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.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your photography journey.
I am a wife to my best friend and the mama of two incredible little boys. They are my people. I am a photographer (of course!) and a part-time school counselor. I am a talker. I get that from my dad. I love coffee, the beach, yoga pants, Target, technology (although this tends to be a bit of a vice), and Oreo cookies. I live in the great state of Ohio, in a snowy city I have grown to love. Cleveland is my home. I have a bit of an obsessive personality, and what I mean by that is that when I get into something, I get into it 110%. Insert here, my obsession with photography.
I’ve had a few cameras in my life and grew up with a hobbyist photographer. But my passion really started when my husband bought me a Canon Rebel XSi for my 29th birthday. He knows me so well. He knows my need for a creative outlet, but I am sure he never imagined how much a part of me this would become. I have had a camera attached to me ever since that birthday. Whether it’s my DSLR, my iPhone, or my Fuji x20 (that lives in the diaper bag), I never leave home without a way to capture what I see.
17-35mm | f/3.2 | ISO 1250 | 1/125
2. What is the best advice you received so far on your photography journey?
Be inspired by others work, but don’t spend your time comparing yourself to them. Find your own voice.
I think this advice has been so valuable to me. When I see someone else’s image, an image that I love, I don’t feel the beauty of their work devalues my own. I look at their art and feel inspired. I may that I had been the one to capture that moment, but I view photography as a journey, and just like no two images are alike, neither are the journeys that bring us there. I am on this road to discover and create my own voice and my own art. It is an evolution and a work in progress. I am not looking for the “I made it” moment. And I hope I never feel that because that means I have stopped learning and growing. Photography is something that can never be mastered. There is no perfect. I can never stop learning and my voice in photography is a beautifully fluid ever changing thing.
24-70mm | f/2.8 | ISO 100 | 1/200
3. What is your favorite thing to photograph?
My boys are on the top of my list, but even more than that, it’s the moments. I love to photograph the moments, and the ones in between. I like capturing what is. Whether it’s an image of my babies playing, a growing family or a couples wedding day, it’s the real interactions that I love the most.
4. Where do you find your inspiration?
I follow a lot of amazing photographers. Their work spurs me to keep improving my own. I also find that the further I go into this journey, the more I find everyday things around me inspiring and beautiful, often things I had taken for granted before or never saw the real beauty in. An over-loved stuffed kitty, a full coffee mug, the way the sun makes shadows in the snow or even a sunny, weeded niche on the side of the road…they are all inspiring to me.
50mm | f/1.6 | ISO 125 | 1/160
5. What type of background do you have? Self taught? Formal training? Mentor?
I am a mixed bag when it comes to training. I started my educational journey by taking photography and editing classes at the Cleveland Photographic Society not long after I received my camera. From there I have read books, taken online classes and practiced, practiced, practiced.
6. Are you currently doing any photography projects? If so, what?
Yes! I am doing my first 365. I love, love, love it. I can already feel myself growing and learning through this process. It keeps my creative juices flowing and it is helping me to become more consistent in my work!
24-70mm | f/2.8 | ISO 100 | 1/320
7. If you could only use one lens for a year, which would you choose?
Yikes. Only one? If I had to choose, it would be my Canon 35 2.0 (although I have been lusting after the Sigma 35 ART). I love shooting wide, adding negative space and storytelling. This lens fits my style just perfectly.
24-70mm | f/2.8 | ISO 250 | 1/100
8. Share links to 3 of your favorite photography tutorials and tell us why.
The Click it Up a Notch tutorial 5 Tips to Capture True Emotion really hits home for me. This is an area that I am continually working on. I want people’s connections and emotions to show through in the images I capture, I also want to make my sessions more of an experience. I want them to leave feeling closer to each other. This is a great article for this!
In line with the Click It Up a Notch tutorial, I also find a lot of value in 5 Family Poses that Always Capture Connection (can you see a theme here?). Clients are always looking for direction and looking for me to lead their every move. I love how this article gives me some strategies to get them together without over posing.
I have also really found the tutorial (and connecting tutorials) Bounce Flash Photography at Wedding Receptions to be very helpful. I am a natural light photographer but when doing weddings, flash photography is a must. Even if you don’t shoot weddings, it is so helpful to be able to use your flash. I use my flash from time to time at home to add some fill light or even for my primary light source, especially during those short winter days where the light is gone so quickly.
24-70mm | f/2.8 | ISO 125 | 1/100
9. What is your favorite image right now?
This is always a hard one for me, because it is constantly changing. If I had to choose just one, I would say it is the one where my big boy is holding his lovely in his beautiful little boy hands. I love the soft light and the meaning the image has to me. Although he is on the cusp of 5, this image reminds me that he is still little (for now) and still finds comfort in snuggling his kitty.
35mm | f/2.2 | ISO 160 | 1/160
10. What type of camera and lenses do you shoot with?
I shoot with a Canon 5D II, Canon XSi & Fuji x20 (my mirrorless on-the-go camera). I am a bit of a lens hoarder and have owned quite a few, but right now my arsenal consists of Tamron 24-70 2.8 (the bomb!), Canon 35 2.0, Sigma 50 ART, Canon 135 2.0, Canon 70-200 2.8, Tamron 17-35.
11. Let’s light someone else’s candle, who is a photographer you think we should check out?
My lovely photographer friend, Tara Dee Photo + Design is just fabulous. Check her out! I also have a huge photography crush on Wild Whim Photography & My Four Hens Photography.
12. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to photography?
Genuine interactions and connections with my clients are my biggest challenge. Although my personal work is lifestyle based, my professional work is a mix. I like the mixture and I think my clients like that as well, but I need to build my confidence and style when it comes to capturing their connections.
I also continue to feel challenged by creating a consistent vibe / edit to all my images. I want to be able to look at my images feel that they are cohesive.
24-70mm | f/2.8 | ISO 100 | 1/200
13. How do you display your photos?
My images are displayed in pretty much every way you can image. There are prints on our frig, framed prints in the foyer, digital picture frames, and hallway hung matboard. The image below is of my DIY hallway decor. I had the images printed on matboard, ordered some decorative knobs off of Etsy and voila…an easily changeable display of my favorites. All I had to do was hot glue ribbon to the back of each print. I love the matboard because it is inexpensive so I can change them out as often as I would like.
14. What’s the strangest thing you carry in your camera bag, and why is it in there?
Colgate Wisps. You know, those mini disposable toothbrushes. Best invention ever. For a coffee drinker that photographs families and couples, I like to know that my coffee breath won’t offend!
15. What is next on your list of things to learn this year in photography?
I am working on creating connection and emotion in my photographs. I have purchased a couple breakouts from Clickin Moms and I am constantly reading articles and tips on how to help people relax and be themselves when they are in front of my lens.
I am also continually working on getting it right in camera (exposure & white balance). Although I use manual exposure, I want to be more consistent, quicker with my settings and be able to read my lighting better. I really think my 365 project is helping me to improve and I am giddy at the thought of where I will be by the end of the year. I am also working on learning Kelvin for white balance. I first heard about this method when I took a class from Courtney at Click Away. It is a marvelous system. I am becoming my own white balance meter…I am training my eye. Nothing could be better and quicker than that. Check out her article on Kelvin here…it has been the best learning tool for me.
24-70mm | f/2.8 | ISO 125 | 1/250
16. Show us what your workspace looks like.
My IKEA-designed office resides in our basement. I do my printing and paperwork here, but if I’m being honest, I should have also taken a picture of my couch because most of my editing happens there.
17. If people want to follow more of your work where should they go?
My website Moriah Ice Photography is the best place to find my work! My client work lives here and if you click on the “My Littles” tab you can see my babies as well as a link to my 365 project. Find me on Facebook too.
35mm | f/2.0 | ISO 800 | 1/125