Friday, December 2, 2016

Special Artist Feature Friday with Kristey Fritz-Martin of My Artistic Journey

 Imagine you have a passion for photography and you start a business. You do things the right way and get insurance for all your gear.  Things start looking up and you are able to save enough money to buy a computer that will help with the workflow and hopefully help allow your business and creativity to expand. You try to do things frugally and environmentally conscious by buying a refurbished model. It all seems to work out great, for six months and then the computer is fried. Repairs will cost more than the machine was purchased for, not that the funds are even available to replace it at this point and the people who sold it to you are unwilling to do anything about it, and though the gear was all insured, the computer wasn't. 

Well, this very thing happened to my friend
Kristey Fritz-Martin. 

Once you see it you'll realize why I, as a fellow member of the photography community can't let as simple a thing as a fried computer keep her from creating and continuing on her so aptly named artistic journey. 

I am hoping to help raise $2600 before Christmas to not only replace Kristey's computer but to significantly upgrade it so that she won't have to worry
 about this happening again. 

Because we are a community, we understand that to do a big thing, all you really need are a lot of people who are willing to do a small part. So please consider helping Kristey in whatever small amount you can.  NO amount is too small.
Help spread the word!
I thought you might like to get to know Kristey better so you can understand why I wanted to help and why I am asking the Snap Maven community to help as well. 

1. Tell us about yourself...
A little about me. . . I am a SAHM to three amazingly brilliant and unique little people who keep me on my toes and inspire me daily to see all the beauty this world has to offer. I am a wife to my best friend and one of the most caring people I have ever had the honor of meeting. I am a sister to some pretty awesome gals who are not only my family but some of my all-time favorite people. I am a daughter and blessed to have the most amazing parents who are always so supportive and encouraging. I am a friend and gratefully to have so many brilliant people in my life that amaze me every day with their kindness, love and compassion (a lot of which I have never even met in person but they still hold a large piece of my heart). . . But ultimately I am just a small town girl living the dream in Idaho, and there is nowhere in the world I would rather be.

2. What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now?
I think photography has always been a passion for me. As far back as I can remember, it has been something I loved and worked towards. My true passion was ignited this past year without a doubt, though. In January, I decided to start completely anew on My Artistic Journey. I finally decided it was time I started shooting and creating for myself. I broke every rule I could think of until I found what I felt matched what my soul was trying to say through my art and I ran with it. . . not for perfection, but for the sheer joy of doing what I love. I have never been happier and more content with my craft than I am right now. I love the knowledge, growth, and the motivation it takes to push the boundaries and just do what feels right, not for anyone else but just for myself. I am shocked at how much I learn and grow on a daily basis due to the freedom I have allowed myself just to be me and create. It is this motivation to break out of the box that fuels my creative passion daily and I hope to hold onto that as long as humanly possible.

3. What’s in your camera bag right now, what do use the most? the least?
I am almost embarrassed to answer this question, because the sheer amount of equipment I lug around with me is nearly laughable. I actually pack around 2 camera bags. One is a shoulder bag, and it houses my Canon 6D, which currently has my 35mm Art attached. I also keep my Lensbaby Composer Pro II that currently has my Twist 60 attached and my Helios 40-2 85mm in this bag because they are my most used lenses (at this moment). In my second bag (my Ketti that doubles as a camera bag and purse), I keep my Lensbaby Edge 50, Sweet 35, Fisheye, Scout and macro converters, Canon 100mm Macro, Helios 44-2, and 40mm pancake along with extra batteries, memory cards, macro filters, copper pipes, prism, cleaning cloth, grey card, remote, and tripod mount. I never know what I might be shooting or in what situation so I want to make sure I keep my options open. “You only regret the shots you don't take. . .” and I don’t want to feel like I am not prepared. I may have a wee problem in this department.

I find myself using my Sigma 35mm Art the most these days due to shooting inside with my kiddos but my Helios 40-2 is hands down my favorite. I would have to say that unfortunately my Sweet 35 probably gets the least amount of love in turn (might have something to do with the focal length). . . I really need to use it more often. The thought of it sitting all unused kind of makes me sad teehee.

4. What’s your dream project or shoot?

I don’t know if it really counts as a “dream shoot or project,” but I would LOVE to travel around the world and meet all the amazing friends I have made along my photography journey and maybe just spend a day seeing the world through their eyes. I have so many friends who are brilliant artists that specialize in everything from underwater shoots to newborns, and to get to shoot alongside them and gain insight into their creative process would be a true dream come true.

5. What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer?

Currently, my inability to properly process my images due to the absence of my computer is honestly a huge challenge. I hadn’t realized how crippling not having a way to actually upload and edit my images would be. It has absolutely been detrimental, though. We think of all the “gear” we have, and the never ending wish lists we create, but the tool we actually use to process and deliver our finished work has been such an overlooked commodity. I knew when I saved for my upgrade to iMac that the efficiency would truly improve my workflow and in turn allow me to be more creative without the lagging hassle of a slow and outdated system, but having that completely gone has left me at such an incredible impasse.

Adversely as a photographer I believe that one of my biggest challenges has just been being ok being me. By allowing myself to just create for the sheer joy of loving what I do rather than trying to gain acceptance or follow a set mold that I believed for such a long time was what made a successful photographer. Liberating myself from this thought that “perfection” was in all the technical details of a brilliant shot was one of the biggest hurdles I have overcome along my journey.

6. If you had $500 to spend on photography... How should you spend it? How do you wish you could spend it? How would you really spend it?
If I had $500 it would instantly be invested into the fund that Julie Moses so generously started in order to replace my broken iMac. At the same time I feel selfish investing the money into myself and would seriously contemplate spending it on my children because I never want them to go without anything. I am not really great at spending money on myself but I realize that without the means to deliver images to my clients I am dead in the water and having that extra income does help fulfill our families financial obligations.

7. Is there any one thing you wish someone had told you at the very beginning of your photography journey?

Oh there are so many things that I have learned along the way that I wish I would have discovered earlier on in my journey but I honestly feel if I hadn’t come by them in my own time I wouldn’t be the person or photographer I am now. I have actually written a list of common misconceptions that was published earlier in the year and I would love to share it once more in the hopes that it might possibly make a difference in someone else’s journey.

Misconception #1 - Shooting in Auto is working just fine for me. . . um no, it isn’t. Ya, maybe you get lucky from time to time, but you aren’t CREATING your work, you are just TAKING it and hoping for the best. Learn your craft, learn your equipment. #makeitdonttakeit

Misconception #2 - Photography is a competition full of secrets and, if you divulge your mysterious formula for success, you are giving a piece of yourself away and everyone and their neighbor will be doing what you are doing. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There is no super secret. You won’t be any less by sharing what you know, and this is NOT a competition!! You are uniquely you, and NOBODY can change that or replicate it. Inspiration is free, kindness is contagious and support is power.

Misconception #3 - I am a small person living in a small town in Idaho and there is no way I will ever be good enough. I struggled with this one for a LONG time. I idolized and envied these AMAZING artists that could create such jaw-dropping work that people knew who they were just by looking at this art. I wished I could be them and do what they were doing and felt so trapped in my surroundings, that I let this define me. This is so far from the truth. Yes, I am a small town girl living in a tiny town in Idaho but I am not SMALL. I have a voice and am confident in my ability to create from my heart. Will I ever been incredibly famous and admired? Not likely, but you never know. ;) I do know that so long as I keep growing and learning, that the sky isn’t even close to the limit.

Misconception #4 (which ties directly into #3 and #4) - Successful people are scary. There is no way they would ever talk to me, they must know the secret to life and success, and I have no chance of cracking that code. I distinctly remember the very first conversation I had with a photographer that I had admired for years and thought was WAY too awesomely amazing to talk to little old me. I was so nervous and felt like I was ignorant about anything she might say to me and guess what. . . it turns out that she was the kindest, most generous, and supportive person I have ever met. These over the moon outstanding photographers were all just like you once upon a time. Struggling to find their voice and learn their craft, unsure of where to start and how to reach their goals. They are down-to-earth, brilliant people with a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips, and so many of them are more than willing to share this knowledge. Community is such a valuable asset to growth. Find some people that share your passion and motivate one another. Reach out to other artists. I bet you 9 times out of 10, you will be amazed at how open and warm they will receive you.

Misconception #5 - I have to be “perfect” to be good. This one still makes me giggle when I think back on it. Rules are there for a reason. They are important! Learn them, master them, then break the heck out of them until you feel like you are creating your own work and not just following the cookie cutter perfection of what you think photography “should” be. Embrace your imperfections and love the you you are today.

I know I still have A LOT to learn and I truly hope that never changes. With every new step I take on this journey I feel incredible growth and a sense of accomplishment and that is true success in my book.

You can find more of Kristey's work here

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