who are going to be mentors in Ultimate Intro to Photography. These ladies are extremely talented and I love learning from them. They breath life into Click it Up a Notch with their tutorials and constantly inspire me. The doors will be opening soon, real soon, for the workshop so if you would like to get a seat be sure to sign up to get all the information.
Let me introduce you to Brennan Lanter. Brennan and I first met when we both lived in Japan. We took a mommy and me type class together. I knew right away we should be friends. We soon met at a park and discussed photography. Her laugh and positive outlook on life is contagious. She is a kind friend as well as a constant cheerleader. Her images are gorgeous and as she sent over these for me to put in the interview I remember looking at them and being so impressed. How did I get so lucky to have these gals as a part of my team!
- No.01Why did you start photography?
We moved to Okinawa, Japan and I was suffering a severe case of homesickness. My girls were just 3 years old and 5 months at the time of our move and I was sad at not getting to share their precious babyhood with my family and friends back home. I was just drowning in sorrow and I needed a hobby to distract me. And I needed one I could do with the kids. So photography was the natural answer to all of these things.
- No.02What were your early goals for your photography?
I really wanted to be an expert with my camera. I wanted to know everything it could do. I started a Project 365 the day I bought my camera. I had actually started reading tutorials, books and manuals long before I actually purchased my DSLR. I don’t know that I had any specific goals other than to be the best photographer I could be and I knew the only way to get there was to just start.
- No.03What surprised you the most about photography?
That my photos were NOT turning out like I wanted them to! I remember having a vision of what I wanted the photograph to look like and then being SO disappointed when it wasn’t turning out the way I wanted it to! I used that frustration to research. I wanted to know WHY and WHAT I was doing wrong. I was surprised to find out about post processing. I thought Photoshop was something only graphic designers used! Ha!
- No.04Your most embarrassing photography related moment.
Oh my. I’m not sure enough time has passed for this to be funny for me yet, but I can get over myself! I was so excited that a very successful photographer in Okinawa asked me to be her assistant on a catalogue shoot for a jewelry designer. We all rode together to the shoot and I really enjoyed spending the day and getting to be a part of it all. The “day” went WAY longer than I anticipated–8 hours. I had barely eaten anything before leaving for the shoot and by the end of the day I had a horrible headache that was making me nauseous (you know where this headed, don’t you?!) . We all piled in the car to go home and a few minutes into the ride and I “tossed my cookies” into my coat in the backseat of the car. So the photographer pulled over into the front of a restaurant (on a Saturday night!) so I could finish—those poor people on their way into dinner….I mean that is appetizing, right!?
Then there was that time I took about 100 shots on a family shoot before realizing I didn’t have my memory card in my camera…
Or the time I met up with Courtney and Beth in DC and had a slight panic attack on the Metro ride home because I got too close to a pigeon just prior to boarding…
- No.05Please show us a photo from the beginning of your journey and one now.
- No.06What is your favorite picture right now?
- No.07What is your favorite part about photography
I love editing. I just love being able to make subtle tweaks in post processing to really make my vision come alive.
- No.08What one piece of advice would you give yourself when you were just starting out?
To remember that photography isn’t just about creating artistic and technically excellent photos. It’s about capturing memories and they don’t have to be excellent at all. That you can be an artist and photographer and still take “snapshots”
- No.09What was your biggest light bulb moment?
When I learned that shutter speed played a HUGE part in getting a sharp photo. I had always considered SS an afterthought-it was the last setting I’d adjust of the 3 in the exposure triangle. What a difference that made in my photos!
- No.10What other photographers inspire you?
Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York. I love everything about his story and his work. I love that he is sharing his photography with the world and reminding us all that we are all connected. I could go on and on about how much I love him. Go check it out. Now. What are you waiting for?!
- No.11What do you consider your biggest success as a photographer? Failure?
My biggest success is being here. Being a part of this team and this workshop. I am incredibly humbled and proud that my work is considered enough to be able to teach others. It is very surreal. I have had countless teachers on my journey and I feel an enourmous amount of pressure to live up to the role models I’ve had!
I think of failures as “temporary defeats” and try to learn something from them. For a while I pushed my kids to pose perfectly or to perform for the camera more than I should have. I made them dread when I would pull my camera out. Realizing that made me change my perspective and I pulled way back in my shooting. I think a personal style developed out this. I prefer, and so do they, for me to shoot more like a “fly on the wall” rather than directing them.
- No.12Favorite place you’ve ever lived or visited?
I loved living in Central New Jersey….my favorite place I’ve ever lived. I love New York City. I absolutely loved visiting Japan when we lived there. I was humbled and changed by the culture. Oops-did you say one place?!! Impossible!
- No.13If you could go on a photography vacation and photograph anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I’d love to go back to Okinawa and photograph there again since that is where my journey started-I’d love to see how different the photographs would be. I’d love to go to Europe and photograph the architecture. Inside Saint Peter’s Basilica while no one is there would be a dream. I can’t pick just one…this is a real problem!
- No.143 words to describe you.
Easy-going, Fun, Encouraging