Thursday, November 27, 2014

Meet This Week's Judge: Lori Dozier!

This week, we have Lori of Lori Dozier Photography judging the "simplicity" theme. Enjoy some of her beautiful photos and learn a little about what indpires her! 

1. Tell us about yourself...
I think the first thing I tell *everyone* about myself is that I’m Texan. I was born and raised there and had never even seen accumulating snow until I moved to Minnesota eight years ago on New Years day. I live here in MN with my husband and our two energetic pre-school daughters. I have a masters in speech-language pathology, but I’ve been home with my girls for the last three years. I am emotional and passionate and dramatic and talkative. I make friends quickly, but am close friends to only a few. I am incredibly honest (to a fault), and loyal. I love coffee and red wine and warm days. And of course, I love creating photos! 

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

I have been drawn to visual art for as long as I can remember. I guess I’d say that I was influenced by the people around me. My grandpa painted and my dad was always a bit of a shutterbug. I can remember doing styled photo sessions with my younger brother with my polaroid as a pre-teen. Then later, I remember being made fun of for lugging around my dad’s old Pentax film SLR when everyone else had cameras that fit into their purses or pockets. I got my first DSLR about 6 years ago, before I had kids. I took a lot of pet, nature and food photos then :).

Most recently, I’m inspired by my children and love to capture them as they are. I am drawn to simplicity and details, especially when those elements inspire a more complex story. I also infuse a lot of symmetry into my images. My girls are very active, as am I, and I find symmetry to be calming and therapeutic. Finally, I am inspired by connection and emotion. If I can look at one of my images and and it makes me smile or my heart ache, I feel like it’s a successful image.  

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

I’m a Nikon girl. I shoot with the D600. In my bag I have the 28, 50 and 85mm 1.8, the 105 mm 2.8 macro, the 135mm 2.0DF and the lens baby sweet 35. I also have a 50mm 1.8D that I purchased to try freelensing. I use my 85mm if at all possible. It’s fast, sharp, consistent and I love the focal length when I’m outdoors. But, since the cold winter months are upon us here in MN, I’ll be using a lot more of my 28mm indoors and working with the macro. Since I’ve been so busy with client work the last couple months, I haven’t really used the lens baby or my 50 1.8D (for freelensing) as much. I use those more in my personal work.

4. What's your dream project or shoot?

Hmmm, that’s a tough one! I get inspired by new and different surroundings. So, I think I’d love photographing a new (to me) place and the details that tell that location’s story. Even though it’s a little out of my comfort zone, it’d be awesome to do a little travel photography all by myself. So much of my work is people- and family-focused, which I love, but I think I would embrace the challenge of telling the story of a place through photos. Stay tuned, I have the opportunity to make this a reality in 2015!

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

The biggest challenge for me is probably the continuous search for inspiration and constantly trying to be creative. It is exhausting, and some days I feel like everything I create is junk! So, I have a handful of tricks that I use to inspire creativity, like trying out new places, searching for new light sources, attaching a lens I haven’t used recently, or just taking a day off from shooting.

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 to spend on photography, I should spend it on education! I wish I could spend it on new gear, but, I probably really would spend it on education :) 

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

Another tough question! I guess I wish someone would have said, “this is a personal journey, create art that you love.” Art is so subjective and there is just no way to please everyone. I think that if you love what you create and create what you love, it will probably make the journey a much more positive one.  

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