Thursday, December 22, 2016

Feature Thursday with Lisa Kathan Photography!

Lisa Kathan Photography was the winner of our 'street photography' challenge two weeks ago, and tonight we're taking a peek into her camera bag and her style!

  1. Tell us about yourself:
I’m Lisa of lisa kathan photography! I’m a studio and on-location photographer in the far northern suburbs of Chicago. I love to photograph couples, individuals, and small, creative weddings.

  1. Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words?
I spent much of 2016 trying to boil down my style into three words, even talking to some friends and other photographers about what words they would use to describe my photography. The words I landed on are: simple, authentic, soulful. I think these words encapsulate both how I approach my photography, as well as what I am trying to communicate through my work.

  1. What sparked your passion for photography?
I didn't start my career in photography. I was a writer, working in marketing and communications when I lost my job and decided to take a film photography class at a local college. I had borrowed a friend's camera a few times and really enjoyed taking pictures, so I thought it might be a good way to kill a couple months till I figured out my next move.
What I didn't expect was to fall in love with photography! It was like finding the one thing I had been missing from my life, as though I was always meant to do it. Making pictures is where I feel most at home, and when I get to connect with others while doing it,'s the best thing in the world.

  1. What's in your camera bag right now?
I have a studio in my home, where I’ve been doing a good deal of work these last few weeks (since it’s December!). So my Canon 6D camera and lenses are sitting on a shelf in my studio. But my camera bag has a portable stereo that I use for sessions, some Kleenex, lens wipes, extra batteries, business cards and lollipops for bribing children (and adults if needed!).

  1. What is your dream shoot or project?
I have so many projects I want to do this year, like photographing dancers and doing more street photography. Over this last year I had the chance to do a couple unpaid editorial shoots, with professional models, stylists, etc. I would love to do more of these for paying clients! It’s so fun, being part of a bigger team working together to capture a client vision.

  1. 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 got the impression that photographers in business were vicious and competitive. I’ve found the opposite to be true!! Some of my dearest friends and biggest cheerleaders are other photographers, a few of whom are direct competitors in my market.

  1. What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning?
I want to say to newbie photographers, get educated! Most photographers get their start photographing their own life and decide they want to make a business of it. But if you’re serious about getting better at your craft, don’t rely on mimicking the work of photographers around you. Learn about the top historical and current photographers, different types of photography, etc. It’s invaluable in helping you know what makes a good photograph! If you put your effort to getting educated from the start, the process of finding your own voice will go much faster. The other I advice I will pass on from my amazing instructor, Erick Rowe: “Do more work.” Whenever you think you’ve done enough, do more.
I wish when I started my business I had known how hard being a professional photographer is. Building a business takes so much longer than you think it will when you start. There are days your passion will be all you have. You might watch others blast off like rockets, while you’re just hoping to get one more paid client. If you continue to work on your craft, the client work will eventually come…but some days, it takes everything you have.

Find more of Lisa's work here:

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