Saturday, January 29, 2011

Photographer Interview: Becky Leatherman (Life with Kaishon)

Not sure how I stumbled across Becky Leatherman's blog Life with Kaishon.  She may have found me first I can't remember.  Her comments are always so encouraging and straight to my heart that I just fell in love with her.  I visit her blog because I always ALWAYS leave with a smile on my face.  She takes the most beautiful pictures of people and life.  She says her blog isn't a photography blog and she really doesn't like anything to do with camera specifics like ISO and aperture's all about capturing the moment and that's what I love about her.  She definitely captures it:)

She does these amazing photographer interviews.  When I see one come up I feel giddy inside.  I just love learning about people, and photography is obviously something I connect with.  They are SO good!  Anyway it dawned on me one day that no one has interviewed her and that's just a shame.  So here's my attempt to get to know Becky better and to share her with you.

As a blogger how has your direction changed and why?

When I started it was because some of my friends from college did it and I thought it was a brilliant way for people to keep up with our family. Then, I got addicted! It was so interesting to meet new people and see how they were living life. People fascinate me.

When did you start pursuing photography?

I Heart Faces. I saw it somewhere in the blogosphere the very first week it started and I was in love! The first 3 or 4 weeks I was using pictures I already had and then I started trying to get a new shot each week. And then started taking more pictures. And then I started taking pictures daily. Then I learned how to {sort of} edit in Photoshop Elements...and the rest is history. I am in love with taking pictures!

How did you learn??

I didn't go to any classes. I read my manual and had no idea what it was saying. I learned by shooting. I shot the trees in the morning and the kids playing outside at night. I shot the snow shoveler's in our neighborhood and the ballet dancers at the Nutcracker. I shot third grade basketball players in florescent lighting and I shot brides at sunset. Anything and everything. I loved learning. And I still have SO much to learn!

One thing that is very important to me though is to always have fun and to capture moments. I know a lot of people that take technically perfect pictures but there is something missing. The heart perhaps? I never want that to happen to me. The moments are magic! We are blessed to be able to capture them. If I shoot something and it isn't technically a great picture but I got a special moment it goes down as a winner in my book!

Do you have a photography business?

No business. I don't charge to shoot yet because I do not have a small business. I don't file taxes. I don't feel ready. I see a lot of people start up and I look at their pictures and I think 'Oh NO!'

I think it should not be jumped into just because your camera cost $1k or more or because you have a Mac with iphoto. That doesn't make you ready to be a professional. I don't want to be a part of that crowd!

Hats off to anyone that tries it but that is just not me!


What equipment do you use? Is there someone who took you under their wing and helped you decide what to get? What's your favorite lens?

I started with a Canon Rebel and wore that camera out! I moved up to a Nikon D90 and I love it. The thing I loved most about Canon was the color. Impeccable. The thing I love about Nikon is the sharpness. It can not be rivaled.

No one told me what to get except the salesperson at the local camera store. I believe in shopping local because I love to support small businesses! My camera man had seen my pictures from the Rebel for 2 years and he told me it was time for a D90. I tested it at the store and was leery. I took it home and didn't use it for 3 months. Finally, my friend Drew insisted I bring it to the I Heart Faces workshop. Loved it : ) and so did she even though she is a Canon girl through and through.

I have a couple of lenses: I don't know what there numbers are. (This just goes to show how uneducated I am) I got a 50mm 1.4 because everyone and their brother was swearing by it. Just like the camera, I didn't try it for 2 months. And now I am in love with it : )

How do you get people to let their real beauty shine though in photos?? How do you capture that?

I believe every person is beautiful. Every. Single. One. And I love finding that. One time I heard some wedding photographers complain about having to shoot a wedding with an ugly couple. It broke my heart. Everyone has beauty within. I truly believe that and I think it shows in my pictures. I think the day that any photographer thinks in their head 'I am shooting an ugly couple, or an ugly baby, or an ugly family' is the day they should stop. If you can't see beauty in everyone then this isn't the right field. People are beautiful. All kinds.

What is your favorite thing about being a mom to Kaishon?

My absolute favorite thing?

I can't pick. I love reading books at night before bed. He has such great thoughts about ideas. I love when he uses his imagination and acts out stories. He is dramatic. I love that he loves acting and he is so good at it. I love that we are both struggling through 5th grade math together. I love the happy moments when we can't stop laughing. I love the job of being a Mommy more than any other thing ever. These past 11 years have been the best collective years of my life. I treasure him.

Least favorite part of being a mom?

I am the worst disciplinarian on the planet. Kaishon is definitely spoiled. Now, the bad thing about that is...hello, SPOILED! But the good thing about it is that I was pretty spoiled when I was growing up and I turned out OK, so I am hoping for the best for him as well! As a social worker I see a lot of children that are not only not spoiled but not cared for at all. It breaks my heart.

What is a list of your favorite blogs, photographers etc...

Every day I go to a Quiet Life with Donna Boucher as well as Scott Kelby's blog.

There are many others but they are 2 of my favorites.

I am a part of Communal Global which is a great photography site because it has people of all levels and each day we share pictures from all around the world. I love it there : )

Do you have any special talents or other gifts we don't know about?

Taking pictures is my only special talent. I wasn't brilliant in school. I am not athletic at all. I can't sing or dance or play the piano or cook. So, nope, no other special talents.

You always seem so happy and full of life. What gives you joy?

Jesus gives me great joy.

And Kaishon.

Having a son like Kaishon gives me great joy every day.

There are two ways to live life: Thankfully or unhappily. If you are thankful you are joyful. I choose joy.

Thank you girlie!  Go visit Becky at Life with Kaishon.

Have a blessed day.

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