Today’s interview is with Stacie Turner!
If you could take only three pieces of gear on a shoot, what would they be?
That’s MEAN! If I were shooting film I’d say the bronica, my cell phone which I use as a light meter and an extra roll of film. For a digital shoot the 5D, the 135mm lens and comfortable shoes.
What was your first experience in photography?
I made a pinhole camera in Brownies but I doubt that really counts. My step-father was a very avid photographer – he actually had a darkroom as a child at the family camp, which is on an island with no running water. He gave me an old Konica SLR with a 70-200 lens when I was about 10. I took a bunch of terribly cliched nature pictures, all on auto. I think, though, that growing up in a house with piles of prints on every flat surface – my mother and step-father are not afflicted with an overly strong need to tidy things up – I unconsciously absorbed a visual vocabulary.
If you could shoot alongside any other photographer, who would it be (and why)?
I just discovered Jan Scholtz and her use of light is so incredible and her portraits so deceptively simple I’d love to watch her shoot.
Other than photography, do you have any other creative outlets?
I used to quilt, I have a broken spinning wheel in the back room and I bake a lot but I am, in truth, pretty much a one-trick pony. I take pictures of stuff.
Tell us one thing you wish you’d known when you started your business.
I wish I’d had the backbone to say no to a lot of things. You don’t have to shoot everything, you don’t have to be a huge business, you don’t have to drive to people 90 minutes away. I wish I’d realized how many clients cans suck up time and energy and not generate much revenue and that it was OK to say no to those people. You can really just do your niche and be a lot less stressed.
What’s on the horizon for your business?
In 2012 I want to really scale back my client work and focus on really finding my voice, rather than just my technical proficiencies, as an artist. 2011 was really crazy and between teaching, client work, and personal work I felt like I had too many projects going on at once to really be able to give my full attention to any one of them. So I’m going to slow down, do less and see what develops in my work. I’m applying for a grant to develop my Breastfeeding in Real Life series so fingers crossed that that comes through.
Describe the perfect session.
A warm day, a 12 year old girl with long hair teetering on that brink between childhood and womanhood in jeans, bare feet and a dirty white t-shirt, a little indoor window light, a little beach at golden hour light, a lot of relaxed shooting with no time rush and parents who aren’t shrieking “Look HAPPY. Look honey, look over here. Smile. Look at me!”
What is your current favorite photo that you’ve taken (and why)?
I still love “Girl in Tutu” of my daughter in the park. It’s one of those shots where everything came together – the lines of the trees echo the bottom of her skirt. Her expression is so strong and determined. I’m shooting up at her, which is usually done with executives to show power but works here to subtly let her tower over the viewer and plays into her expression. The clothing works with the mood and expression to subvert cliches of little girls in tutus. The light is wonderful. it just all works.
If you were not a photographer, what would you be?
I am certified as a teacher in English and Latin for grades 7-12 so if it weren’t for photography and this wee global recession thingy I’d be in the classroom.
What is the best and worst part of your job?
I love shooting. I love interacting with people at the actual shoot. I love the energy of kids and the awkwardness of tweens and teens and the strength you see in adult women.
This week I photographed a woman, just as a light and film test, who was absolutely a beautiful woman. I admit I selected her from assorted volunteers because she was gorgeous. But when I told he she was beautiful she laughed and said something like, “Oh yeah, me, mauled by the dog.” I asked her what she meant and she said that when she was 24 a dog attacked her and she needed three plastic surgeries afterwards. So here’s this woman, two decades later, still carrying the emotional scars of believing she isn’t just stunning because of this horrible thing that happened to her in her youth and I was able to make her feel like she was beautiful. That kind of thing makes me really love what I do.
I hate sales. I am so terrible at selling. If I were in the desert I couldn’t sell water. It’s pathetic, really.
How would you describe your artistic style?
Uncluttered. Unfussy. Simple. Almost stark.
If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go and what would you do there?
I would go to Greece and I would take pictures there, of course.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
As deeply sad as it is, I’d kind of like that power from the old TV show Bewitched to be able to wiggle your nose and have your house clean.
Quickie Questions – One Word Answers!
Canon or Nikon?
Prime or zoom?
Studio or on location?
Natural light or flash?
Neck strap or wrist strap?
Color or black and white?
Black and white
Mac or PC?
Photoshop or Lightroom?
Sunrise or sunset?
Heels or flip flops?
Beer or wine?
You can find more of Stacie’s work on her site, her blog and on the CMpro Daily Project and, of course, around the CMforums.