Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Meet This Week's Judge: Heather Chang!

This week's judge is the talent behind Heather Chang Photography. Her skill with both digital and film photography is inspiring! She has shared some of her favorites, and a little of her thought process below:

1. Tell us about yourself...

I'm Heather and I am a hobbyist natural light photographer living in the Austin, Texas area.  I live here with my husband and three boys ages 8, 6, and 3.  When I am not obsessing over photography (which is everyday!) I work as a neonatal nurse practitioner in NICUs.

2. What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now?

I've always had a camera around, but like a lot of women photographers, my children were what reignited my interest in photography.  Besides the ability to document our lives together as a family, one of the things I love about photography is that there is so much to learn.  It's a craft that appeals to my artistic side as well as my technical/scientific side.  When my boys were tiny, it gave me something to learn and grow with when I was swimming in diapers and sleepless nights.  Now, my boys are still my inspiration, and I am still passionate about learning and now teaching.  But, currently I am very focused on the creative.  I want create beautiful images with meaning, at least meaningful to me. 

3. What's in your camera bag right now, what do use the most? the least?

I am a camera hoarder!  My love for film has really has fueled that problem!  My digital set up is a Canon 5DM3, and my Sigma 35 mm or 16-35mm lens are on almost all the time.  I also recently got a Fuji XE-2 mirrorless camera, I really love that thing.  It's fun to shoot and I love it's compact size.  I have a few film cameras both medium format and 35 mm.  I shoot with a Pentax 645n, Yashica Mat LM, Canon EOS3, Canon AE-1P and Nikonos.  I use all the cameras pretty equally, my work is about half film/half digital at this point.  The piece of gear I use the least is my 85 mm 1.8 lens.  It's a beautiful lens, I just never shoot that long!

4. What's your dream project or shoot?  

Hmmm, I think I would love to get paid to shoot food on film!  It's something I would like to explore more.  But my dream shoot would be where there was an art director and stylized food in a gorgeous natural light studio. And if I didn't have to cook the food, even better!

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

I shoot everyday.  I am halfway through my second 365 and I truly think that shooting everyday has helped me improve more than anything.  But one of the things that is challenging about shooting everyday is finding a way to keep the shots interesting.  Finding a creative way to shoot something new or in a new way is definitely a challenge. I don't want to repeat myself!  But this kind of challenge is definitely how I grow.

6.  If you had $500 to spend on photography...

How should you spend it? I should put it toward a 24-70 mm lens.  I need something longer for kid sports, even though I don't really love to shoot that as an artist.  I do love to shoot it as a mom though!
How do you wish you could spend it? Put it towards going to one of the last FIND workshops.  They end this year and I am so sad that I won't experience that. 

How would you really spend it? Film and film development!

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

Worry about light and composition first.  Or at least don't ignore those topics for long.   Without those two things you have nothing but a snapshot.  Learning about light and how to manipulate it to your advantage is 90% of the battle.   Also, look at your own work more than anyone else's.

Thank you Heather, for sharing your time and expertise with us! 

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