Thursday, June 25, 2009

Q and A

Last week, I opened up the floor for questions about anything and everything. Thankfully nobody asked me how to make the perfect cheese fondue. I was hoping to have a few people ask some relatively common questions - and you did! - so that later on I can refer to this post when I get those same questions again and again.

So here goes...

Your family is gorgeous! Why don't you ever post pictures of yourself? I'm a belly-bump-aholic :)

First of all, thank you. Secondly, there are a few reasons you rarely see pictures of me...

1. Like most women, I suppose, I despise pictures of myself and loathe even the idea of having my picture taken.

2. It's somewhat difficult to take a self-portrait on a DSLR without a remote shutter. The focus issue is difficult to remedy. BUT...I recently bought a remote shutter, so hopefully I will get a few pictures up soon. My belly really is getting to be rather large.

3. The whole idea seems kind of conceited to me. See? Look how cute I am! Besides that, as I stated in #1, I generally don't consider my pictures to be very "cute".

What is your go-to outdoor setting?

I was a little confused by this question at first, but what I think you're asking is what type of location I prefer when shooting. I really don't have an answer for this as I LOVE exploring new places all the time. But, having said that, one of my favorite places to go is downtown Indy because the area is so large and so diverse. Regardless of what type of personality you are, there is something that will fit you downtown!

I always encourage my clients to come up with a location of their own choosing so that it will fit their personality, but sometimes I have to intervene for those who simply don't have any idea where they'd like to have their shoot take place.

What kind of camera do you shoot with?

I currently shoot with a Nikon D80. My husband is following in my footsteps a little bit and learning on my D40.

What do you feel is the best way to advertise your services?

I can't really say for sure because I'm not exactly booming with business yet, but word of mouth has been pretty effective for me. Almost all of my clients have been friends or friends of friends. I do leave business cards in Starbucks, at jewelry stores, dress shops, etc., but I can't really say I've gotten much business that way.

I saw your post about your studio (it looks awesome BTW).. what all does it consist of and where did you buy everything for it?

Thanks! I'm still pretty psyched about having my own studio in my home! Here are all the juicy details:

1. THE FLOOR - It's floating laminate from Menards. It's approximately 7 ft x 8 ft (2 boxes of 27sf flooring) and cost me $50. It's not attached to anything - it's just lying on the linoleum.

2. THE BACKDROPS - Seamless paper from The rolls are 53" wide x 12 yards. Each roll ran me about $22 + shipping. Total order cost to purchase and ship 6 rolls: about $160. The backdrops are hung on a shower curtain rod, which is placed on two L hooks screwed into the wall. Total cost for that was about $10.

3. THE OTHER DETAILS - There is 5 ft of base moulding at the bottom of the paper roll. Your hardware store can cut it for you. (About $8) The paper is tucked slightly under the flooring. It is kept taut (I'm having a pregnant moment - is that how you spell that?) at the top merely because the paper roll is still so wide, but eventually I need to get some clamps.

4. THE LIGHTING - These photos were taken late at night, so I was only using my SB-600 external flash. During the day, I have lots of natural light that streams in through the sliding glass doors. (Yes!)

5. THE PAPER RACK - Made up of 12 J hooks from the hardware store. They are layered closely together to create the appearance of a rack. Cost = about $15.

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Are you self-taught?

Yes! I am living proof that photography school is NOT a necessity! However, I do frequent a few pro photography forums online and have learned an awful lot from the ladies in those groups. I also cannot say enough about the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. Fantastic book!

I'm going to buy a new Digital Cannon, wanted to know your thoughts on the Digital Rebel.

Well, first off, Justin...I have to tell you that, having been made aware of your...shall we say....historical background, I absolutely LOVE the way you spelled Canon. :)

I can't say much about Canon cameras as I'm a Nikon girl myself. Canon and Nikon are the two leading brands of cameras and both are great! The Rebel was replaced by the XT several years ago, which was in turn replaced by the XTi. There are several models of Rebel cameras, so I recommend checking out Ken Rockwell's reviews on each to find what's right for you. You can find his review on the original Rebel here.

How do I set my camera to do the quick clicking, take a ton of successive pictures, thing? I was told by someone who has my type of camera that my camera will do this. I am just not sure how. Should I read the instruction book?

Well, the short answer to your question is: Yes, you should read the instruction book. :) The type of shooting you're referring to is called continuous (or burst) shooting. It's virtually impossible to tell you how to do this on your camera since all cameras are different and I have no idea which camera you own, but I recommend looking under shooting modes in your menu settings. Along with the continuous shooting mode, you will probably also see the timer mode and possibly other modes if they are available on your camera.


Justin said...

Thanks Heidi,
I am a bit of a historian and DANG IT I MISSPELLED CANON. I"M AN IDIOT. Ok enought self loathing. Hey thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I may grab you and ask you about what you like about your Nikkon or Nikon or spelling is bad for me.

clarissa stagg said...

Mucho thanks for taking the time to answer those questions. =) I am still totally in love with your studio!!