Friday, September 12, 2014

Feature Friday with Joni Burtt Photography!!!

Joni Burtt of Joni Burtt Photography is the winner of our 'movement' challenge, and has graciously answered a multitude of questions giving us some insight into her style, and her family!

1. Please tell us about yourself... 

I am a mom to two children (Charles and Rosemary), wife of David, and I reside in rural New Brunswick, Canada. I love a lot of things - coffee. Hiking. Thrift shopping. The bump of my camera on my hip while I chase my kids through the woods. Cooking, especially trying new recipes. Naps, naps, and more naps. Dinner dates with my husband. Books, though I'd like to break the habit of starting too many at once and finding them scattered all over my house. 

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

Vibrant - I love colour. Deep, rich, gorgeous colour. Thick greens and glittering golds and punchy blues. Matte has its place, but I absolutely love making colours front and centre on a lot of my photos. Of course, nothing beats a good black and white when the occasion calls for it! 

Flawed - I take a lot of lifestyle shots of my kids, so they're not always technically sound. I also love freelensing, so you're likely to see things like light leaks, OOF, random detritus scattered on the floor, that sort of thing. Oftentimes technical flaws lend an honesty to my photos, and I am always striving for honest photos. :) 

Natural - I'm a pretty basic person. I live in the woods, we shoot our own meat for the winter, our kids have everything they need but not necessarily everything they want. I don't have a lot of equipment to work with, so I work with what I do have - gorgeous surroundings, natural light, happy faces. Like honest and natural photos that everyone can identify with. 

3. What sparked your passion for photography? 

Like a lot of other photographers, it was my children. Growing up, while I was never into photography as an art, my parents documented our childhood with snapshots, and I used to spend hours looking through them. What a treasure to have! When it was time to buy a new camera in 2010, I bought a Pentax DSLR, not knowing a blessed thing about photography, and it was a pretty steep learning curve (four years later, I feel like I still have so much to learn!) since I am not terribly artsy, for lack of a better term. But once I started, I was hooked. I love capturing colours, expressions. I love having a record of what my family was like at this moment in this year. I love capturing the quirks of my family so I can be reminded of them for years to come. I love creating a photo that elicits emotion and mood. It's addicting! 

4. What's in your camera bag right now? 
My Nikon D500, a 50mm 1.4 (my baby!), a 24-70 lens, a 90mm macro, an old modified Pentax 100mm for freelensing, a Lensbaby, a convex glass, and usually some kind of toy to get clients to look in my direction. ;) 

5. What is your dream shoot or project? 
I would love to follow families for an entire day, just capturing each thing as it comes - breakfast chaos, morning coffee, school bus drop-offs, after-school traditions. An elderly woman as she goes about her daily chores. A farmer. A family different than my own. I love doing more journalistic approaches, but usually my small client base is looking for portraits. This kind of shoot would be a blast. 

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? 
I started out knowing nothing, but expecting to be awesome as soon as I got the basics down. Ha, ha! That misconception was quickly squashed. ;) I have discovered that fellow photographers can be a huge source of support and encouragement.  I also thought I had to be super competitive, but I am so glad I have settled into my own style.  I compete only with myself. :) 

7. What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning? 
Learn everything you can before delving into business, but understand that the learning process never ends! Find your niche, practice daily, and become confident in what you're doing. Don't try to imitate other people - find your own way. View fellow photographers as friends and comrades, not competitors. The best thing I've done for my confidence is reaching out to other photographers for advice, critique, and to admire everyone's personal style. (And huge thanks to Snap Maven for being one of the starting points for the amazing relationships I have fostered this year!)  And, once in a while, put the camera down and really enjoy things for exactly what they are, without the pressure of capturing every turn.

Find more of Joni's beautiful work here:

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