Your Name: Maria Lothrop
Your studio/business name: Gossamer Memories Photography/GossamerScapes
Website: For GossamerScapes- etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/GossamerScapes
In 50 words or less, how would your clients describe your photography?
I believe my clients would describe my photography as coming from the heart. I try to not only capture the actual people but their emotions and essence.
Are you self-taught or classroom trained?
I have been making art all my life and hold a Bachelor's degree in Art Education with minors in Art History and Studio art. In photography specifically, I am self taught.
How many years have you been a professional photographer?
I've been marketing myself since 2010; lately my jewelry/accessories business has eclipsed my photography a bit, but taking quality photos is essential there as well.
Where do you want to take your photography business in 5 years?
Honestly, between photography and jewelry, I hope to be completely self employed within 3 years. I don't have a studio at this time, and living in Maine can make it difficult to do on location shoots year
Is there a photographer who inspires your style? Who would that be?
I don't have a specific photographer who comes to mind- I am inspired by so many people and am truly amazed and humbled by the simple beauties of life and love.
Favorite location to take photos?
I like taking photos everywhere. My favorite place would be Range Pond- a local state park. There are so many places to take photos depending on what the client is looking for.
Favorite vacation spot?
I haven't seen nearly as much of the world as I'd like yet, but if there was one place I'd love to go back to, it would be Old Quebec City.
What was the pivotal moment when you decided to become a photographer?
Well, I've always enjoyed art and it's been a dream of mine to be a successful/self employed artist. There was just a moment one day when I was taking photos that I said to myself- I can DO this. And then I started to work to make it happen.
What’s the best marketing tip that has worked for you?
I think word of mouth is key. Facebook is a great resource for doing that on the internet in addition to more traditional means.
Favorite print lab?
I love Bay Photo. Their customer service is as amazing as their prints!
Are you Canon or Nikon?
I'm a Nikon girl!
If you could only have one lens on a photo shoot, what would it be?
I'm loving my Sigma 70-300mm right now, but I imagine that it will be the 50mm 1.4 once it's back in stock- I put off getting it for a while, and am now kicking myself!
What brand bag do you carry your camera in?
I actually have one of the Zeikos hard cases, because my son LOVES trying to get into my things...and let's face it, I'm a klutz. With the foam lining that it has, I know that my equipment will be okay from most things.
What gear would we find in your camera bag?
18-55mm kit lens, the sigma 70-300mm I mentioned before, polarizer filter, SB 700, several 8 and 16 gb memory cards, batteries...all pretty standard stuff. This year I am working towards adding a lot
more, including a new body.
Are you a natural light fan or strobe fan?
Natural/ambient light, but I will pull out the flash if I have to.I'd rather get a shot with flash than miss a shot completely.
Are you PC or Mac?
I use a PC. I've heard good things about MACs, but because of all the different things I do, I appreciate the flexibility of a PC.
Your Tips and Tricks
What post processing tools do you use?
Lightroom and photoshop, along with some actions and textures from time to time. Do you shoot in Raw or Jpeg? RAW- I used to shoot in Jpeg years ago, and since I learned about RAW I have not looked back!
Best advice you would give your 20-year old self?
DO THIS SOONER! My only real regret was not being flexible when I was younger and examining all the possibilities for artistic creation and expression. Best advice you would give a new photographer? Work hard, shoot often, talk with other photographers, do all the research you can,
don't be afraid to EXPERIMENT and...please don't put random photoshop filter lens flares on things that shouldn't have them. Please.
What site do you use for your photography and why?
I just use facebook right now. It's super easy to tag clients in photos and then those photos are shared with their friends and family, and it's free!
What Else Should We Know?
I love long walks on the beach, sunsets, and early spring mornings when the melting snow creates this glowing, nebulous fog over the forest floor.
What was your worst photography experience?
I've had amazing clients to date, so no fun stuff there.
What would surprise people most about you, whether it is photography related or not?
I always second guess myself. It helps keep me grounded and always trying to be better than I am.
Tell us something else you’d like us to know:
Three things I can’t live without…. Chocolate, family and a comfy pillow
I wish I had more….. Time!
The best thing about being a photographer is… having the opportunity to capture those special moments and the bonds between people.
The most important lesson I ever learned was…. Just Keep Swimming. Dory might have been a forgetful fish, but she really knows her stuff. There are going to be moments when you'll think you can't do it, or that your photos suck. We all have those, and the best thing about it all is that you can learn and grow. I look back at some of my old stuff and shudder, and I'm hopeful that one day I'll look back to what I've been doing recently and do the same thing. Not because I don't want to produce the best images possible, but because I believe in growth. 20 years from now I hope to look back at everything and see how far I've come.
My favorite time of day is…any time I get to do something I love! Independent of that, it's the middle of the night. It's so quiet and peaceful; I get so much done!