Monday, March 5, 2012

We just clicked

You guys might remember me sending you to check out a Tooling Around interview I did with Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking.   Well, Suzannah is a doll, but this post isn't about her. Because of her, though, I was introduced to the awesome talent that is Becky Nerpal.

How could you not want this woman to take your picture?

Who does a photographer trust when it comes to her own head shots? Becky relies on the talents of Levy Moroshan

Between running Studio 623 and running after her two toddlers, Becky fit in some time to answer a few questions about the pretty way she captures life.

1. Your bio touches on your high school photography class.  What other classes, books, life experiences have you used to augment what seems to be a natural talent?
I own a few books on photography and religiously follow blogs, magazines, etc. for inspiration, helpful hints, and the occasional tutorial. I took an online class in Photoshop when I first purchased the software and know the manuals for each of my cameras inside and out. The more years I have under my belt as a photographer the more experiences I have to draw from. The rest is instinct, natural talent, whatever you prefer to call it :) 

2. While your portfolio shows a mixture of indoor and outdoor photo sessions you seem to favor the outdoors.  Can you tell me the pros and cons of shooting indoors? Outdoors?
I don't know that I prefer one over the other; the location of my shoots tends to depend on client requests and outdoors doing real life activities is IN right now! Here in Oregon, the obvious pro of being outdoors it the variety of beautiful scenery! Outdoors is less predictable as far as lighting, weather, and other variables. Indoors is popular for boudoir, maternity and newborn photography, or for anyone who is looking for a traditional portrait style. Indoors is obviously much more predictable and it's easier to control the lighting; the con is that the variety is slightly more limited for say, senior or family photos. 

Outdoor engagement shoot with Beth Clementson and Drew Skoglund. Please click on the image to see more of Becky's work with couples.

3. A lot of photographers list their equipment.  I don't know anything about what makes a good camera so tell me why should I care what equipment you use, and, while we are on the subject, what do you use?
This is an interesting question and one I've thought a lot about lately. I shot award winning photos with my first digital camera; a $150 Sony point and shoot. I started upgrading when I became limited by my camera. In other words, when what I saw with my eyes and imagined in my mind couldn't be captured or reproduced with that camera. Today I shoot with my Canon 5D Mark II and either a 70-200L, 28-105L, or 50mm 1.2 lenses. I have a lens for every application and a camera that allows me to shoot in very low/creative light situations. People looking to hire a photographer should care about equipment, although equipment doesn't define a photographer. 

4. Talk to me about making the transition from waterfalls and flowers to people and portraits.
Taking photographs of flowers and waterfalls was pleasing to me, and to people who I gifted those prints, but I really got hooked when the outcome of my first Senior Photo session was a teenage girl who felt AWESOME, CONFIDENT and beyond happy with her images.

This was the first, but for more of Becky's portrait work please visit her website.

 By the way, I'm taking that same girl's maternity and newborn sessions this spring :) 

5. What five words best describe your style/approach to photography?

6.Unfortunately, weddings cannot be rescheduled when the lighting is bad and brides will insist on being married in hard-to-shoot buildings. How do you make good photos when you are in a bad location or lighting situation?
This is where auxiliary lighting comes in. Soft boxes, bounce flashes, transmitters all work wonders at making dark rooms look naturally lit. I think I thrive on hard to shoot locations. It is a challenge to me to quickly pinpoint areas that will work, and create fixes for areas that are out of my control (mottled light right on the alter). 

7. Not all clients are creative and few perform well in front of a camera. How do you manage your clients' expectations and/or encourage them to think outside of the box when working with you.
I do a lot of demonstration, which has the added benefit of looking (I imagine) so completely ridiculous that my clients loosen up and laugh a little. I usually give very basic instructions or create a scenario and then make minor adjustments to the "pose" from there. I make every effort to have poses look natural. If something looks forced or awkward, we move on. 
I prefer going a bit heavier, but not so much that it looks artificial. 
Boudoir should be heavier than usual.
Senior or Family Photos should lean more towards natural with maybe an extra pop of color. 

-Should we wear clothes that match for the engagement shots or does that look too cohesive?
For engagement shots, I like coordinated but not matching (unless it's themed, like a recent couple who sported a local NBA Team's jerseys for part of their shoot. My favorites tend to be coordinated neutrals (say, a tan sweater for her and chocolate vest for him) with pops of color (add turquoise scarf to tan sweater). There's no need to dress identically :)
-Does the client have a say in how the photos are "processed" (meaning black and white, antiquing, and other digital effects)?
I definitely take client input on this. I generally shoot in color and then make copies either because I think something will look awesome in B&W or because the client wants that photo to look a certain way. If I do special effects on a photo, the original or "normally processed" photo usually accompanies it on the CD. 

Okay, Becky, when do you get to Florida? I have plans for us, girl. As for brides-to-be, graduating seniors, and photo-less families, get yourselves over to Studio 623 and book this amazing woman for your spring photos post haste!

1 comment:

Jan said...

Becky is the best!