Q&A: Halloween Costumes, Music For Inspiration, & Camera For Beginners

Here are the answers to last Friday’s open Q&A on Facebook.

1. Pandi P.:  Who is your inspiration and why?

My dad. He is hilarious, knows how to make himself happy, and doesn’t give a hoot what other people think. He always tells me, “If you want to do something, do it. Enjoy life.”

2. Pamela X.:  How do you manage to carry any sort of camera around on a daily basis?  Photography is one of my hobbies and I want to expand slowly but surely, but I just can’t seem to find the right camera + bag to lug around not on the daily, but at least 2-3 times a week just to have fun and take some shots.  What would you recommend, or what do you do?  Do you lug around your camera all the time?

I’m going to give the same answer that parents give when you ask how they fly with a toddler – you just do it. 😉 In the beginning I carried my SLR with me everywhere so that I would always have an opportunity to use it. Now, I definitely don’t have it with me all the time. If I don’t have it then I take pictures with my iPhone. You can still be really creative with that!

3. Hannah D.:  What did you study in school?  What did you hope to become when you were younger?

I studied International Development at UCLA. In third grade, my class had an assignment to write an autobiography. One of the questions was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?.”  I put a Chemist!

4. Katti R.:  How did you become a photographer?

I loved it so much, so one day I woke up and decided to be one. 😉

5. Ivy K.:  Why is Sammie licking your couch right now? (Ivy is my friend who is currently dog/house sitting for me).

Because couches are delicious, Ivy.

6. Loveexa K.:  Suggest a camera for a beginner please.

Canon Rebel with a 50mmf1.8 lens.

7. Esther P.:  How do you combine a successful job with taking good care of yourself?

Take care of yourself first (very important), and then everything else will feel easier. If you choose to do something you love, you won’t feel like you are working a job. And funny enough, because you love your job, doing it will feel like you are taking care of yourself.

8. Vijay M.:  What is your camera setting when you take a shallow depth of field photo outdoors?

It depends on your lighting situation. Are you in the sun? Shade? Is it overcast? Sunset? Remember that Aperture controls depth of field, so if you want a shallow depth of field, open up your Aperture (set it to a a low number). I usually shoot with an Aperture of 2.8 – 3.5.  If it is super bright outside, a polarizer filter will help give you more depth of field.

9. Jamie G.:  Will you and Sammie be dressing up for Halloween?  If so, what as?

I got my Teletubbie costume ready (Tinky Winky – the purple one). If other people decide to dress up their dog that is ok with me, but I still refuse to put Sammie in any sort of clothing. Ever. Except one time I put in her pj’s. And another time in a red hoodie. Hehe.

10. Lori L.:  How do you find songs that match so well with your photo montages?

Music is one of my inspirations. Many times a song will actually inspire me before I go on a job, and it will be in my head as I am shooting. For example, I have a wedding coming up in a couple weeks. I made an engagement slideshow, and the song used in that video was chosen because I know they love Ray LaMontagne.  About a month after doing their engagement, a song came on the radio and as I was listening to the lyrics, the vision hit me – I saw Jack & Tawny at their wedding!  So when I shoot their wedding in a couple weeks, besides what is going on in front of me, I’m also going to have that song in my head as an overall theme. It brings out a certain emotion and really helps tell the story. I will also probably end up using it for their slideshow.

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