I’ve got a real treat for you today. A few weeks back I had some photographs taken (the awesome ones you now see on the site!) and it was such a great experience I just had to share it with you. I was lucky enough to work with the talented duo behind Angela & Evan Photography. I – like a lot of people – am not comfortable having my picture taken, so I was really nervous before the shoot. Evan was great, though, and completely put me at ease. I ended up having a blast during the photo shoot and now have oodles of fantastic pictures. Since Angela and Evan rocked my photo world, I thought it would be fun to get some photography tips and insights from them . So let’s get to it.
Could you tell us a bit about your journey into photography and starting your own photography business?
It is a slightly different story for both of us. For me (Evan) photography has always been an interest. I took classes in high school and decided to continue pursuing it in college. There was no photography program so I just took the few classes that were available, then ultimately ended up leaving school without any kind of degree. After a few years of “finding myself” I enrolled at the Art Institute.
Angela lived in Indiana originally and had not yet discovered her interest in photography, in fact had never even picked up more than a point and shoot in her life. She originally decided to come to Seattle to study interior design at the Art Institute. However, when touring the school the photography program unexpectedly caught her eye and she decided to enroll in that program instead.
We met the first week of school and the rest is history.
We both graduated with photography degrees with an emphasis in fashion. After graduation, I worked for a wedding studio doing retouching for about a year & Angela had already been assisting other wedding photographers and shooting a lot on her own. I tagged along on a few weddings with her and our business was born.
For someone looking to upgrade from a point and shoot to an SLR, what camera and lens do you recommend starting with?
When it comes to starting out, any inexpensive SLR would probably do the trick…. that being said, if it were me, I’d probably pick a canon or nikon. Both companies make great gear at good prices in the consumer SLR range. As far as lenses go, I would probably look into a 50mm first, then branch out in each direction. The 50mm is probably the closest to what the human eye sees. A lot of people might tell you to get a zoom lens to start, but I personally prefer fixed lenses.
In my opinion, the fantastic natural light you use is one of the things that really sets your photographs apart from others. What tips do you have for beginners in finding and using natural light?
Finding good light depends on the type of day we are shooting. It takes a ton of practice to discover what types of light provides the effect we’re looking for. I feel like this is something that we will always be working on improving. On overcast days the light is fairly diffused eliminating harsh shadows. On sunnier days we move to the shade to create this same effect. In the direct sunlight it is important to work with the sun by shooting into it and having our subject’s back to the sunlight. This allows the light to frame the subject and keep away strange shadow patterns from their faces. Direct sunlight can also be a fun time to play with lens flare which can really make a picture unique. In general when it comes to light our main focus is to keep our subject’s clear from distracting shadows and highlights.
What are the best and most challenging aspects of running your own photography business?
Because we are both creative people, working through the business side of things has been a real challenge. Angela has mostly taken over this aspect of our business and has become amazing at it. There is so much more to our business than just taking great photos and burning them to a disk. We are constantly trying to improve both our products and consistently maintain a high level of customer service. Between advertising, post production, blogging, shooting, and emails, there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes. I think what’s made us successful is our commitment to all aspects of the business, not just the shooting part. I don’t think we could get through each year if we didn’t really enjoy it. It’s awesome that we do it together and that it’s always been such a big part of our relationship. Angela always says we’d never see each other if we weren’t shooting together…which is partly true. It’s easy to let the business completely take over your life, but we make sure to schedule much needed personal time, especially with our son Eli who is 16 months old. Eli has the best baby photos ever too…that’s a huge plus to having photographer parents!
Thank you so much, Angela and Evan! Aren’t all these photographs gorgeous? I just love that Angela unexpectedly enrolled in the photography program and is now a full time photographer. The path to finding our passions is so unpredictable.
Even if you don’t have any upcoming nuptials, I highly recommend scheduling a personal photo shoot. Having professional photos of yourself delivers a major self-esteem boost, and who wouldn’t want that? For more photography eye candy and information, head on over to Angela & Evan’s website.