Photography interview with Celeste Jones

  • photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

Photography interview with Celeste Jones

Today’s interview is with Celeste Jones!

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

There seems to be a resurgence in a love of film.  How has that affected your photography journey as your amazing portfolio embraces both digital and film portraits?

First, thank you for the compliment. Film actually helped me learn to slow down and take everything in. It’s so easy to have in your mind that you will take a few images or shoot a session and come home with over 300 images on your card. With film you can’t do that. You have to make every click of the shutter count. So, I had to think about what I wanted to shoot, and I make sure that there was no clutter in the frame unless the intention was to include it in the image.

Did you start out in film?

I’ve shot film before but didn’t have a good understanding of it because I would just shoot in auto mode and would be happy with a few images coming out good.

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

Do you photograph your sessions in film or just personal work?

It depends on the session. I mostly shoot digital, but I have shot sessions on film. The only thing is that I like my work to look cohesive and I see the difference in colors and clarity when shooting both.

How long was your transition from being a hobbyist to accepting clients?

It’s been a while, and I feel like I’m still transitioning. Things get better every year.

What did you learn through that transition that shaped your style?

I learned that I was never going to be like anyone else. I want to put out images that I can be proud of, and that is a true presentation of me as a person and as a photographer. I wouldn’t be able to accomplish that if I kept doing what everyone else was doing. I had to focus on being the best me that I could be.

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

Feedback from peers can be a great learning tool.  What has been the most constructive critique you have gotten?

For me, it wasn’t a critique, it was more in the form of advice. Someone told me that they could see that I was holding back in my work. They told me to take more chances, and so that’s what I started doing.

And how did that advice shape your future images?

It helped shape my work because for a long time I would hold back on how I documented things. I held back because I was afraid to fail. However, I was failing myself because I wasn’t being honest and daring in my work. The more chances I took and the more I showed the kind of work that made me happy the more my style started to emerge.

Inspiration can be found in so many forms.  Where do you draw inspiration from?

I am inspired by life. I’m inspired by the things that I see around me, the interactions that I see between people, and most importantly my family.

How does that translate into your work?

Well, I shoot a lot around the city, so I incorporate those things into my work. I want to show people that beauty can be found everywhere. I love to document interactions between people, because I want to tell their story. And, of course I love photographing my daughter, so that she can remember her childhood and I love to document childlike moments. I think all of these things work well together to help define my style, and my vision.

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

I adore checking out your Instagram feed and how creative your iPhone photos are.  Many photographers worry about putting ‘too much out there’ on the internet of their personal life. How do you balance showcasing work there and maintaining a level of privacy in your life?

Thank you! You know that’s something that I do struggle with especially because my daughter is throughout my portfolio and my Instagram feed. I share what I’m okay with sharing, and if I feel like it will cross a line then I don’t.

Can you show us your favorite digital, film and iPhone image(s) and why they are so meaningful?

Sure!

Favorites come and go for me, but there’s always some that have a story behind it that’s like a game changer for me either personally or professionally.

This image of my daughter with my hat on is an image that changed things for me. It’s actually close to one of the last frames that I took of her that day. She was playing with a flower in her hand, and I snapped it and I didn’t post it immediately either. I sat on this image for a while and then I posted it to my page and I was shocked at how well it was received. People really loved that image. I think I got 75 fans that day. Yes, I counted. That image went viral.

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

This is a medium format image. I was in the city and these children were playing with one another in the water, and I’m telling you I wanted to go over there too, and there was this little girl who was so tickled by her little bucket and that made me happy. Plus, she was in the perfect spot compositionally wise, and I had to capture that moment.

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

This image is of my daughter shot with my iPhone. I love the light and the fact that I can maintain my vision with any instrument. The light, the conversion and my favorite person in the world.

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

How has the Clickin Moms community shaped your journey as a photographer?

Wow, you know I love the women over on Clickin Moms. For a long time I felt like I was alone in my journey and then I found CM and people accepted me for me. The support that I have received from this forum has been huge in my journey. Not only have I learned a lot about photography, but I’ve met some great friends who believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.

With so many new photographers emerging every day, what sets you apart from your competition?

I don’t know how to answer that one…lol. I feel like we are all doing the same things in a way, but we put our own little something special in it to set us apart from the rest. For example, it’s like when my mom makes potato salad. All of my aunts make potato salad, but it’s something different about hers that people can see and taste. We all have something that sets us apart from the rest, it’s just a matter of finding it and showing it. Once you do that, people will identify with it.

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

If you could work alongside any photographer for one day and pick their brain, who would it be and why?

Gordon Parks, because I learned from him how important the “story” is in photography. I see so many static images that are well processed, but the images that tell a story mean so much more to me. I love the images that make me wish I were there, or that I knew that person, or make me feel as though I can identify with that moment. Anyone can take a picture, however, there’s something special that happens when people identify or relate to your subjects, and he was able to do that because he told his subjects story.

You have a Breakout Session coming up. Can you provide our readers with a hint of what we can expect?

Well, the readers can expect for me to be honest about my own personal story. I share my struggles and insecurities and how overcoming those things helped me find my style. I also discuss how and why I convert my images to black and white and how that helps tell a story. I even share how I’m able to engage with my subjects to create images that have more impact than just a smile for the camera. So, yeah, I do a lot of talking.

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

photography interview with April 2013 CMpro of the Month Celeste Jones

Thank you Celeste for the fantastic interview!  Make sure you head over to Celeste’s website,  facebook, and Instagram to view the rest of her gorgeous work.

About the Author:

Courtney captures her every day with a Canon 5d mark II and varying lenses in a classic yet modern style. Residing in Atlantic City with her surfer husband, princess-clad daughter, and firetruck chasing twin boys, Courtney is a “self-proclaimed science geek” spending her days as a Chemistry and Physics teacher and her off time as a photographer. Visit Courtney Keim online.
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29 Comments

  1. Elena Apr 01 2013 at 11:22 am - Reply

    So proud of you, my friend! My heart bursts for you!

  2. parikha Apr 01 2013 at 11:48 am - Reply

    Great interview, Celeste – congratulations on your upcoming breakout!!

  3. Lisa Benemelis Apr 01 2013 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Celeste, this is one of my favorite interviews to date. I love your honesty, your story and the many gorgeous images you shared. I cannot wait for your breakout to be available tomorrow. <3

  4. Jeannette Apr 01 2013 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Wonderful interview! I enjoyed getting to know more about you Celeste!

  5. Jen R Apr 01 2013 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Love that you mention Gordon Parks as an inspiration – I can see the same respect for, and connection with, the subjects in your photos that I see in his work.

  6. Monica H. Apr 01 2013 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the honest interview! Looking forward to your Breakout release tomorrow!

  7. Rebecca Spencer Apr 01 2013 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful interview Celeste and I can’t wait for your breakout.

  8. Anne Apr 01 2013 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    So so proud of you,my dear Celeste. And I love the taste of your potatoe salad. <3

  9. Carolyn Apr 01 2013 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    great interview!!!

  10. LaShawn Apr 01 2013 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    Yay Celeste! I can’t wait for your breakout tomorrow!!

  11. celeste jones Apr 01 2013 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much everyone! <3

  12. PenelopeNY Apr 02 2013 at 12:06 am - Reply

    These photos are beautiful, very inspirational!

  13. Kristin Dokoza Apr 02 2013 at 12:14 am - Reply

    I loved reading this interview!! I can relate to so many things you’ve said, I’m such a fan of your images of your daughter. Digital, film, and IG!

  14. Shannon Wilkinson Apr 02 2013 at 1:30 am - Reply

    So very happy for you and proud of you Celeste. I can’t wait for your breakout.

    Shan

  15. Jo Clark Apr 02 2013 at 2:24 am - Reply

    So awesome Celeste! Congrats on Pro of the Month and your breakout! Work it girl! xo Jo

  16. Antigone Apr 02 2013 at 5:39 am - Reply

    You’re AWESOME, Celeste!

  17. Penelope Apr 02 2013 at 10:55 am - Reply

    I’ve been a fan of your work, Celeste for a while. I love that you’re front and center. Enjoy it. You deserve it!

  18. Jessica Apr 02 2013 at 11:30 am - Reply

    Stunning images Celeste! Can’t wait to see the Breakout!

  19. Marissa Apr 02 2013 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Great interview Celeste!! Can’t wait to read your breakout! 🙂

  20. Ana Apr 02 2013 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    I really love your images! Congrats!!

  21. Cyndi Apr 03 2013 at 12:19 am - Reply

    Celeste, so glad you did this interview-I’m a new fan! LOVE your work, LOVE the raw emotion that is i each image. And the clarity of colors, is so lovely! You are pretty awesome.

  22. Stacey Vukelj Apr 03 2013 at 11:22 am - Reply

    Celeste, so happy to read this! Wonderful interview.

  23. cynthia Apr 03 2013 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Love your photos and your soulful insight. I feel your thoughts. I look forward to your session.

    Thanks for opening up to us. 🙂

  24. Rebecca Apr 03 2013 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Congratulations Celeste! I enjoyed reading the interview and always enjoy seeing your images!

  25. Valerie Apr 04 2013 at 7:45 am - Reply

    Loved reading this!!! <3 you've been a fave of mine for a while, Celeste!!!

  26. Catherine R. Apr 06 2013 at 10:50 am - Reply

    I forgot to leave you a comment! Loved reading that you love Gordon Parks and the potato salad analogy was perfect! Love your break-out!

  27. Kim L Apr 07 2013 at 10:10 am - Reply

    I loved the potato salad analogy, beautiful images.

  28. Emily Apr 18 2013 at 8:34 am - Reply

    I am absolutely in love with the photo of the girl dancing in the street. 🙂 Simply beautiful capture, along with all of the rest!

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