LOVE this lady’s work! I’m proud to share with you Amanda Campbell from Chasing Daylight out of northern Alabama! (I’m seeing a little southern trend with these interviews lately!) 😉
Her work is so perfectly as her art really speaks for how much she pursues that stunning light and gorgeous shot. I found Amanda through none other than Facebook, and I have been so inspired her unique images. Social media definitely rocks when it comes to finding inspiration from other photographers and creatives! I’m just amazed that she has 3 little guys all under the age of 5 and she runs such a successful business at the same time! If you are close by make sure to give her a call and set up a session with her ASAP! In the meantime, here is a little behind the lens look at someone who has greatly inspired me.
1) Tell us a little about yourself! Where are you located? Are you married? Do you have children? Pets?
I’m located in North Alabama and have been married to my best friend for going on 8 years! We have 3 little boys aged 5, 4, and (almost) 2. We also have 2 furbabies: a yorkie and a westie.
2) When did you first realize you loved photography, and what made you want to do this as your career?
Like most photographers, I enjoyed photography as a hobby when I was much younger. While I never pursued it in college, I picked it back up as a hobby when my first son was born. After a pretty awful (and expensive) session at a chain studio, I decided to learn as much as I could so that I could take my own son’s photos instead of taking him to a studio.
I was a middle school science teacher on maternity leave when I realized that teaching wasn’t for me. I wanted to be home with my son as much as possible. So, as my skills improved and I continued to learn, I realized that photography could be an added source of income for our growing family. That’s when I decided to dive head first into the “biz.”
3) As a photographer, do you feel that you see the world differently? What is your favorite subject?
I think any artist views the world differently from others. I can definitely say that I’ve always been artistic in one way or another. And I’ve always seen the world in a unique way. However, it definitely took practice to teach my “creative eye” to see things through the lens. It also wasn’t easy learning the techniques required to translate my vision accurately.
4) How would you describe your style as an artist? Are you a rule follower or a rule breaker? Traditional, modern, edgy, candid?
I have always been a “rule-breaker” in life. Not to the extreme, or anything. But in general, I’m not fond of being told how to do something. And I approached photography with much the same attitude. I started out a “rule-breaking photographer” and proud of it. Over time, however, I learned that I was a rule-breaker mostly because I didn’t understand the rules and how they could positively impact my work. Daily, I’m striving to learn as much as I can about the techniques and “rules” that so many successful artists before me have pioneered or mastered. I’ve come to truly appreciate the rules of photography. But don’t get me wrong, I break them quite often. Whether by accident or on purpose, rules are made to be broken. It just turns out much better when you know and understand how to apply the rules and make an educated/artistic choice to ignore one or more of them.
5) How do you keep centered and balanced so the business doesn’t take over your personal life?
That’s a constant struggle. With my 3 boys and my photography business, there isn’t much time for anything else. I try to incorporate projects that inspire me into my life. And those projects most often star my kids. They love to have their picture taken and obviously I love taking their picture! Works out quite nicely!
My house is always messy. We never call it “clean.” We just refer to the degree of messiness. On good days its mildly messy. But on most days, it’s a complete disaster. I’m at peace with this because my free time away from my family is work time. I work from home, so there is very little time that I get to devote only to photography (unless I’m off at a session.) I usually stay up into the wee hours of the morning to stay caught up on editing. Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable when trying to work from home and be a stay at home mom.
6) What advice can you give to new business owners in any field who are trying to balance family life and work life?
Don’t sweat the messiness. I mean, not everyone can live in a messy house. Luckily we can make it work. If any one of us were neat freaks, we’d be in trouble. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up with my kids, work, and housework.
Put your kids and loved ones first. Don’t let your work overwhelm you to the extent that you’re missing quality family time to meet the next deadline. Been there, done that, avoid it at all costs.
7) What has been one challenge you’ve faced in your work that you’ve grown from?
I’ve dealt with clients who don’t view my time as valuable. Whether being unwilling to work around my availability or being demanding when it comes to how quickly they will receive their proofing gallery. I’ve learned to politely stand my ground and remember that my time is important.
8) When someone sees your art, what are you hoping they see?
Something beautiful that inspires them. 🙂
9) What are some of the clichés in photography that you try to stay away from?
Definitely the super unnatural baby poses. There’s a whole lot of demand for these types of images, and I respect photographers who offer that. However, it’s just not for me. That, and selective color on black and white. I just don’t do it.
10) Who has most influenced your work? Other photographers?
Other photographers definitely influence and inspire me. Three Nails photography is fascinating. Any photographer that pushes the boundaries and has mastered the beauty of light influences my work.
11) Are you working on any projects personal or work related at the moment? What keeps you inspired and makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning?
I’m constantly thinking about the next special session I want to offer. I get excited about coming up with something new and unique. Something no one else is doing.
12) How has social media helped or challenged you and your work as a photographer?
Social media has played a very large part in helping my business to grow. All of my clients either come from finding me on Facebook or through word of mouth. I’ve never paid for advertisement.
13) How do you get away and relax? Do you take your camera everywhere even when you are “relaxing”? 🙂
What is this relaxing you speak of? I honestly don’t find any time to relax. And yes. I take my camera almost everywhere I go. 🙂
14) What is something you’ve done that has made a huge influence on your business’s success?
I think truly loving what I do has had the greatest impact on my success. Photography is always on my mind and I want to constantly learn and improve. I’m never satisfied or willing to settle.
15) What is in your camera bag? Do you have any favorite items in your bag?
My 85mm 1.4 is my absolute favorite lens. But I usually keep a wide angle, macro, 50mm, along with my 85 in my bag. Sometimes, when the situation calls for it, I bring along my telephoto. My next purchase will be a 35mm. 🙂 I love lenses.
16) What are you most excited about in the next year for you and/or your business?
I’m in the process of looking for a business space. Right now, I have an office in my home. But I’m excited to find just the right spot to set up camp. 🙂
17) What is one thing you wish your clients or other’s who admire your work knew about you? What is one question someone hasn’t ever asked you before, but you wish that they had?
I wish that my clients, as well as others, realized how much work is involved in creating their images after the session is over. I put all of my heart into making sure each image is just right.
I’d love to have the opportunity to follow you back so make sure to let me know how I can!
Thank you again for stopping by! Don’t forget if you are in the area near Amanda, give her a call for you unique session today!
Questions? Email me @ email@example.com