Happy March friends! Let’s start this month off with a huge congratulations to March’s CMpro of the Month, the fabulous Mickie DeVries! And now for an enlightening interview with Mickie.
march cmpro of the month | mickie devries
by Nina O’Connell
Hi, Mickie! Congratulations on being Clickin Moms’ Pro of the Month! Can you start off by telling us a little more about yourself?
Thanks so much for having me as the Pro of the Month, I’m very excited and honored. I’m a hobbyist photographer from the western side of Michigan near Holland. My husband is a blueberry farmer and I’m a stay at home mom of two children. Alex is our oldest and he’s 9, and Rylie is our 5 year old little girl. They are both now in school full time so it’s been an adjustment this year for me personally and with my photography as my main subjects are gone much of the time. Beyond photography I love to read and scrapbook!
Your photography is centered around documenting your children. Did your journey start when they were born?
Yes, although it really started after my daughter was born more than my son. With my son I had a point and shoot camera and he was well photographed, however I wasn’t actively trying to improve my skills. I would try to replicate photos I saw online with Photoshop long before I had my first dslr. My attempts were rather humorous, although at the time I loved them. I’m very thankful I have the original photos saved and not just my early attempts at editing!
Shortly before my daughter was born I left my job to be a stay at home mom. It was during her first year that I bought a Nikon D90 and started digging into the fundamentals of photography.
Who is one of your favorite photographers and why are you drawn to them?
I have long been drawn to Angie Monson of Simplicity Photography‘s dreamy style. Her images often have the most gorgeous backlighting to them. I took an online mentoring session from her once and she was very kind and helpful!
I saw that you took FAVE last year and said it forced you to work out of your comfort zone. What was the biggest take away from the course, that you now apply to your work?
I loved Elle’s Fine Art and Visualization workshop! Like really, really, loved it! For me the biggest take away was to examine what I was drawn to in other peoples work and then compare it to my own portfolio to see what was lacking. Elle has a very detailed way of having you do this in FAVE, and it was definitely eye opening. After seeing what areas I was lacking in I sought out and continue to seek out opportunities to improve these areas in my own work. FAVE without a doubt helped me find my voice!
What are your photography goals for 2014?
My main goal for 2014 would be to get caught up with scrapbooking my images! I use Project Life by Becky Higgins to highlight some of my favorite photos from each week of the year along with some text about our week. I made it to July last year and need to catch up 2013 and 2014. It’s really important to me that I print my photos, and take the time to put them into an album so that my children can someday look back on their childhood. Beyond scrapbooking my photos, I would like to start a personal project this year and am currently trying to decide what that should be!
How would you describe your work to a stranger you just met?
I would say that my work shows my love for childhood in general that reaches beyond the fact that I’m mostly photographing my own children. I very often try to seek out opportunities to showcase a part of childhood, such as scraped knees, dirty hands, messy braids, etc. that everyone can relate to from their own childhood or from being a parent.
You are a presenter at ClickAway — What are you looking forward to the most and what do you hope people will take away from your presentation?
I am sooooo excited for Click Away! I’m thrilled to be able to meet you all in real life! In my class Controlling your Environment and Enhancing your Vision: Snapshots to Art I will be talking and demonstrating how I use editing to remove distractions in my frame. Let’s face it our kids do not always cooperate or do interesting things in the most inspiring of environments. This class really addresses some tricks to keep the focus on them with a little post processing magic. I hope the attendees will come away with knowing what is possible and how easy removing distractions can be!
You like to mix playful colorful images with black and white portraits. Are you drawn to one over the other?
Not really, for me I usually know before I take the shot whether I want it in color or black and white. I really adore backlighting and love color especially when I’m directing a shot where I’ve picked the clothing and location where I’m shooting. A lot of the time I use black and white because I want to capture something my children are doing, but don’t love the environment that they are doing it in or I want to hide the fact that they are in non matching pj’s! In general most of my outdoor work is in color and more of my inside work is in black and white.
I love the ghostly images you created last year. Any fun projects coming up like that in the future?
Thank you! I took those during Art of Observation, and was just so excited to see my vision come to life by using slow shutter speeds. I really want to try to experiment with in camera double exposure this year. I love that you don’t know exactly what you are going to get and the creative freedom that allows.
Your breakout session comes out this month! Tell us what we can expect to find in it?
Lots of excitement at my house over this! My children think they will be famous! My breakout focuses on my journey as a photographer and how I transform my everyday shots into art. It is a detailed view of how I got started, decisions that affected me along the way, obstacles and how I overcame them, how I stay inspired, and my shooting style. I go in-depth with how I use editing to transform my everyday images into shots that satisfy my need to document my family and my artistic side.
Thank you Mickie for the fantastic interview! Make sure you head over to Mickie’s website and facebook to view more of her gorgeous work. If you have a question for Mickie, you can ask in the comments below or in her ask the pros thread on the forum.