This week we are excited to feature the creative work of Ashley Sisk. We found Ashley's blog Ramblings and Photos a few months ago and were immediately drawn to her wonderful, sharing spirit. Her blog is filled with inspiration, tutorials and and tips. It was there that we found her great tutorial on creating Full Circles or Planet Photography. If you are wondering what that is, you should definitely go and check it out (after you read her interview below). :)
Your Name: Ashley Sisk
Location: Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina
In 50 words or less, how would your clients describe your photography? I’ve always said that if you want a nice, classic, formal portrait of your child…I’m probably not the right photographer for you. If you want someone who will play with your kids and bring out all the quirks, sign me up!
Are you self-taught or classroom trained? Mostly self-taught. I once took a photography course in high school and a graphic design course in college, but most of what I know today is a result of my own curiosity.
How many years have you been a professional photographer? I’m not sure I am comfortable calling myself a professional just yet. I officially became a business a couple of weeks ago (from a risk management perspective), but I am far from pro…at least in my mind.
Where do you want to take your photography business in 5 years? Five years from now, I hope to continue expanding my current practices. I still love to teach photography and photo processing through my blog, but I hope to do a bit more portrait work…in addition to raising a family.
Is there a photographer who inspires your style? Who would that be? There are so many photographers I admire, but if I had to name one, it would be The Schultzes (http://www.lovetheschultzes.com/). I love the way they share their passion for photography, their family and their faith.
What was the pivotal moment when you decided to become a photographer? I got into photography because I wanted a hobby. I have a few professional photographer friends, and I’ve always told them that I have absolutely no interest in doing the type of work they do. However, my ultimate goal with photography was to take pictures of my own family once they (babies) came along…so, I needed the practice. I’m not sure that the portrait work was ever intentional. However, after doing several freebie sessions for friends, I realized that I needed to start charging…if for nothing more than my time.
Are you Canon or Nikon (or –other): I shoot with a Canon 7D.
If you could only have one lens on a photo shoot, what would it be? My 50mm f/1.4 – love that lens!
What brand bag do you carry your camera in? I typically carry my Jo Tote.
What gear would we find in your camera bag? I almost always shoot with my 50mm f/1.4, but I also carry my Tamron 28-75mm and potentially my Canon Speedlite 430 EX if for some reason I need additional light.
Are you a natural light fan or strobe fan? Natural light for sure.
Are you PC or Mac? I’m a PC girl.
Your Tips and Tricks:
What post processing tools do you use? I recently added Lightroom 3 to my workflow. It makes such a difference, but I still really love CS5.
Do you shoot in Raw or Jpeg? 100% RAW – I made the move to RAW about a year or so ago. I can’t imagine going back. I have so much more control over my processing.
Best advice you would give your 20-year old self? It’s okay to go off plan (I’ve always been quite planner)– have fun and live!
Best advice you would give a new photographer? Take every opportunity you’re presented as a chance to learn something new. More importantly, carry your camera with you everywhere – I literally do.
What site do you use for your photography and why? I currently have my own domain but use blogger. I’m planning to move to wordpress in the next few months.
What Else Should We Know?
What was your worst photography experience? I remember my first photography assignment – my best friend asked if I could take some photos of her in your graduate attire. She wanted a series in the library so I needed to use my speedlight. For whatever reason, I decided to switch back into Aperture Priority mode (I’d been shooting in manual for a few months). My photos all looked dull and I couldn’t get my light right. I literally started breaking out in a sweat! I took a quick break, switched back to manual and all was well. Learned a good lesson that day!
What would surprise people most about you, whether it is photography related or not? I’ve always thought of myself as incredibly shy. Photography (and blogging) has really allowed me to find my “voice.”
Tell us something else you’d like us to know: Right now, I’m not technically a “mom who clicks,” but we’re hoping to start trying this fall!
And just because we want to know you better, fill in the blanks....
Three things I can’t live without….my camera, my cat and my faith…I guess I should throw my husband in there too, right? ☺
I wish I had more…..daylight hours. When you work full time, you have to squeeze in shooting time whenever you have a chance. While I love cooler weather, I’m not looking forward to shorter days.
The best thing about being a photographer is…the people you meet and the stories you’re able to tell as a result of those people. I am a much better person as a result of the people I’ve met through photography and blogging.