Lip Service: Part Deux

I find it fascinating how we teeter on the verge of discussing/not discussing the procedures and services we buy in to.  There’s a part of me that wants to keep secret and lay claim to “I was just born this way, and am aging gracefully/slowly.”  How does that serve anyone but me, though?  I think about the women I’m most drawn to and their frank openness about the anti-aging experiences they’ve had.  I adore them for their willingness to share.  Today, I want to share something that works beautifully for me each time I have Botox, Juvederm, and most recently, Juvederm Volbella XC.

(Quick primer: Botox relaxes “worry lines” between brows, on forehead, and crows’ feet.  Juvederm is a hyaluronic acid gel filler that gives volume to areas of laxity like cheeks, the parentheses around mouth, and lips.  Volbella is the newest Juvederm product that provides a very subtle fill for vertical lines around lips aka “smoker” or “straw-drinker” lips.)

I’m a bruiser.  I bruised horribly last year with some oral surgery.  I bruise nearly every time I have Botox.  For me, bruising is the price I pay to the beauty gods, for participating in a practice that’s goes against aging “naturally.” That’s ok because nature has given me Arnica and the scientists at Allergan have formulated HA5.

Arnica is an anti-inflammatory supplement that helps prevent bruising and treats sprains.  It’s an alpine flower that is processed into a tiny tablet; it’s easily found at Whole Foods or most any vitamin shop.

Because I’m such a bad bruiser, I start taking arnica 3-4 times a day, three days before my injection appointment.  Then, I continue for another two days after.  Sometimes I still swell or bruise a little, but the difference between taking and not taking it is a week or more of purple bruising.

Along with my arnica, I must have my HA5 by Skin Medica.  It’s a topical form of hyaluronic acid that helps set up and keep my injected sites plump and moisturized.  Hyaluronic acid is a substance our bodies make, albeit in diminishing amounts as we age, and it’s a humectant.  It draws moisture from the atmosphere and keeps it locked into our skin.  This rejuvenating hydrator is the key to making my injection results last longer.  And now HA5 has been released in a lip formula, too.  (see “Lip Service, Part 1”).  It’s a 2-step smoother and plumper that happens to have a long-wearing gloss component.

Photo by Jennifer Collins Photography

I’ve had a very positive lip service experience.  I was a scaredy-cat, but when I jumped in, I realized there’s no turning back.  Care to share your experience?  I’d love to hear it.  Please leave comment below!  xo, P

Bird Songs 2017, Honoring Pete McKellar III.

Three weeks ago, Jim and I were invited to attend a special honorarium for our friend’s dad.  The event was held at the avian conservatory, Center for Birds of Prey, and was sponsored by our dear friend Peter McKellar of Harbor Contracting, in honor of his dad, Pete McKellar.  The elder Pete is a volunteer at the Center; he underwent countless hours of study and certification in order to become a bird handler, not only for his joy and interest, but to help educate the public about these magnificent creatures.  His time there has been a large part of his retirement and his way of giving back to the lowcountry community he holds dear.  This was our first time visiting the Center for Birds of Prey, and it is nothing short of awe-some.  Pair that experience with four amazingly talented Nashville singer-songwriters, and it was an evening we won’t soon forget.  It included a tour of the beautiful grounds, experts like Pete who told the histories of these large birds, and a fabulous meal and cocktails in this sublime setting.  Bird Songs 2017 is a memory now. . . but you better believe we’ll be making our reservations for 2018.  Mr. Pete, thank you for your community service and dedication to the preservation of these awe-inspiring birds.  Friend/neighbor Peter and Harbor Contracting, thank you for including us in this very special evening.  Click the arrow above to check out this recording featuring Cole Taylor (shout out to the Georgia boy!)

Mr. Pete, gloving up to receive one of the inbound birds of prey. His son Peter, and grandsons Alex and Andrew, by his side.
My Jim with singer-songwriter, Cole Taylor, whose voice can be heard in the video above.

Lip Service, Part 1

Photo by Jennifer Collins Photography

As I think back over this past week,  there’s been a lip-theme swirling around me. Naturally, I must tell you about it in case it’s helpful to You.

Two friends have messaged me this week about lips.

One was about to have a first-time lip enhancement and wanted to go through expectations and pros + cons.  I have some experience with this and am happy to report she made it through her first experience loving the results immediately.  Lip injections have come a long, lonnng way.  But, more about that in another blog. . .

The other sent an email simply asking about products that would be helpful with plumping her diminishing lip line.

So today l’ll address a product that has worked beautifully in conjunction with injections, as well as being a fabulous stand-alone way to deal with lips that begin to lose their volume.

Skin Medica’s HA5 Smooth + Plump Lip System is the only treatment product I’m using on my lips these days.  It’s a 2-part system that does exactly what it says:

Step 1 is applied around the edges of your lip line to smooth out the fine lines that begin to appear there.

Step 2 is applied to the whole of the lip; it plumps without a tingly feeling or weird after-taste; but it also leaves the most glorious shine that’s amazingly long-wearing.  At the moment, I’m really enjoying wearing it sans color.  However, it can absolutely be layered with your favorite lipstick.

Skin Medica: people in the know are using it.  You can find this phenomenal line at doctors’ offices.  I get mine from my favorite injector, Dr. Jason Hehr, of Hehr Aesthetics. Allergan, you’ve hit another home run with this can’t-do-without lip product by Skin Medica!

 

Perfect Lip

The words of Shel Silverstein are in my head as I write this.  As he was forever looking for his Missing Piece, I’m forever looking for my Perfect Lip.  And although he eventually found his missing piece, I no longer hold out hope that I’ll find my perfect lip.

As a matter of fact, I’m ok with that, as “the search” is part of my product wanderlust, and I simply enjoy the sport of trying out different brands too much to ever settle on only one perfect lippy.

My bachelorette ways have my standards down to today’s perfect lippy. Because that’s what works for me.  I could go on about so many different brands, their staying power (or lack of), and textures.  But instead, I’ll savor each of those and focus one at a time.

Which brings me to Perfect Lip This Week: my Limelight by Alcone Enduring Lip Color.  I’m McLovin’ this stuff!  I use it on myself and most every face I make up, and now I’m telling You about it.

What I love the most about these lippys is the dense pigmentation.  I don’t need a lip liner when I use these; I line my lips with these before I apply fully to my entire lip.  This product stays in place, and is beautiful!  And the best part???  I sell them!  In my own online store!!

You can click the link below, or you can drop me a line and I’ll consult you on color choices.  And I’ll tell you, these are h o t!  They don’t stay around long: they are in stock, then out of stock, then restocked regularly.

Just do your lips a favor and try these.  And then you can join me on an adventure of a makeup-lifetime: the ongoing search for a perfect lip!

Click here and I’ll join you down this beautiful rabbit hole 😉

Photo by Gillian Ellis of Coastal Bride.  Cutie-pie makeup bag available at Dandy Boutique in downtown Charleston.

 

The Photographer Project: Diana Deaver

Portraits by Diana Deaver

What’s your birthdate?

August 9th 1980

When did you first pick up a camera?  Tell me about that.  When did you know you had a talent for photography?  

I started playing with a friend’s nice camera in 2006. I bought my own first semi professional camera in 2008. I didn’t know I have a talent for it for a while…but I knew I loved photography since I was a child.

Natural talent or learned process?

Both. You become a master after 10,000 hours of practice. I have “a few” left to go. 🙂

What do you love to photograph?

Human beings.

Who are some of your photographer icons and/or mentors?

Peter Lindberg is a photographer whose work often inspires me. 

You get to have dinner with 3 other people, alive or deceased.  With whom would you dine?  What would you ask them? 

Cleopatra, and I would ask her a lot about being a woman leader at 18. 

Dalai Lama, and I wouldn’t ask him anything, I would just like to laugh with him.

Hitler- I think I would want to see if I experience his humanity.

Do you know when you have a spectacular shot, or does that come about in the editing process?

Sometimes I do know right away. Other times I discover a spectacular shot in the editing process.

What makes you feel connected to your subject? 

Silence! If my subject can allow themselves to be photographed without having to cover the nervousness with chatter, and if I can allow myself to be in their presence without trying to make them feel more comfortable, then there is something insanely powerful and magical that happens…in those seconds of silence we flow together, we are connected, at a very deep level.

What are your thoughts on editing?  Like it or abhor it?  Do it yourself?  

I adore it!! I could be an editor alone. Editing is taking a mediocre image and making it exceptional.

Is there any genre of photography that you’d like to explore further?

Not really…humans are my favorite subject and am fully content with photographing them for the rest of my life.

What’s on your photographic bucket list?

I would love to photograph men and women with dark skin. I am a bit in love with the way light dances on dark skin.

What inspires you?

Authenticity- when I read an essay that is painfully honest, or listen to a song performed with complete surrender or watch someone who is at ease with themselves…I am deeply inspired, I am in love.

How would you handle a difference of opinion with a client? 

I wouldn’t. We are allowed to have differing opinions. I will honor theirs and ask them to honor mine. I am learning to fully love people who don’t agree with me.

What advice would you give an up and coming photographer?

Take your time…enjoy the process. There is no rush to “kill it.”  Honor your own timing.

Are you involved in any kind of continuing education or professional groups?

No

What makes you feel loved?

Exchange…when I exchange moments, thoughts, energy with someone and there is this back and forth of offering and receiving…I feel loved, I feel wanted, I feel cherished.

What are your favorite conditions/lighting/circumstances to shoot?

Gentle light, sunset, sunrise…

What are your social media handles?

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dianadeaver/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/DianaDeaverPhoto/

Website: www.HeadshotLove.com

What makes you feel pretty?

Self care. The smallest act of self care increases my ability to appreciate my own beauty.

Do you have any other thoughts or things to say about your profession?

I feel very selfish about being a photographer sometimes. This profession has blessed me immeasurably…sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve all it has gifted me: connection, knowledge, friendships, support, passion, creativity, purpose, sustenance. As far as I’m concerned, all my clients will go to HEAVEN if for no other reason than having offered me the generous, intimate and vulnerable opportunity of photographing them.

Candids provided by Diana

The Photographer Project: Elizabeth Fay Gouldon

Portraits by Diana Deaver

What’s your birthdate?

March 3rd, 1986

When did you first pick up a camera? Tell me about that. My earliest memory of picking up a camera is when I was probably around 6 or 7, and I had this pink Mickey Mouse 110mm film camera. That camera still remains in my collection today. My love began then. I always had a camera whether my Mickey Mouse camera, my mom’s Fujica 35mm or multiple disposable cameras.

When did you know you had a talent for photography? I started studying photography regularly beginning in middle school, and I suppose that’s when I realized I had some sort of knack for it. I had a great teacher throughout middle school and high school who was so encouraging. My parents were (and are) always so supportive.

Natural talent or learned process? My passion for photography definitely bloomed early on, and flourished due to my studies. I took my first class at the local art museum in elementary school and continued to study it regularly at school from middle school through undergrad at College of Charleston. 

What do you love to photograph?

People. Specifically environmental portraits.

Who are some of your photographer icons and/or mentors?

Diane Arbus – The first book of photographs I had, thanks to my dad, that really blew my mind.

Guy Bourdin 

Camilla Akrans 

Do you know when you have a spectacular shot, or does that come about in the editing process?

Usually I know when I got something really cool while shooting, but there are times as well that I discover something really cool during the editing process. 

What makes you feel connected to your subject? 

Laughter. When you can reach that level of comfort to laugh with one another, everyone gets loosened up, and it is much easier to connect. Also, whenever possible, we try to have a sit down with our clients before we actually shoot. Just hanging out as friends beforehand really helps once the camera is thrown in their face. 

What are your thoughts on editing? Like it or abhor it?  Do it yourself?  

I appreciate the editing process because of how it can allow you to transform an image. I have been doing all the editing myself because I am a control freak, but it can be very draining sitting at the computer for hours on end. I am starting to work with a lab to help take some of the load off, but I am still very hands on when I do send a job to them. They will edit images for me based on the process I use when I do it myself. 

Is there any genre of photography that you’d like to explore further?

Not so much still photography, but motion picture. I would love to dive into the world of filmmaking. My obsession with movies from childhood to the present drives that desire. We have a dear filmmaker friend, Life in Rewind, who is so inspiring as well. 

What’s on your photographic bucket list?

I’m always dreaming of exotic locations to do a cool fashion shoot or band shoot. I’d love to do something out in Joshua Tree, CA. The Greek islands. Cartegena, Columbia. Iceland. I mean the list goes on and on and on.

What inspires you?

Music and movies.

How would you handle a difference of opinion with a client? 

Luckily this doesn’t happen often as we generally attract a type of client who is trusting and leaves us to do our thing. We try to avoid this by making it clear up front how we do things. If an issue does arise after the fact, we politely reiterate the subjective nature of what we do, and with weddings in particular, we cannot control the weather, people running late, general mishaps. As professionals, we do the best we can in whatever the given circumstances are. 

What advice would you give an up and coming photographer?

The best thing you can do for your craft is to always keep doing! You can never practice too much or learn too much. Also, as a business owner, I wish I had been encouraged to take a business class or two in college. I have picked up a lot along the way and figured out some stuff the hard way, so it would have been nice to have a little jump start on the business side of things. 

Are you involved in any kind of continuing education or professional groups?

No

What makes you feel loved?

Family. Both blood and adopted. 

What are your favorite conditions/lighting/circumstances to shoot?

I love shooting outside with as much natural light as possible. That soft, beautiful light about an hour before sunset, “The Golden Hour,” used to be my favorite. I still do love that light, but I have been pushing myself lately to embrace situations with brighter, harsher, darker light and not be afraid. It has encouraged me to look harder for interesting shadows and angles. 

What are your social media handles?

Instagram: @seanmoney_elizabethfay

FB: facebook.com/seanmoney.elizabethfay

Website: seanmoney-elizabethfay.com

What makes you feel pretty?

A great hair day 🙂 I love having curly hair, but it often has a mind of its own, and I don’t generally have the patience to do any sort of styling. But sometimes I just have those hair days where I am like, Yes! 

Candids provided by Elizabeth

The Photographer Project: Stacy Pearsall

Portraits by Diana Deaver

What’s your birth date?  January 15, 1980

When did you first pick up a camera? 1996 in a high school art class.

Tell me about that: I shot with a black and white film camera my school provided. We had a darkroom and everything.

When did you know you had a talent for photography?  I considered myself a drawer more than a photographer. I didn’t take to photography right away because I couldn’t get the technical part down. I could see pictures in my head, but I couldn’t capture them the way I saw them. That was due to a lack of proficiency behind the camera. I’d say that took a couple years to master consistency.

Natural talent or learned process?  I believe my artistry is natural, but the technical process was definitely learned. You need both in equal parts to be consistently successful.

What do you love to photograph?  I’m a people person. I enjoy capturing the real essence of an individual.

Who are some of your photographer icons and/or mentors?  I’ve had many mentors (editors and photographers alike) over the years who’ve help shape and mold me: Mary Calvert, Joe McNally, Nick Ut, Eli Reed, Sandy Colton, Jimmy Colton, Brad Smith, Ken Hackman, Andy Dunaway…

You get to have dinner with 3 other people, alive or deceased.  With whom would you dine?  I’d like to sit with the late, great Eddie Adams. I wouldn’t ask him anything. I’d just let him speak his mind. I’d also love the opportunity to sit with Dorthea Lang and Margaret Bourke-White. I’d ask them all about their mission in life.

Do you know when you have a spectacular shot, or does that come about in the editing process?  I can usually feel it when I’ve got something good as I’m composing it. However, that isn’t confirmed until I see it on a big screen.

What makes you feel connected to your subject?  When done right, there’s a connection between you and your subject before the camera even comes to your face. I strive for that level of energy with every subject.

What are your thoughts on editing?  Like it or abhor it?  Do it yourself?  I believe editing depends on the genre of photography. I don’t mind it when you’re a commercial photographer or fine art photographer or portrait photographer. However, I don’t see any latitude for editing in the journalism sphere. I myself will convert my portraits for the Veterans Portrait Project series to black and white, but I don’t go crazy with blemish removal and all that. If I’m doing something more creative that’s meant to be art, I’ll have fun. I do know the difference though, and will stick to my ethics as a PJ.

Is there any genre of photography that you’d like to explore further?  I believe I’m right where I should be, and happy.

What’s on your photographic bucket list?  There are a couple of stories I’d like to finish before I die, but I truly believe I’m fulfilling my bucket list right now through the Veterans Portrait Project!

What inspires you?  My life inspires me. My husband, my step-kids, my animals. Just being alive.

How would you handle a difference of opinion with a client?  I believe everyone is entitled to an opinion and given art is subjective, a difference of opinion is bound to come up. I honor and value their opinion, but I remind them that they came to me for my point of view, vision and art. Sometimes, in the end, we aren’t the right fit. However, that is very rare. I can only recall a couple times that’s happened to me in my career.

What advice would you give an up and coming photographer?  Don’t just be a jack-of-all-trades and a master at none. Find what you’re passionate about and incorporate that into your work.

Are you involved in any kind of continuing education or professional groups?  I continue to learn and will always be open to new ideas and technology. When I teach at Photoshop World, or similar events, I carve out the time to sit in on as many classes and lectures as possible. There’s so much to take away from other artists. So much talent out there!

What makes you feel loved?  My love language is doing things for others. I feel loved when others allow me that honor, or when they reciprocate.

What are your favorite conditions/lighting/circumstances to shoot?  I can make any situation work no matter the time of day or circumstance. My favorite condition is lots of time and unfettered access!

What are your social media handles?

Personal Website:

www.stacypearsall.com

Veterans Portrait Project: www.veteransportraitproject.com

Facebook: facebook.com/SLPearsall

Instagram: slpearsall

Twitter: @StacyPearsall

What makes you feel pretty?  I don’t typically dress up or wear makeup either. I feel most pretty when I’m dressed casually with a clean face and my husband says, “You look nice.” It gets me every time.

Do you have any other thoughts or things to say about your profession?  Women in this industry are growing in numbers – in all genres. I believe this presents an opportunity to collaborate with each other and make positive growth together. Please lift each other up with positive affirmation – stay away from negativity. We can give constructive criticism over destructive mean words. We’ve all got our strengths. Let’s focus on those.

Candids provided by Stacy

The Photographer Project: Gayle Brooker

Portraits by Diana Deaver

What’s your birthdate?  October 30,1974

When did you first pick up a camera?   Tell me about that. When did you know you had a talent for photography? Natural talent or learned process?

We always had cameras around the house. When my dad was younger, he was an avid photographer. He took these great BW shots of my mom and oldest brother from their time in Germany. He had a darkroom and processed his own work. My mom is a painter and her mother was a painter so I didn’t fall far from the tree. I took a lot of art classes in high school and college which taught me about the fundamentals of composition and light. After my first photo 1 class in college I was hooked and encouraged by my professor to keep working. So I kept at it all the way into grad school receiving a MFA at RISD in photography. Which led me to teach BW photography classes at the College of Charleston for a couple of years.

What do you love to photograph?  I have always been drawn to photographing people. I also have a long background in shooting food and love still life.

You get to have dinner with 3 other people, alive or deceased. With whom would you dine? What would you ask them?

My maternal grandmother: I would ask her about her upbringing, her artistic career and my mother as a young girl. (I never was able to meet my grandmother).

My mom, to see her relationship and love for her mother.

My husband, he has an incredible memory, is hysterical, and a great conversationalist.

Do you know when you have a spectacular shot, or does that come about in the editing process?

I know while I am shooting when it feels right, the light, the moment, the gestures, the connection. But the surprising ones come when I am in the moment shooting freely. Those are seen later after the film has been processed.

What makes you feel connected to your subject?  When I photograph a wedding or kids or food, I am subjectively connecting with my subject. I think about what I felt on my wedding day, all the excitement, joy, nerves, and energy. I let the day fill me with their feelings and try my best to convert that photographically. I think about my love for my kids. How funny they are and how quickly they can be sad or frustrated and then laughing once again. With food, I think about how much I love food it transports me back to my childhood or honeymoon or some colloquial time.

What are your thoughts on editing? Like it or abhor it? Do it yourself?

I love culling my own work. Picking my favorites. Color correcting is not my favorite. I do it sometimes and sometimes I pass it along to a third party.

Is there any genre of photography that you’d like to explore further?  I would like to shoot more food and still life.

What’s on your photographic bucket list?  Travel more with my family and keep shooting my girls as they grow. It’s quite the challenge to stay focused on shooting my own family.

What inspires you?   Beautiful light and real moments.

How would you handle a difference of opinion with a client?  This rarely happens, but when it does I definitely want to resolve the problem right away. No matter what, I want my clients to be happy with what I delivered to them.

What advice would you give an up and coming photographer?  Find your voice and develop it, and learn to understand how to differentiate yourself from all the others. The best way to do this is to photograph often and photograph things that you personally move you.

Are you involved in any kind of continuing education or professional groups?  I am friends with a great group of female photographers (most of us are film shooters) from all over the country. We get together once a year and share stories and inspiration. I would love to do at least one photography workshop a year. There is so much to learn and be inspired from my peers.

What makes you feel loved?  The way my husband looks at me, my kids laughter, a warm embrace from my parents, time well spent with my friends, snuggling with our dogs.

What are your favorite conditions/lighting/circumstances to shoot?  Early morning or late afternoon, when the sun is at an angle. Also, partly cloudy days are fantastic sometimes. I love the way the light dances in and out of the clouds.

What are your social media handles?

Instagram: @gaylebrooker

FB: @gaylebrookerphoto

Website: http://www.gaylebrooker.com/

What makes you feel pretty?  The way my husband looks at me, getting dressed up & putting on make-up, having my hair and nails done.

Candids provided by Gayle

The Photographer Project: Liz Duren

Portraits by Diana Deaver

What’s your birthdate?

Feb 29. Leap year. I’m 12, thank you.

When did you first pick up a camera?  Tell me about that.  When did you know you had a talent for photography?  Natural talent or learned process?

I took my parents’ Easter photo with our tiny camera that shot in square format in 1976. I turned the camera to make the picture diamond in shape. My mother fussed at me for messing up the picture. I thought it was genius. 

What do you love to photograph?

People people and people. 

Who are some of your photographer icons and/or mentors?

I love to look at the work of the photographers that get to follow around the president. They are true story tellers making art out of the everyday!

You get to have dinner with 3 other people, alive or deceased.  With whom would you dine?  What would you ask them? 

I would like to meet my biological grandmother whom I never got to meet. I’d like to know if she ever thought of me.

I’d love to spend time with Caesar Milan…. I just got a new puppy, sooooo. . .

It would be fun to hang out with Betheny Frankel because she is a hustler like me.

Do you know when you have a spectacular shot, or does that come about in the editing process?

I know it when I take it, and they know it, too, because I get very excited about it and I want that excitement to run off on them so they really let themselves go and enjoy the process. 

What makes you feel connected to your subject? 

Honestly it doesn’t always happen, so what I do is make them feel connected to ME. This is their experience not mine. I know what I am there to do, and mostly they walk in wondering what will happen and how will it make them feel. 

What are your thoughts on editing?  Like it or abhor it?  Do it yourself?  

Love, love, love it!  Always do it myself. I always wished I was a painter so that’s what I call it… I have to go paint …. it raises an already great shot to art.

Is there any genre of photography that you’d like to explore further?

I just started shooting video as the B roll photog for what will be a major documentary. That was amazing and opened my mind to so many cool angles and ways of looking at the world. The producers loved it and want me to continue!!! Woo hoo!

What’s on your photographic bucket list?

I’ve filled that bucket….

What inspires you?

Movies. Angles and lighting 

How would you handle a difference of opinion with a client? 

Gently. People like to think they are right. So you agree with them and they calm right down… then refer to the contract. That’s why we have them.

What advice would you give an up and coming photographer?

Get another job.

Are you involved in any kind of continuing education or professional groups?

Not like I used to. I am so crazy busy with so may projects… photography is my first child and I love her deeply, but I have many other exciting things in my future right now.

What makes you feel loved?

A touch that you were not expecting.  A smile from across a room. 

What are your favorite conditions/lighting/circumstances to shoot?

All of them. I paint with light. 

What are your social media handles?

Instagram: lizdurenphotography

FB: liz duren photography 

Website: lizduren.com

What makes you feel pretty?

Any new makeup or skin care product.  Just love the newness of things and I’m a total product junkie.

Do you have any other thoughts or things to say about your profession?

(Don’t get me started. ) I have been grateful for the life I have had as a photographer and the people I have met. It’s been an amazing blessing. 

Candids provided by Liz

Liz and daughter, Daphne. Faces switched. Freaky Friday style 😉

The Photographer Project: Karyn Iserman

Portraits by Diana Deaver

What’s your birthdate? December 20, 1962

When did you first pick up a camera?  Tell me about that.  When did you know you had a talent for photography?  Natural talent or learned process? I got my first camera when I was 7 or 8 years old. It was a Mickey Mouse camera (I still have it!) and I took it everywhere with me. I’ve always loved taking photos, and I took some photography courses in college but it wasn’t until my children were born that I realized the profound importance of great photographs. That’s when I got serious about studying, practicing and learning . I think the ability to “see” light truly is a natural gift – knowing how to use it is the learned part.

Candids provided by Karyn Iserman

Karyn & Dad with her Mickey Mouse camera.

What do you love to photograph? Almost everything, but especially children. 

Who are some of your photographer icons and/or mentors? Ansel Adams, Steve McCurry, Dorothea Lange

You get to have dinner with 3 other people, alive or deceased.  With whom would you dine?  What would you ask them? Oh gosh. There are so many. Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, and my dad. Mr. Disney and Mr. Jobs because they were visionaries, passionate and undeterred. I love that. My dad because he was taken from us too young and I’d give anything for more time with him.

Do you know when you have a spectacular shot, or does that come about in the editing process? 95% of the time I know it when it happens, but sometimes I discover wonderful surprises while editing – especially when it comes to weddings, where things happen very fast.

What makes you feel connected to your subject?  Investing time in getting to know them a bit before we start, and then talking through what I’m doing and why. When they trust me you can see it in their faces and their body language.

What are your thoughts on editing?  Like it or abhor it?  Do it yourself?  I don’t enjoy it at all! I do it myself though, because it’s an important part of the process. I began my career in the pre-digital era shooting film, and I’m a purist at heart, so I try not to spend a lot of time changing or enhancing what comes out of the camera.

What’s on your photographic bucket list? An African safari, a birth, and a very special project I’m working on featuring me, my daughter and my baby granddaughter.

What inspires you? Nature. And love.

How would you handle a difference of opinion with a client? Always with kindness

What advice would you give an up and coming photographer? Find a mentor. Watch and listen and learn. And practice. For a long time! I think photographing people, especially on their wedding day, is about 40% skill, 30% artistry and 30% psychology. Invest time into making your subjects feel beautiful and they will love the resulting portraits.

What makes you feel loved? My family.

What are your favorite conditions/lighting/circumstances to shoot? Very early mornings are my favorite, for the quiet calm and low light. And I adore backlight! I think backlit spanish moss is one of the most photogenic things you’ll ever see.

What are your social media handles?

Instagram: karynisermanphoto

FB: karyn iserman distinctive portraiture

Website: karyniserman.com

What makes you feel pretty? A little sun on my face, and a great haircut.