Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Weekly Feature | Emily Rainsford

Happy Wednesday, mamas!

We're excited to be here tonight with our wonderful guest judge, Emily Rainsford, and as we get to know a little more about her, can we just say WOWZA so far on this week's entries?  Love this theme so much- you guys are rocking it!

We are settling in with a cup of decaf here, so let's get right to it!  

When did your photography journey begin?

I have the same old boring “had a kid, got a camera” story that a lot of us have :-) I actually had a latent interest in photography my whole life, but just never quite ignited it. I used to love to travel, and my favourite part about it was going for a walk with my point and shoot and taking photos. I think I always had it in me, but it wasn't until I had my own little model that I really came into my own, as I am at heart a portrait photographer. I find it really hard to take photos without any people in them! I got my DSLR around my daughter's first birthday and started to shoot and learn veraciously! That was in 2012, so I've been shooting seriously for about three years now and still feel like I have a long way to go to becoming the artist I want to be.

Name a photographer who inspires you and what draws you to your work.

Right near the beginning of my journey I came across Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman (operating as Jellybean Pictures at that time, although she has now evolved towards using her own name). Jennifer was one of the first people to break into in-home, lifestyle work as a professional, at a time when props and posing were The Thing. I really admire the way she has always followed her own heart and drive as an artist, rather than letting herself be defined by the flavour of the month, or letting external noise drown her own voice as an artist. And as someone who documents real life and is a lover of imperfection myself, I love her “real is awesome” motto. I've also done two courses with Jenn (the only education aside from self teaching I've done) and she is such a fantastic mentor, honest but with kindness, and very giving to all her students. I admire her because she is both a great person AND a great and authentic photographer and is always encouraging to others starting out on their journey.

Canon or Nikon?

Well, I started with Canon, but I have recently bought myself a Sony a7, which is a full frame mirrorless camera, and I absolutely love it! It's small and lightweight, which is a huge advantage as a mum capturing moments out and about. I also find the unobtrusive nature of it has two huge benefits: firstly, I feel like less of a twat getting it out in public at cafes, playgrounds etc which means I take more pictures that I wouldn't have before.  And secondly, it enables me to capture more natural moments, as people aren't intimidated by the camera and using the LCD enables me to maintain the connection with the subject. Also the EVF means I can see how the final image is going to look BEFORE I click the shutter and adjust exposure accordingly, which is great for getting it right in camera. I could go on and on but suffice to say I am really loving my mirrorless! I actually run a group called Mirrorless Mamas if anyone wants to join us.
I actually also shoot some film from time to time and have a small collection of film cameras. My favourites are my Canon Elan IIe, my Minolta XG1 and my Yashicamat 124G.  (The black and white breastfeeding image in this post was shot on my Yashicamat).

A photography related goal you hope to accomplish within a year.

I have to be honest with you here, I don't have one. I have a 3 year old who never sleeps and am 24 weeks pregnant. I have made the decision that for the next year or so, I need to focus on my growing family and photography needs to take a back seat to that. Unfortunately, there is just no time in my life right now to sit down at a computer and edit images. This is HARD for me, as I live and breathe photography, and feel like I'm missing a limb not having it in my life the way it once was. But babies don't keep and there will be plenty of time for photography later. I'm scratching that creative itch by using my mirrorless and transferring jpegs via wifi for brief edits on my phone (the pregnancy self portrait in this post was processed this way), and shooting some film. Really my goal for the next year is just to document my babies and my vision in whatever way possible. Of course I hope to grow as a photographer along the way – but I guess for now I'm more mum than tog. I guess you could say a goal would be to let go of the need for perfection and just embrace whatever way I am able to express my creativity for the next little while, without holding it up in comparison to anyone else.

What program do you use for editing your images?

I use both Lightroom and Photoshop in my workflow. I do my initial edits in Lightroom, and especially any cropping and selective brush work I find a lot easier in Lightroom. Then I give the image final oomph and sharpening in Photoshop. I wish I could do it all in one programme and achieve the look I like, but I'm pretty accustomed to my workflow now.

I don't know about you, mamas, but we all agree that these images are just so gorgeously diverse, and each one executed so intentionally and beautifully.  Thank you so much to Emily for a fantastic theme this week.  We hope you've given her page a like so you can continue to see her beautiful images after this week is over!

Remember, you have until Sunday at NOON CST to get those images in!

Jess & the Mamas 

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