Photographer Feature: Amber Rust

Have you noticed anything different? Our website and blog got a facelift! Hopefully you like the new design and we're hopeful this is a smooth transition. To kick off the new design, we decided to have another Feature Photographer. Today, we have Amber Rust from Two Color Photography on the blog to share with us her inspiration and drive behind her images. Amber is a Utah based photographer that also participates with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. We were particularly impressed by what her images mean to her clients. They have become final memories that they will cherish forever. You can visit Amber on her website, blog or find her on Facebook.

Thanks Amber for your thoughtful responses and beautiful photographs!


 What sparked your interest in photography and how old were you?
I  had just had a beautiful baby girl with a head full of gorgeous dark curly hair.  My husband and I had spent almost $100 {gasp} to get a “good” point and shoot camera to document her birth and her growth.  We were so disappointed in its performance.   Convinced that the problem lie with the camera and not with the operator, we went to the store looking for yet another camera.  This time we spent $150 on a point and shoot that was guaranteed to give us those pictures we wanted.  After returning from the lab with another roll of film (yes, film), it began to dawn on me that maybe, just maybe it was the user.  So we went to Inkley’s and invested in our first SLR camera and made a commitment to learn all I could about my camera and how to use it.  My love for photography started to grow as my knowledge of the intricacies of my camera and in turn the quality of my images began to increase.  That beautiful baby girl is now 13 years old!



  What are your favorite sessions, subjects or situations to photograph?
I think my favorite session is almost always the one on shooting at the time.  My clients often hear me say things, when taking a peek at my viewfinder, like “eeeeek, newborns/bridals/babies/seniors/children are my favorite sessions to do!”  I do, however, specialize in newborn photography.  Newborns just hold a special place in my heart!




   Most memorable “on the job” moment?
My most memorable on the job moment was meeting a family for a maternity/family session.  This family had 4 sweet little boys and was pregnant with their 5th child, a daughter.  Sadly, this daughter was diagnosed with Anencephaly, and they would be saying hello and goodbye to her on the same day.  They knew that this maternity session would be their one chance for a family photo with their entire family.  I went on this session expecting sadness and heartbreak, but the family was so strong together, and they just seemed to know that everything was going to work out in the long run.  I still keep in touch with this family, and even though their daughter isn’t with them physically, they keep her memory alive by talking about her with such joy and love.  I love meeting amazing people!



   How do you balance your business with your family?
I’m afraid that is something I don’t do as well as I should.  I do have 2 days a week where I don’t accept clients, and on those days I make sure I’m not in the office either.  As my children are getting older, I also try and include them in the business.  My daughter comes with me on many sessions and holds reflectors or does goofy things to get the attention of kids in the sessions.



    What has been your favorite photography related accomplishment?
My affiliation with the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep organization has been my favorite photography related accomplishment.  I believe that I have been blessed by a loving God with my talents and abilities, and because of that, I feel like I should always be looking for ways to give back.  Helping families through the darkest days of their lives has been such a blessing to me.  I have met families that will be forever friends.  I have met babies that will touch my heart forever. I love what I do as a photographer, but being a part of this organization has grounded me and made me realize just what is important.  It makes me realize how important everyday is and that capturing that day or that moment on a camera for a family could someday be all they have to remember a loved one.



     What has been your biggest business blunder or embarrassing moment?
I had booked a high school dance session via phone and had it calendared, and then had booked a maternity session through email and forgot to calendar it.  I had booked them for the exact same time and the exact same place.  I arrive 5-10 minutes early to each session so that I am always there before the client to greet them and make them feel comfortable.  You can imagine my horror as both my clients pulled up at the exact same time and got out of their cars and waved at me.  Fortunately, high school dance groups don’t take a lot of time and the maternity client was a long time client and I was able to tell her my blunder and she completely understood, and we even laughed about it as we did her maternity session right after the dance pictures! That is the one and only time I have forgotten to put a booking on the calendar!



      What do you hope people take away from your work?
I guess that changes from subject to subject.  When I photograph a family, I want people to come away feeling the love in that family.  When I photograph a child, I want people to see the personality of that child and feel the fun in their eyes.  I guess my goal from each session is to capture the personality of the subject and have it reflect in the portraits so that anyone looking at that picture can see if the child was sweet and sassy, or if that family was fun and funky, or maybe that adorable senior was a quiet, shy beauty.  Pictures should reflect YOU!



       Where do you draw your inspiration from?
EVERYWHERE!  There are the obvious sources,  Pinterest, facebook, as well as other photographer’s websites, but I watch people!  I watch how they  interact with each other.  I watch how they greet each other, how they stand how they talk to each other, and I try and incorporate those natural faces and poses into my sessions.  I watch online workshops, subscribe to magazines, and try and attend as many conventions as time will allow.




   How has photography shaped the way you see the world?
I have learned that we are never guaranteed tomorrow.  I have photographed children while their mother was in the hospital being treated for cancer.  Her family wanted her to have pictures of her children in her hospital room to help her heal.  She passed away months later, never getting to go home to her children again.  I did a session for a family whose tiny baby lived only 6 months. They had made a bucket list for him with things that we all take for granted.  Some of my favorite items on the list: Feel the grass, sit on a swing, and go swimming.  I did a portrait session for a family who knew it would be the last session they would ever have with their father.  He died from cancer 3 months later.  I’ve done multiple sessions where families will never get to see their babies grow into adults.  I have learned to NEVER put off having your pictures done until you are the perfect weight.  I have learned to be in more pictures with my kids.  We need to love EVERY SINGLE DAY we are given.  I’ve learned to be kind to everyone, because you do not know the paths they have been asked to walk.  I have learned to LOVE.



   Give us your best photography related tip:
Step away from green!  Shoot in manual, learn your camera so well that you are more comfortable shooting in manual then you are in auto.  Practice so much that you can change settings on your camera without the client even knowing your doing it.  Most cameras have aperture, shutter speed, and ISO buttons all within a finger’s reach of the shutter release button.  I can change any of those settings with the viewfinder to my eye.  The client has no idea that I am messing with controls.  I think it gives them confidence in you and your trade.



Thanks again, Amber!

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