Friday, May 29, 2015

Feature Friday with Haley Cummins Photography!

The talented Haley Cummins of Haley Cummins Photography is the winner of last week's 'embracing the shadows' challenge.  Read on to learn more about Haley, and of course to see more of her beautiful work!

1. Please tell us about yourself...
I am a 22-year-old mother of two (an almost-2-yo and a 6-week-old)! I am happily married to the man of my dreams, and we live in South Carolina. The beach is where I'm the happiest. I live for Christ, and my husband and I are very passionate about international missions. We hope to one day pack up and leave the states, to follow God into the nations.

2. Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words?
Dreamlike, Emotional, Alive.
Whenever I go to capture a photograph, I always have an image in my head of the end result. That image is inspired by life happening around me. When I watch my son running like wild through our home, I see life through his little eyes. I want to bring that vision to life in my photographs of him. While shooting and editing, I try to draw out the emotion, bring his dreams into reality, and create a photo that's alive and moving.

3. What sparked your passion for photography?
I got my first film slr when I was 11, and I loved it. I was quickly anxious to go digital, and once I did nothing could slow me down. Obsessed isn't really a strong enough word for what I became. You can ask anyone who knew me through middle and high school...I never stopped using my camera. The thing that really sparked my passion for the art was seeing beautiful photographs taken by every day people. I realized with a bit of work, I could produce art, and so I never stopped pursuing it.

4. What's in your camera bag right now?
My Nikon D3100 (definitely ready for an upgrade lol), my 35mm 1.4, 50mm 1.8, and 18-105mm. 

5. What is your dream shoot or project?
I actually really love abstract photography. Levitation, self portraits, fantasy. I would love to find a beautiful location and have lots of help creating a fantasy-type portrait of myself or someone else.

6. What are some misconceptions you had about photography and photographers at the beginning of your photography journey? Have they changed and how?
I thought that the more expensive your equipment, the better your work would be. As nice as the expensive lenses and cameras are, they aren't what make you an artist. I learned to shoot on a little point and shoot camera. All I could really do with it was learn about composition, but that definitely strengthened me. For years after that I shot with a basic dslr and the kit lens. I was always anxious to get more gear, which is fine and has definitely helped my image. But I learned that you don't need tons of gear and tons of money to be a photographer.

7. What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning? 
Find your own style. I obsessed over every other photographer in the world, and becoming just like them. I learned the long and hard way that it's so much more satisfying to shoot what YOU want to shoot, the way YOU want to shoot it. Find out what your passionate about, and the style you want to portray, and dedicate yourself to that. Don't try to stretch yourself in every direction you can with photography. Newborns, families, weddings, events, lifestyle, studio...pick a few that don't exhaust you and that you really love. Study them and create work that YOU like. Something I really struggled with was getting clients to like my work. I changed my style a lot to please everyone around me. Since then I've learned that if I put my own style to it's full potential, there are people who will love it and even pay for it. Don't be afraid to be yourself.

Find more of Haley's gorgeous work here:

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