August is here, the beginning of school is looming and it’s time to introduce you to the newest CMpro of the Month, Kristin Ingalls. Kristin is an incredible photographer that produces such captivating work. Her work with light is amazing and she has three of the most adorable subjects, her daughters. She is also one of the most kind and sincere people you will ever meet. There is no one quite like Kristin and we are so thrilled to have her as the August CMpro of the Month!
august cmpro of the month | kristin ingalls
Lets get to know a little bit about Kristin. Share with us a little about yourself and how you became interested in photography?
I’m the mother of three wonderful girls, who are growing too quickly. Like so many, trying to document at least a small part of what makes them so special to me, is what really sparked my interest in photography. Once I realized how much you could do with photography, I was hooked. I’ve always been somewhat technically minded as well as had an interest in art, so photography is a natural fit.
What kind of higher education do you have and do you feel like it helps you with your current role as a photographer?
My bachelor’s degree is in design, and I think this background play’s a big part in my style as a photographer to this day. Even though I wasn’t a photography major, I think my degree has given me a good idea about composition and other things that have come in very handy with photography.
What methods did you use to expand your photography knowledge?
I have been practicing for years. I’ve taken thousands upon thousands of images! I have also learned a ton by posting for critique. I was actually part of a small photography forum with some wonderful and talented people who had no problems telling it like it is. I found Clickin Moms through a member of that forum, and I’m so glad she suggested I check CM out. I’ve taken a few workshops along the way as well, mostly about the “art” side of photography as the technical side seems to come easier to me.
Your subjects always looks so calm and relaxed in your images. Do you have any tips for making your subjects at ease while shooting?
I tend to talk a lot, and think that helps people feel a little more at ease. I’m not above acting like a bit of a goofball or asking silly questions and such. Whatever it takes to get people’s minds off of the fact that I am indeed taking pictures of them.
All of your work is gorgeous but there’s something special about your outdoor images and the deep, dark colors you get. Is there a secret to obtaining such rich colors in your work?
Part of it is that I live in a beautiful part of the country, but the biggest part of it comes from the light. Finding the right light can bring so much depth to an image. Yes, processing can help, but, in my opinion, the light is what makes the image.
What do you look for when searching for an outdoor location?
Similar to the question above, when scouting a location, I look for areas that will have beautiful light. I like variety, so whether it’s a gorgeous field, the woods, or downtown, I chase the light.
Whether it’s a room in your home or a beautiful park, do you have a favorite location? If so, why is it your favorite?
I have several favorites, but if I had to pick just one it would be the little park in my neighborhood. It has a playground and trails that run through the woods. The scenery is ever changing and so many of my favorite images have been taken there.
You are open about keeping your business low key. Can you expand on why you’ve chosen to only to pursue it part-time?
I have three girls who are either part of full time homeschooled. They keep me very busy, so I can’t take on more than a few clients a month. This meant my choices were to not go into business at all, or to pursue it on a very part time basis. I really do enjoy photographing people other than my own kids, and I do hope to be able to take on more business as they grow. Because there are some fixed expenses with running a business and I’m not able to take on a large volume at all, it’s not a big money maker for me at this time.
You focus on photographing babies and families. What is it about these two types of subjects that appeal to you?
I’m a people person and like most everyone, but there is something special about babies. I really enjoy getting to watch little ones grow right before my lens when they come in for multiple sessions that first year. Plus, I love that they think I’m funny no matter what I’m saying.
And as for families, one of my favorite things to capture in front of my lens is a connection – maybe the way Mom holds her sweet baby or the way Dad plays with his two year old daughter. When I can capture the love between family members it makes me happy inside.
Tell us, what is one of the biggest things you’ve struggled with in your photography and how did you conquer it?
I would say one of my biggest struggles is confidence. I have a hard time believing that my work is good. I wouldn’t say I’m cured, but looking back on my earlier work I can see I’ve improved a lot. As far as a technical thing, I really struggled with white balance and skin tones for a long time. I finally trained my eyes by getting calibrated and using a white balance card. Now I don’t rely on the card as much, but it was an invaluable learning tool for me.
What is one tip that you would give to an aspiring photographer?
Don’t compare yourself to others. There will always be someone better than you. And that’s okay. We all learn and grow at our own rates. Try to only compare your work to your older work so you can see that you are indeed improving even if it’s not at the rate you would like.
Are there any photography related goals that you have set for yourself for the next year?
Over the next year, I really hope to push myself to move past technically correct to emotionally beautiful images. Whether they make people laugh or cry, I would like my work to move people. As I mentioned, I’ve always enjoyed capturing connections in my images, and I would like to pursue that more as well.
Is there anything fun coming up for Kristin Ingalls Photography in the near future that you would like to share with us?
I have spent a long time working on a breakout session for Clickin Moms and can’t wait to share it with everyone. Other than that, I am looking forward to a busy, but not too busy fall, as I love the family sessions that come with the holiday season.
Kristin, you are incredible! Thank you for sharing with us and we look forward to your breakout session!