MOMS WHO CLICK is privileged to introduce Lauren Jean Mitchell of Arizona. In the two years she has been a professional photographer she has built a wonderful clientele and has received great accolades from her customers. Primarily using natural light, Lauren captures the heart and spirit of her subjects. What is it they say about capturing the soul in the eyes? Check out her photos and you'll see. And be sure to stop by her blog. She has some amazing promotions going on with family portraits and wedding packages. Better hurry, time's running out!
Here is our 411 on Lauren Jean Mitchell:
Studio/business name: LaurenJean photography
Location: Gilbert, Arizona
Tell us about your style: Modern, fun, candid, photo journalistic. With a touch of classic.
- In 50 words or less, how would your clients describe your photography? I asked this question on Facebook once. The most common answers were fun, colorful, and unique.
- Are you self-taught or classroom trained? 100% self-taught. I am a big believer in online forums. I found a forum full of great ladies who taught me everything I know about photography. You tube and blogs have also been huge in my learning.
- How many years have you been a professional photographer? I have been doing this for about two years.
- Where do you want to take your photography business in 5 years? I want to be a wedding photographer primarily. I hope in 5 years I will be traveling around the world taking beautiful pictures of people on one of the biggest days of their lives. I also have a passion for teaching others, especially moms and how to take their photography to the next level.
- Is there a photographer who inspires your style? Who would that be? There are so many. I would have to say that Wendy Whitacre from Blue Lily Photography has had the biggest impact on me. Her pictures have a magical quality about them.
- Favorite location to take photos? Anywhere outdoors. My favorite locations are ones that have an old, urban look to them.
- Favorite vacation spot? San Diego for sure. I have a weakness for the beach.
- What was the pivotal moment when you decided to become a photographer? When my daughter was 8 weeks old my point and shoot camera was stolen. I was without a camera for almost two months. I started to go into an actual depression over not being able to take pictures of my family. That’s when I started to realize that God had put a passion inside me for photography. That there was a desire in my soul to create art. I literally woke up one morning, and knew I had to do this. Even though I basically knew nothing about photography.
- What’s the best marketing tip that has worked for you? Use social networking to its full advantage. Sites like blogger and Facebook allow you to advertise your business for free. Facebook has been invaluable to my business. I would say 90% of my clients find me on Facebook.
- What’s the most surprising thing a customer has asked you? The first time I was asked to photograph a birth I was pretty shocked. It was amazing that someone would trust me to be with them during such a special private moment. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
- Favorite print lab? MPIXPRO.
- Are you Canon or Nikon (or – gasp--“other”): I am a Nikon gal!!
- If you could only have one lens on a photo shoot, what would it be? My 50mm 1.4 hands down.
- What brand bag do you carry your camera in? I have a Jill-E messenger bag.
- What gear would we find in your camera bag? My Nikon D700, my 50mm 1.2 lens and my 11-18 mm lens. My Nikon d90 for backup and my sb 600 flash. And my phone and car keys. Oh, and some gum.
- Are you a natural light fan or strobe fan? Natural light
- Are you PC or Mac user? I'm a PC user.
- What post processing tools do you use? I use Adobe Bridge for processing my pics and Adobe Photoshop CS4 for editing.
- So you shoot in Raw or Jpeg? RAW all the time.
- Best advice you would give your 20-year old self? Pick up a camera!!
- Best advice you would give a new photographer? Don’t jump in too fast. I know so many people who want to start their own business who just aren't ready. But want to charge the same prices as seasoned pros. I tell everyone to shoot for free or almost free until you get a decent size portfolio built up. I would also tell them to learn how to use their tools. Learn how to shoot in manual mode and RAW. Know how to use a professional tool like Photoshop for editing.
- What site do you use for your photography and why? I use photobiz. They have great customer service and are very user friendly.
What Else Should We Know?
- What was your worst, funniest or most rewarding photography experience? The most rewarding was photographing a birth. The worst was when a family of 23 showed up thinking I was an indoor studio photographer.
- What would surprise people most about you, whether it is photography related or not? Probably that I am not very crafty. I think most people assume I am artist away from my camera as well. The truth is I can’t even draw a stick figure.
- I love what I do with all my heart. I count my blessings every day to be able to do what I love. I could not do what I do without my husband. He is my number one fan and my best friend. I drink way to much Diet coke. And I loveeeee Sushi :)