What do the words "Creative Community" bring to mind for you? How do you feel is the best way to utilize members in a Creative Community?
Working as a freelance photographer can be sort of lone-wolfish, so creating and embracing a community has been really impactful and heartening for me. I realize that work begets work, but work can also eat you alive! I find that I need to get out and meet with my peers and colleagues. I've helped create a community of women photographers that both meet in person and serves as a referral, trouble shooting, and supportive network.
How did you discover your creativity?
Both of my parents really encouraged my creativity as a kid. My dad was a collector of psychedelic poster art and an architect, and most of our time together was spent either in taking me on a walk or to a museum. Those walks, perhaps even more than the museum visits, are what really what anchored my creativity and instilled the value of a deeper kind of seeing. He would point out the way a tree branch intersected a horizon, how an architectural detail changed the feeling of a building, in effect teaching me how to actively observe the world. My mom was supportive of all my early creative leanings, allowing me to photograph her, get paint all over the kitchen floor, and build sculptures out of junk.
What was your first “Big Break” in your profession?
I can't say that I've had a specific moment that was a big break per se, besides working hard for a very long time! However, I can say that this work ethic has paid off. I am working with companies that have grown from pop-ups to brick and mortar restaurants, shooting cookbook projects, and traveling to shoot with craftspeople, farms, and ranchers who are working to support biodiversity and traditional food ways.
What's in your backpack/handbag/tote right now?
Water, coffee, advil, chapstick, business cards, journal, hanky, travel toothbrush, band-aids, lara bar, travel spoon, 12 pens.
Top 3 Tips you would give someone starting out in your creative profession:
Assist as much as you can; you'll pick up business and client navigation skills in addition to working in the field.
Be kind and humble, get your social skills in order.
Don't spend too much time looking at other people's creative work or social media. Concentrate on what pleases you/what you are the best at.
Who are you following right now on Instagram for inspiration and why?
I follow accounts like @cassbird, @mattiehinkley, + @amylombard because I love watching the work of women artists and photographers that seem to have a really specific point of view. It helps keep me focused, despite my range of client and editorial work, keeps me staying honed on my specific style and vision.
Instagram can have it's own set of "instagramy" aesthetics, so it's a good reminder that folks that don't bow to that are doing great and presenting their work that does not fit that mold.
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