Tuesday, May 1, 2012

BEHIND THE LENS: Angie Dornier, Houston, Texas

This week we are thrilled to showcase the work of Angie Dornier.  I had the pleasure of meeting Angie at Camp Shutter Sisters in the fall and  I am honored to feature her here on our Behind the Lens series.  Angie is a wonderful photographer with an amazing, creative eye.  Her images are artistic, fresh and extremely inspiring.  You should definitely check out her website and Flickr stream!  I love Angie's work and I'm so excited that I will see her again at Shutter Sister's Oasis this fall!  So grab your cup of coffee, sit back and meet my friend.....Angie Dornier.

Your Name: Angie Dornier           
Your studio/business name:  AnnGeeDee Photography     
Location: Houston, TX
Instagram/ Flickr:  anngeedee

Your Style

In 50 words or less, how would your clients describe your photography?  I would hope that my clients would describe my photography as an artistic perspective on the scene before me.  I enjoy capturing unscripted story-telling moments rather than posed portraits.

Are you self-taught or classroom trained?  A combination of both.  I have spent my fair share of hours sitting in a classroom and I am currently taking an advanced photography class through the Studio School at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  I've also done several self-study projects including researching photographers and a 365 project.  I've checked out and read countless books and I love learning new techniques for shooting.  I'm currently trying to work more with an off-camera flash setup.

How many years have you been a professional photographer?  I officially became "for hire" very recently- November 2011. 

Where do you want to take your photography business in 5 years?  I'd like to have several repeat portrait clients and I'd also like to have my artwork displayed in a gallery.

Is there a photographer who inspires your style?  Who would that be?  I have several photographers that I admire:  Elliot Erwitt, Irving Penn, Helmut Newton, John Baldessari and I'm reading about new ones every week.

Favorite location to take photos?  You will most commonly find me taking pictures around my neighborhood, either crouched down low or laying on my belly.  My neighbors are used to it now.

Favorite vacation spot?  Anywhere with a beach. 

Your Business

What was the pivotal moment when you decided to become a photographer? I was working on a 365 project in 2010.  I am easily distracted and get bored with projects often before I finish them, so I was delighted to discover that not only was taking a picture each day fun and challenging, I never got bored with it.  At that point, I knew I had stumbled upon something profound in my life.

What’s the best marketing tip that has worked for you?  Carrying my camera around everywhere I go.  It is an instant ice breaker. 

What’s the most surprising thing a customer has asked you?  Not really a customer, but another parent on my son's soccer team asked me casually to email all the pictures I'd taken of the team that season to him individually because he couldn't figure out how to the view the larger size images on the team's website.  

Favorite print lab? Bay Photo for customers, Costco for my casual stuff

Your Gear
Are you Canon or Nikon (or –other):  Canon, but only because that's what I started with.  I have used Nikon gear on occasion and it's great too. 

If you could only have one lens on a photo shoot, what would it be?  I would choose my 70-200 mm 2.8 lens.  I like close framed shots of people but find it hard to get genuine facial reactions when I'm all up in their business.  The longer focal length allows some breathing room between us.  Plus, it's a perfect lens to catch my children unaware since they sometimes cheese it up when they see me get out the camera. 

What brand bag do you carry your camera in?  I love my Ginger Epiphanie bag.  I regularly get compliments on my "purse" when I have it with me.

What gear would we find in your camera bag?  My camera (Canon 5D), either a wide angle lens or my zoom (usually not both, because it gets pretty heavy) my flash, and my 50mm compact macro lens.  In the side pockets, my iphone, my remote, extra batteries, business cards, lipgloss and mints.  Oh, and a pocket lens cloth.  For some reason, kids love to touch the front of my lenses. 

Are you a natural light fan or strobe fan?  I like both.  I really like how off-camera flash helps give shape to a portrait, but I'm not as proficient with it as I'd like to be yet.

Are you PC or Mac?  PC

Your Tips and Tricks

What post processing tools do you use? I currently use Lightroom 3 and Photoshop Elements 9.  But I love Picassa too, especially for the ability to email photos directly through it.

Do you shoot in Raw or Jpeg? I shoot in jpeg most of the time to save space and time at the moment, but I've been considering shooting RAW more often. 

Best advice you would give your 20-year old self?  Adventure more and compare less.

Best advice you would give a new photographer?  You don't have to have the latest and greatest gear to get amazing shots.  You just have to know what to do with what you've got.

What site do you use for your photography and why? I use Flickr for most of my photography right now because it's a one stop shop.  I can connect with peers, find inspiration and showcase my work to friends and family easily. 

What Else Should We Know?

What was your worst photography experience?  The shutter mechanism on my first SLR camera stopped working 3 weeks before my 2nd child was born.  I was panicked!  Luckily, my husband used the opportunity to upgrade my camera.

What would surprise people most about you, whether it is photography related or not?  I'm a total extrovert personality but I am actually a pretty private person.  Sometimes I find it difficult to share images that are very personal to me for fear of divulging too much about myself.

Tell us something else you’d like us to know:  I would really like to teach more.  I have hosted a "Cameras & Cocktails" party in the past and it was a wonderful way to interact with local moms who have great cameras and great ideas, but lack the technical expertise to connect the two together.  I find that hands-on, low pressure situations are great for getting people comfortable with their cameras. 

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

Three things I can’t live without….  my husband, my family, and coffee
I wish I had more….. hours in the day without sacrificing sleep
The best thing about being a photographer is… getting to notice all the beautiful things in our everyday lives
The most important lesson I ever learned was…. luck comes to those who are prepared.
My favorite time of day is… early morning before the rest of the world gets going.  It is peaceful, the light is gorgeous, and I feel great the rest of the day knowing that I spent the first part of it doing something creative and meaningful just for me.  

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