Friday, April 24, 2015

Feature Friday with Red Bus Photography!

We're so excited to learn a bit more about Kerry of Red Bus Photography, the winner of last week's 'emotional' challenge!

1. Please tell us about yourself…

I’m from Singapore where I live with my two young sons and incredibly supportive husband (hey I’m never gonna win an Oscar so this is my moment to give him a shout out!).  I’m a bit of what some might generously call ‘type A’, which suited me well in my previous job as a strategy consultant, but these days I’m grateful just to make it through a day with minimal yelling (my kids) and crying (me), and a nice long shower.  I was at home with my kids in London and Singapore for over 3 years before starting my photography business in late 2014 (just prior to this I set up a personal Facebook blog The Biscuit Diaries, which now hosts my 365 project).  I get a big kick when someone calls me a ‘photographer’ and I still find it difficult to introduce myself as one.

2. Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words?
Authentic - I like to photograph people and relationships as they are, no props, minimal posing and in a context familiar to them
Emotive - I look for moments of true emotion and connection above all else, whether these be quiet or loud moments … I find myself willing to work around a lot of technical flaws if the image makes me feel something
Intimate - There is something inherently intimate in being invited into a stranger’s home to observe them in their private spaces.  I work hard to preserve and convey this sense of intimacy by encouraging my clients to interact with each other rather than with me (even if I am sometimes right in their faces!)

3. What sparked your passion for photography?

No points for originality here - definitely my kids.  I guess pre-kids, I did derive strange pleasure from taking travel photos without subjects, unless say a monk in bright robes or nuns eating ice-cream popped into view and I would chase them down (true story).  I also developed a bit of an obsession with ogling pretty styled engagement and wedding shoots when my own wedding came along.  But photography was never something I worked on consistently until I had my first baby and spent hours on Etsy purchasing wooly animal costumes and various hats.  What really kicked things into high gear was taking a few online courses in 2014 that opened my eyes to photographing light and real life.  I have never ever considered myself a creative person, but there is something about walking into a scene and challenging myself to quickly distil it down into a few frames that really appeals to the ‘type A’ in me.

4. What's in your camera bag right now?

I’m quite awful about leaving my stuff all over the place - I have left lenses at client shoots before - but these should be in my camera bag: Canon 6D with Sigma 35mm 1.4 semi-permanently attached, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, Fuji x100s, handful of SD cards, business cards, lens pen, lens cloth, toy red bus.

5. What is your dream shoot or project?

A traditional Indian wedding! But only in natural light, heh. I would also love to shoot a ‘day in the life’ for a client, I have attempted personal ones but always get wrung out before the day is over. Oh and a family shoot on top of a mountain where the air is cool and the light is golden … Clearly I dream a lot, which is surprising given how little I get to sleep.

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 thought that some styles of photography were inherently better than others.  They are not.  You might like something or not like something, but that in itself doesn’t make it any more or less valid as ‘good’ photography.  I thought that it mattered how you get to your final image - flash vs. natural light only, manipulated in Photoshop vs. minimal colour correction.  I don’t believe this anymore, which is not to say that I don’t believe in getting it right in-camera as much as possible, but I don’t think that an image is necessarily better by virtue of it having been virtually untouched.  An image with artificially pink skies or flare applied in Photoshop might not be to my personal taste, but that in itself doesn’t make the photographer technically less competent.

7. What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning?

Be confident but not defensive. Be proud of where you have gotten to in your journey but never stop
working on your skills. Don’t wallow in self-doubt - even experienced photographers have moments where they feel like they are producing drab work. Pick up your camera and keep shooting - or, take a complete break and don’t even analyse your images, start shooting again when you feel the urge. Reach out to other photographers in the local or online community, it might feel weird initially but you can start slow until you find a person or forum that you can click with. Do NOT get caught up in drawn-out arguments about whether buying presets is cheating, whether bundling digital files is selling out etc., it will drain you and confuse you - learn what you can from the experience of others, but don’t allow them to make you feel bad about your own decisions. Give back, give back, give  back - engage other photographers and be responsive to them.

Find more of Kerry's beautiful work here

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