Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Meet This Week's Judge: Stacey Muniz

This week, guest judge Stacey Muniz, of Soul Threading, is looking for your images of Autumn. While you think about what you'd like to share, please read about her own relationship with photography, and enjoy her beautiful photos!

1. Tell us about yourself...

I am a mother + wife + believer in Christ. Faith and prayer is very important to me, and am so grateful it presented itself so firmly a handful of years ago. I grew up in Chicago and got a BFA in fashion design from Columbia College. Our family now lives in Florida, after a long journey of ups and downs & twists and shouts, but we're here in Gainesville and we love it. I'm a pretty simple person, huge social butterfly turned homebody. My day consists of staying home with the kids, homeschooling my 7 year old, while the 1 year old scoots around. During naps, happy breaks and end of the day silence, I cull and edit and email on repeat. Sometimes I will watch some standup with the hubs to break the monotony. Laughter is important....always. Rainy days are something I look forward to, and if it's hot - iced coffee is my main jam. I change my hair when I am bored or going through emotional breakthroughs. Sometimes I will go through phases where I want to run, jog that is, and sometimes I will pick up my guitar or bust out the sewing machine... it has been a while but I'm convinced that I'll go back to those things again when there is more time in life. 

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

Took a darkroom class in college, and it went on from there. The film photographs I created around the time I met my husband and when our daughter was born, had me fall in love with the art. It was so mysterious to me... and strong. Now, our kids are still very much the fuel. Children are definitely my top fave to photograph. People in general though, and their stories, are a huge reason why it continues to feel so right. I love it when I can see a person - or family, the love and the truth behind them, and then capture it - so then they can see it as well.

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

Canon 5D mark ii - 35mm sigma art {it is the only one usually in my bag. the lens is extremely versatile and super heavy!}

Other lenses that may make it to shoots as well....
85mm canon, 28mm canon, 50mm canon macro - I use the 50 the least.

4. What’s your dream project or shoot?

I really want to do humanitarian photography. Somewhere. Creating social change, giving people a voice, all through deliberate and purposeful work ... I keep feeling called to do it, but the opportunity has yet to arise. Have a feeling it will happen one day soon though.

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

Finishing things quickly. Everyone wants things right away {including myself}, but I like to take my time, and make sure everyone is happy. Sometimes I have a lot on my plate, and there is a lot of pressure, including juggling my family's needs and children's well-being / education. I pray for strength and perseverance everyday. The fact that I love what I do so much is the only reason why I'm continuing to do it. If I didn't love it, i'd move on to something else.

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

How should you spend it? 
Should? I have a hard time with that word... probably more gear or a class?

How do you wish you could spend it? 
take me to the redwoods please

How would you really spend it?
I think i'd invest in some better studio lighting.

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

VSCO.... haha. #kiddingnotkidding! - outside of that, i'd say that i wish someone would have told me to study some of the greats a little more. Whenever I do that now, it always sparks something new within me. I felt like i couldn't find my style for so long, and still now... it is ever-changing, but I am confident now. We learn by what we consume, what we surround ourselves with, so it only makes sense to look up and study what you really admire. “Good artists copy. Great artists steal" ~ by Picasso OR possibly the true origination of that quote, "Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.”~ by T.S. Eliot. Either way... what I think it means, is to study what makes you tick. An artist, or nature or the subject itself and then reproduce something from it. Don't create the exact image, create your own representation and RUN with it.

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