Friday, July 29, 2016

Feature Friday with April & August Photography!

Mandy of April & August Photography was the winner of last week's 'second look' challenge - read on to find out what kind of gear she uses, and how she defines her style!

1. Please tell us about yourself

I’m Mandy of April and August Photography, aka total Mamarazzi.  I’ve been documenting for other moms since 2013.  I grew up on the East Coast and met my husband while he was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia while serving in the US Navy.  We had our first son in 2009 while we lived in Florida.  Before he turned a year old, we decided to relocate to Des Moines, Iowa, where we live now. 

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

Candid, because my main goal in every photo I take is to capture the realness of my subject.  I would rather have an imperfect image filled with emotion than a technically perfect photo that is lifeless.

Vibrant, because I love seeing brightness and vivid colors in photos and strive to include this by bringing along a blanket or encouraging families to play up patterns and colors. 

Lastly, I would choose Emotive as my third word.  I would like to think that my photos express some sort of feeling; whether it’s a baby giggling or a mom comforting her child.  It has to express something.  I’m always trying to encourage closeness in the family and emphasize hugging and touching.  I want to feel the connection when I personally view the photo.  I show up to every session with an open heart and hope that it catches on and I can document it.


3. What sparked your passion for photography?

I’ve always been intrigued by photography and used to coax my younger siblings to perform as models for me while I snapped away on my 35mm film camera.  It wasn’t until I had my daughter in 2012 that I felt a strong desire to create something that could help me to cement the memories of childhood and knew photography was the way to go.

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

I actually travel pretty light these days:

Canon 6D

Canon Rebel T3i

Canon 50mm 1.4

Canon 85mm 1.8

Loads of memory cards and extra batteries

5. What is your dream shoot or project?

A dream shoot would most likely be a day-in-the-life-project.  I would love a family to be comfortable enough to let me document their daily life from morning to night.  I would love to be a fly on the wall and to get the little moments they didn’t even know they had.  

6. What are some misconceptions you had about photography and photographers at the beginning of your photography journey?

I thought that photography started and ended with the camera.  I believed a good camera and lens would create the magic.  I thought that photos could only be taken in perfect lighting conditions and that a photo taken in less-than-perfect situations was not as good.  I also believed that grain was bad and that technicality trumped an overall great photo when I pixel-peeped.  I’ve since learned that sharp eyelashes aren’t as important as a hug, and that a cute snuggle is still perfect even if the sharpest part of the photo is a dust speck in the air.  I’ve learned that viewing photos at 1 to 1 ratio is stressful and ruins the fun of photography.  I’ve learned to let perfection go. 

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

I wish as a newbie photographer I wish I was told that you don’t have to be everything to everybody.  You can find your voice and you can take the kind of pictures you’d want of your own family.  I love a photo with great bokeh and can truly appreciate a beautiful portrait.  However, that being said, I have an 85mm that rarely leaves my camera bag.  I didn’t like being so far from my subjects.  I like being able to talk to them and to make them laugh.  The in-between moments are just easier for me to catch when I’m closer. 

The advice I would give to a new photographer is to take the time to learn the equipment you have.  I started out with a Canon Rebel with a base model nifty-fifty and learned so much on it.  I eventually upgraded to better glass and when I felt like I was maxed out on what I could achieve, I upgraded to my full-sensor Canon 6D.  Master what you have. …  many of my favorite Instagram pages use only IPhone or Samsung phone camera.  

Find more of April & August Photography here:

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