Thursday, November 6, 2014

Meet This Week's Guest Judge: April Kraus

This week, we have April of April Kraus Photography judging for the theme, "Stand Out", and her photos really do stand out! Read more about her here!

1. Tell us about yourself...

I have 4 great loves in life - my husband, my 2 crazy kids and photography. I have moved all over but now live in Arizona, near the mountains and I love it here!
I am forgetful and honest, and I value my friendships.
I love making connections with people and seeing into what makes them who they are.
My photography is my passion, and it is also my business.

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

I started photographing when I was a teenager. I have always been drawn to it. I don’t really know why. Photos have always spoken to me.
I guess, growing up I thought it would be just a hobby until I started college and realized that it was what I wanted to do as a career also. I shot film for years and learned in the darkroom at Ohio University, where I earned my BFA.
When I was pregnant with my oldest I finally went digital, though it was a hard step for me since I loved film so much.

My love for photography has always been fueled by emotion. I feel excitement when I’m shooting. I love the ability to capture things and moments to keep them forever. I love shooting into the sun, and playing with light and shadows. I want to look back and feel like I really caught something meaningful, and not just something pretty. I think it is amazing how looking at this one moment of whatever it may be, can make me feel so much. It is like magic to me.

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

I shoot with my Canon 5D Mark III and go back and forth between my “nifty fifty” and 24-70 2.8L. I love them both, but probably shoot with my 50mm more because I love to shoot wide open. Love And I freelens with it. That little lens does some pretty amazing things!

4. What's your dream project or shoot?

I am in the beginning of a personal project about aging and the elderly. I hope to continue photographing seniors and explore the topic of growing old and what that means to us individually and as a society. I am very interested in the wisdom and history of our elderly, and I am fascinated by the obsession we seem to have with aging.

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

For a long time I shot what I thought people wanted me to shoot. I didn’t realize I was, but I was. I guess I thought if I shot a certain way I would get more clients and have a more successful business. But I have recently learned to listen to my artistic instincts and be true to them. It is a great feeling! I can’t be everyone’s photographer, and I no longer want to.
I also, by nature, am not business minded. I am an artist and that is what drives me, so finding my way as a business woman has been a big challenge for me. But having a photography business makes me very happy, so I keep at it

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

I would put it toward a new 35mm lens. I think it will be my next addition. Really!

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

I have had a very interesting journey through this passion of mine, so far. I wouldn’t change it because it has made me the artist I am now, but if I could offer something up for advice it would just be to be true to yourself and true to your art. Forget the voices of doubt that we hear so often as artists. Push through that and push yourself. Shoot often (like every day!) and don’t be afraid to fail! We learn so much from our failures.

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