Here at Custom Photo Props, we LOVE to know more about our customers. We strive to make that special connection with each of you, so we can continue to help you and your businesses grow with us! This interview series not only helps us learn more about our customers, but it will help us all gain a little bit of Exposure in the industry. So zoom in and take a peek at our first photographer in the series, Elizabeth Pellette.
1) Who are you and where are you located?
I am Elizabeth Pellette of Elizabeth Pellette Photography and I am located in Springville, New York
2) Do you have a home studio, rented space, or are you on location?
I am a location photographer. I frequently go to clients homes or we meet at a location of their choosing.
3) What subjects are your primary focus and which do you enjoy shooting the most?
I photograph a bit of everything. I shoot Maternity and Newborns, as well as families, high school seniors, engagement and weddings.
4) There are so many different kinds of camera’s out there! What do you use and how did you decide on that particular one?
I shoot all Nikon products, and I decided on Nikon many years ago when I first started shooting it was the film era, so I had used Nikon then, so when I made the switch to digital, I already had some Nikon glass.. and decided since I was so happy with their products I would continue with them, I have never regretted my choice.
5) While we’re talking about equipment, what lens do you prefer to use and why?
I am currently finding I leave my Nikkor 35mm F/1.4 on my camera the most and am loving the results I get with it. I also tend to go with my Nikkor 24-70mm F/2.8.
6) We hear a lot of debate on natural light vs. studio light, what are your thoughts on the subject?
As far as Natural light over studio light I really think its a matter of preference. I personally prefer Natural light. I prefer the way it makes skin tones look and I like the challenge of it always changing from minute to minute.
7) How did you learn to be a photographer?
I started in Photography when I was about 13 years old when my aunt gave me my first SLR film camera.. Back then everything was manual.. there were no auto settings at all. I learned a lot by trial and error. When I got to High School I took the photography class that was offered and learned how to process my own film. I then Majored in Fine Art Photography at Buffalo State College. I think that the fine art aspect really pushed me to see things a little differently when documenting people. I strive to be really creative with my images, and trying new things, thinking outside the box.
8) What or who inspires you? Do you have a photographer you look up to?
I am inspired by so many things I think it would be difficult to pinpoint it to just one thing. Sometimes its the light.. or a location I drive past, sometimes its the smell in the air.. as far as photographers that inspire me.. that changes on a regular basis too.. ha! Right now I am really loving the work of Michelle Gardella. I love the way she uses light and documents her subjects so perfectly.
9) When you’re doing a photoshoot or working an event, what is your favorite part?
I think my favorite part of a photo session or event is when that sort of discomfort the client may have in front of the camera disappears and their true selves start to shine through.. and watching that transformation is so much fun for me. Everyone at first is a bit awkward or uncomfortable at the start of a session, having the attention drawn to them at first seems odd.. but once you kind of move past that and I get them talking about who they are, what their interests are, shared experiences.. they start to come out of that shell.. you can see that happen… I just love that. I love when you make that connection with them..
10) What have you struggled with the most while having a career as a professional photographer? Any tips for somebody who is just starting out?
I think the biggest struggle for me was learning about business.. and how to run my own. The photography aspect always kind of came naturally but the business part not as easily. My tips for anyone starting out in photography would be don’t compare yourself to others, and what others are doing. If possible seek out a mentor someone who will let you tag along on some photo shoots, so you can see how it all works.. its intimidating at first to go meet with a client you may not know at all, and start shooting them. I have always been more than happy to let new photographers tag along to get a feel for the way it all works and let you actually take some photos not just follow along behind. The best way to learn is by doing. It seems contradictory to say don’t compare yourselves to others and then work with a mentor if possible. but I think be inspired by someone and learning from them, and then putting your spin on it.. makes you who you are as a photographer.
11) Do you have any unconventional tips or tricks for getting your little clients to cooperate during a shoot?
As far as tips or tricks for getting clients to cooperate.. it really just depends on the client. If I am shooting younger kids, I will ask the parents if I can bring a treat along for them, for after the session, kind of like a reward for their hard work. With teens, I just try to connect with them on their level. Ask a lot of questions get them talking about themselves and their interests, and lets not forget that I am completely a klutz.. so its not uncommon for me to trip or fall over something ( not on purpose ) nothing looses a client up like falling on your face.. and laughing about it.
12) Where would you like to see your company in the next five years?
In the next five years I would like to see my business continue to grow. I would like to be shooting a lot more consistently year round.
I also wanted to say that I do love Custom Photo Props products, I have been using them for years when shooting newborns and incorporating them into home based new born sessions. They really just help tie a newborn session all together.
Go like Elizabeth’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elizabeth-Pellette-Photography/142118534367
and check out her business site http://www.elizabethpellettephotography.com/
Thanks Elizabeth!! <3