Tuesday, April 17, 2012

BEHIND THE LENS: Suzanne Kreitzberg, Newtown Square, PA

You may remember the beautiful work of Suzanne Kreitzberg from our March, 2011 post.  In it we shared some of her project 365 photos and the beautiful stories she captures with each photo.   Well this time, we had the opportunity to delve a little deeper and ask Suzanne questions about her growing photography business.  As you will see from her images below, Suzanne captures the beauty in simplicity......her images immediately draw you in and make you want to visit the places she has been.   They are truly elegant and beautiful.  Suzanne, thank you so much for sharing your story with us.....we are so grateful to know you and your gorgeous work.

Your Name: Suzanne Kreitzberg
Your studio/business name: Suzanne Kreitzberg
Photography Location: Newtown Square, PA 
Website: www.flickr.com/photos/suzannekreitzbergphotography
Twitter/Facebook: Suzanne Kreitzberg Photography

Your Style
In 50 words or less, how would your clients describe your photography? I am not a "fancy" photographer. I believe in the simple beauty of my subjects. This is how I shoot and process my work. I will almost always choose the natural state of a subject. I find that I am most attracted to subjects that tell their story in the simplest of terms. A sparkle in a child's eye, shape, shadow and texture found naturally in the image.

Are you self-taught or classroom trained? I guess I would say that I am field trained. My teachers and mentors are Nancy Rotenberg and Jeremy Woodhouse.  Both photographers train by taking small groups out on location. My first trip was to Texas Hill Country to shoot wildflowers. I had a new camera, a new computer loaded with photoshop and no idea how to use any of it with any confidence. Five days later I left Texas with a solid base of knowledge that has continued to grow with every new experience behind the lens.

How many years have you been a professional photographer? 6 years

Where do you want to take your photography business in 5 years? I would like to expand the portraiture piece of my business focusing on children and the elderly. I also love the idea of taking portraiture out of the studio and creating a true sense of the person I am shooting. So many stories to be told.

Is there a photographer who inspires your style? Who would that be? Nancy Rotenberg without question. Nancy taught me to see into the subject capturing the emotion of the shot. That photography is an art form. As a photographer, my job is to express the essence of the subject through the image.

Favorite location to take photos? I don't really have a favorite location. Last winter, I played with everyday objects that I found in my house. But then, how do you beat the coastline of California on a foggy morning, or Cape Cod at sunset?

Favorite vacation spot? Cape Cod. I have been vacationing there since I was 6 years old. It is a huge part of who I am and my vision for my photography. There is a peace and a beautiful simplicity that permeates the Cape that I know so well.

Your Business
What was the pivotal moment when you decided to become a photographer? I started shooting in earnest during college. I think it has always been resting on my shoulder.

What’s the best marketing tip that has worked for you? Shoot and share. Because I have primarily been working in fine art and travel photography the name of my game has been exhibiting in any and all venues with a smattering of art shows thrown in for good measure.

What’s the most surprising thing a customer has asked you? "Is that shot real or did you "photoshop it?" I shoot real subjects in real surroundings with real light. I believe in minimal processing for most shots that I print and exhibit. This customer really liked the photograph but was convinced I had created it in the computer. So much of that stuff is around, I guess it should not have surprised me, but it did!           

Favorite print lab? I print all my own photographs. Eventually, I want to print larger pieces than I can accommodate with my printer. I will explore my options with local print labs first.

Your Gear
Are you Canon or Nikon (or –other): Nikon all the way.

If you could only have one lens on a photo shoot, what would it be? Depending on my shoot.  In the field 70- 200mm 2.8 and/or 10-24mm. Portraiture, 50mm 1.4

What brand bag do you carry your camera in? Favorite is Lowepro compuDaypack

What gear would we find in your camera bag? A tiny led flashlight, 70-200mm, 10-24mm, 105 mm macro, lenses. At least 2 fully charged batteries and 2 16mb cards. Tripod outfitted with Really Right stuff ball head. Mosquito repellent.

Are you a natural light fan or strobe fan? Natural light.

Are you PC or Mac? Mac

Your Tips and Tricks
What post processing tools do you use? Photoshop CS5, Nik Silver Effex Pro 2, Nik HDR Effex Pro, Nik Color Effex Pro 4

Do you shoot in Raw or Jpeg? Raw

Best advice you would give your 20-year old self? Shoot without over thinking the end results.            

Best advice you would give a new photographer? Shoot, shoot, shoot. You need to experiment and have fun. You will shoot a lot of frames to find that one image that really speaks to your intent.

What site do you use for your photography and why? Right now, it is Flickr. I am working on a website that will be a more focused, professional resource for my work. I have also worked with Zenfolio and Viewbook.

What Else Should We Know?
What was your worst photography experience? Realizing that my primary mid-range lens was broken while standing in a field of wildflowers at sunset. Or traveling to a remote place for one of my 365 blog entries and discovering that I left my flash cards in my card reader.

What would surprise people most about you, whether it is photography related or not? I am an avid gardener and landscape designer. Like my photography, I like to do it all myself. I have cultivated approximately 2.5 of our 5 acres of land that surround my home one bed at a time including laying 3 tons of blue stone into a patio. Not afraid of the heavy lifting.

Tell us something else you’d like us to know: I have practiced yoga and meditation for close to 15 years. I am also a level 2 Reiki practitioner.

And just because we want to know you better, fill in the blanks

Three things I can’t live without.... My family, my dog and good light.
I wish I had more..... Time and resources to travel. India and Cambodia are on my bucket  list.
The best thing about being a photographer is... having the privilege of observing and capturing moments in time that touch my heart and the hearts of others. And then the pure joy of seeing your intent emerge from the printer.
The most important lesson I ever learned was.... Patience. It does not come naturally to me. I have to work at it every day. When I practice patience whether it is behind my lens or in my daily life, good things always happen.

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