Saturday, March 22, 2014

Feature Friday with Holly Donovan Photo!!!

1. Please tell us about yourself...

I live in Chicago with my husband and four children, Paige(15), Jimmy(8) Aubrie(4) and Nate(3).  I did alot of traveling in my 20s before settling down
with a family and but still have a horrible case of wanderlust. Obviously its hard to wander with four children, so while I'm daydreaming of a nomadic 
life, photography fulfills my adventure seeking side. I love experimenting and trying new things! I am a hobbyist that loves the art. I take clients
part time and hope to have a business eventually, but I'm in no hurry.  

2. Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words? 

I don't know that I've found those words yet to define my style! Lately I'm content with being nondescript, its liberating. 
I prefer images with a bit of mess and lots of actual life as its happening, the more imperfections going on, for me, the better. 
I find that I'm always looking for an original approach as opposed to trying to fit a certain style. I know that I prefer the messier
side of childhood, bed head, bare feet, dirty knees, untied laces, all the tokens of a childhood well lived, those are things that
make me happy!  I also love a good emotive portrait without pretense. I admire all types of photography really, as an art and
an expressive means, but for me and what I like most are the bare your soul type images. 

3. What sparked your passion for photography?

Definitely my high school photography classes in the mid 90s(yes 20 years ago-yikes!) we had full access to the darkroom there and I quickly became 
full blown obsessed. As a child I spent my free time drawing and I loved art. I was happiest with a yellow #2 pencil 
and a sketchbook. I think photography was a natural progression from that. I had always shot manually before I had children. Then when my first child
came 15 years ago, I shot everything on auto with a Canon Rebel 2000 and never took the time to relearn camera settings. I began studying digital in 2012.

4. What's in your camera bag right now?

My 28mm, the Sigma 35, a 50 1.4, and 'the dark knight'-my 135mm. I switch from the 35 and 28 most often while indoors during the winter months with my 365. Tiny house=wide lens!

5. What is your dream shoot or project?

Too many to list that are probably just that-a dream. There are many projects that swirl in my head day in and day out. Right now I just want to shoot outdside in the sunlight!
This midwest winter we've been having is such a drag and I can't believe I've survived a 365 this long indoors. A dream shoot would be documenting a farm family living off of the grid, 
possibly in Costa Rica (anyone anyone?).

6. What are some of the misconceptions you had about photography and photographers at the beginning of your photography journey? Have they changed, and how?

That a photography education would cost me time and money I did not have. That mentality held me back for YEARS. I didn't realize the amount of resources there were online 
just dedicated to women pursuing photography either as a hobby or a career. I am continually inspired and amazed at the support from others. I picked up a MF camera in the fall of 2012 
when a friend asked me to take her place as a second shooter for a wedding and in that moment I wanted so badly to know how to use her camera and was so limited and frustrated! I 
spent the next year in workshops, sometimes doubled up and back to back, which, I do not recommend! Take your time and do it right.  

7. What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning?

I took all heeded advice right from the beginning. I treaded lightly and asked as many questions as possible and did my homework. I am still doing my homework.
As much as I do like to bend the rules, I do not like making the mistakes others have made before me. Listen and learn from those who've cleared the path ahead of you. 
Join groups and forums and absorb the information that is out there. Great things happen when you aren't imitating, do your best to be original. Besides, the world needs it! 
Seek a fresh perspective and try everything.

Please head on over and visit Holly on Facebook at Holly Donovan Photo!!

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