I think we all love stories like Anne’s. Her journey to becoming a remarkable photographer stems from the experiences of her childhood. She always loved taking pictures. She recalls “waiting patiently for days while my film was being processed. Then one day, my mom would finally pick me up from school with a fresh pack of prints. I always made her promise not to look at them until I had a chance to toss out the ones I didn’t like.”
That childhood hobby became a passion in adulthood. “I started with fine art like landscapes. In my 20s I joined an art league. Soon folks saw my work and asked if I might work with families or photograph weddings. Then my career began to bloom. I learned something about myself too—I love the dynamics of working with people. I find that I can be in the same setting over and over…but it never gets boring because every shoot is different.”
Anne paraphrases a famous quote from Confucius: Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.
She recently told me, “I love what I’m doing for a living. It’s a passion!”
Anne has a small gallery on Bald Head Island, North Carolina. She says it’s an intimate place to meet clients and to show them the many options in printing and framing. But you won’t find her shooting in that shop. She does that outdoors. “This is a lovely island and there are so many spectacular places to photograph scenes and people.”
Those of us at Canvas on Demand were impressed with Anne’s stunning, yet natural canvases, especially the ones she had taken on the beach. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ask her to share some of her advice about working in such a setting. Here’s what she passed on to our readers:
Shooting on the beach can really be a challenge, but you can overcome many of the problems with just a little advanced preparation. For example, I always carry an all-natural bug spray. Insects can easily ruin a shoot. I also bring along a few drinks and snacks for everyone…but I only bring them out if it’s absolutely necessary. The last thing a photographer wants is a subject with a mouth full of food! I bring towels too, because in the end everyone will most likely get wet.
My clients are often surprised when I tell them NOT to wear lotion. Sand will stick like glue to skin covered in lotion! And that will certainly show up in the photos.
I really enjoy working with children at the beach. My experience with them has really taught me a lot. While I can prompt them, I should never overwhelm them. My rule is to make sure everyone has a good time and stays relaxed. It’s so much easier to get delightful smiles and giggles when there’s no stress in the picture.
As for clothing, I tell parents to put the children in comfortable outfits to prevent tugging and scratching. I become grumpy when my pants are too tight, so I understand that they will too! Clothing should not have too many patterns and prints that clash. I never want to see clothing upstage the subject. Wearing complimentary colors is always refreshing. And everyone in the shoot does not have to match.
Here are a few other tips that have to do with the actual shooting. I like to over-expose my subjects by shooting into the sun. I like this look because it gives me wonderful dreamlike results. And I shoot everything I can with a wide aperture. You can always bring back the highlights in the light room, so it gives context to the image. My go-to lenses on the beach are these: 70-200 2.8, 35 2.0, and a 50 1.4.
And finally, as far as capturing all the natural qualities with the children in my pictures…I let them play! Swing them around! Have a race with them. Ask them to do some wave-jumping. Encourage them to pick up shells and throw them as far as they can.
Remember, life is an art and nothing is more natural than simply living!
If you happen to be on Bald Head Island, stop by her shop at: Shoot! Boutique, Bald Head Island, #6 Maritime Way.
Members of the Canvas on Demand team stopped by, and they were truly impressed!
Anne, thanks for sharing with us. We hope to hear from you again soon.