Today’s interview is with Krista Campbell!

Hi Krista! Congratulations on being April’s CMPro of the month! Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in photography?

Thank you so much.  I am so honored and humbled to be the April CMPro of the month.  My journey started like many of you, once I had my daughter Ava Faith, I wanted to be able to capture every moment of her childhood.  I purchased my first DSLR, a Canon Rebel in 2009 and my first lens which was a Canon 50 f/1.4, and used those to document adventures with my small daughter.  Before I knew it, friends were asking if I would take pictures of their children, too.  It was right around that time that I found Clickin Moms.  As a new photographer, I immersed myself in photography education.  I wanted to learn everything that I could about posing, shooting, lighting, and post-processing.  I think I read every tutorial on CM and watched every YouTube video on the subject.  I photographed and practiced every single day.  It was in 2010 that I began a photography business and mainly photographed children and families.  In 2011, I remarried and my family and I moved from Phoenix to Northwest Arkansas.  I found myself starting over again, building my business.  I wrote an article on how to relocate your business for the CM blog here. SEO played a huge part in my success here as a photographer in Northwest Arkansas.  I have found over the years, that although I do still love photographing children, I have a passion for shooting seniors and weddings, also.  Because I work full-time as a literacy facilitator at a public school, I need to consciously work at balancing my photography and my family life.  It’s definitely a struggle during the busy months.

10 questions with Arkansas photographer Krista Campbell

Can you share what’s in your camera bag? Do you have a go-to lens?

I have a large Think Tank Photo Airport International Rolling Camera Bag that I use to store all of my gear and a Shoot Sac and Kelly Moore Libby bag that I use for weddings and photo sessions.  I shoot with the following cameras and lenses: Canon 5D Mark III and a Canon 5D Mark II as a backup.  The following are Canon lenses that I own and love for various reasons: 16-35L, 24-70L, 85L, 70-200L, 100L, 200L.  I also have a Lensbaby Composer Pro and the Sweet 35 and Edge 80 lenses.  My two favorite lenses are my Canon 85L and my Canon 200L.  They are both very sharp, create incredible bokeh, and have an amazing depth-of-field.

What is your favorite photo that you’ve ever taken and why?

This is my favorite photo that I’ve ever taken.  I captured this last summer with my Canon 16-35 lens.  Whenever I’m feeling in a rut with photography, all I have to do is take my daughter and our Golden Retriever, Spencer, to a nearby field and capture the magic of their love and devotion to one another.  Now that Spencer is getting up there in age, the photos that I have of the two of them are even more special to me.

silhouette of young girl and her golden retriever by Krista Campbell

When you shoot for yourself, what inspires you most?

When I shoot for myself, light is what inspires me most.  I am a lover of light.  I study it, play with it, manipulate it, and use it to create whimsical or romantic images.  Nature also inspires me most.  Being outside and in nature gives me energy, strength, and a renewed passion for life.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in photography?

Shoot every day.  Learn your camera so well that you can take photographs in your sleep.  Practice shooting in manual (and shoot RAW) constantly.  If you don’t have a subject, photograph your pet.  If you don’t have a pet, photograph something in your house.  Continue shooting until you find your passion and your voice as an artist.  It’s not a fast or an easy journey, but it’s YOUR journey, and you will find your way.  I promise.

10 questions with Arkansas photographer Krista Campbell

10 questions with Arkansas photographer Krista Campbell

I love the way you enhance your images through post processing. Can you share with us your favorite editing tip?

I love to use Adobe Camera Raw on every image before I pull it into Photoshop.  I tend to overexpose my images just slightly to get soft, creamy, bright skintones.  I then will pull the exposure down slightly in ACR.  I also love the plug-in Portraiture and run it on every photo.

You have been in business for awhile now. What photography related challenges have you had to overcome to get to where you are today?

I am a creative soul, so unfortunately, I am not a business woman.  Running a business does not come easily to me.  I am so passionate about what I do, it’s hard to put a price on it.  In the beginning, I offered many, many free or extremely discounted photo sessions to get my business started.  I didn’t charge what I was worth and I allowed some people to take advantage of me.  Charging for my art has always been a struggle for me, especially in the beginning.  But I have learned over the years that a photography business is VERY expensive to maintain and I need to charge for my time, education, and experience.

10 questions with Arkansas photographer Krista Campbell

I love your use of light in your images.  What is your favorite kind of light and tell us how you achieve that look.

Thank you so much.  My absolute favorite type of light is backlighting.  I love to filter the backlight with trees to create gorgeous bokeh behind my subjects.  To get beautiful backlight, I spot-meter off my subjects face and I look at the back of my camera to see if I am exposed correctly.  I will sometimes use a lens hood to cut down on the haze in my backlit images.

What are your photography related goals for 2015?

I am very excited to be an instructor again for Clickin Moms at Click Away in San Antonio this year.  This was a big goal of mine.  I am also hoping to build my senior and wedding portrait business even more and shoot more for MYSELF this year.

10 questions with Arkansas photographer Krista Campbell

10 questions with Arkansas photographer Krista Campbell

Your Breakout session comes out this month. Tell us about what we can expect to learn from it.

I am absolutely ecstatic about my upcoming Breakout session, Transforming The Mundane into Magical… Developing Your Personal Style & Photographic Vision Through the Light Around You.  I have poured my heart and soul into this Breakout and I am so excited for it to come out on April 21st.  With this Breakout you will learn to develop and strengthen your photographic vision by utilizing the environment and light around you to transform the mundane into magical by using my secret, tried-and-true methods for finding buttery light and making the most of any location.  My Breakout includes a 100+ page PDF with tons of photos, shooting information, creative exercises and pull-backs, on-location shooting videos, editing videos, bonus sky overlays, and even a chance to win a $300 Amazon gift card.  Photographers who buy my Breakout will learn to create jaw-dropping images by studying and finding magical light, transform any location into an enchanting backdrop, pose to create authentic interactions, and learn post-processing techniques to take their images to the next level.

10 questions with Arkansas photographer Krista Campbell

10 questions with Arkansas photographer Krista Campbell

10 questions with Arkansas photographer Krista Campbell

10 questions with Arkansas photographer Krista Campbell

Thank you, Krista, for the fantastic interview! Make sure you head over to Krista’s website, facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, and google+ to view more of her gorgeous work and keep up with her happenings.