Today, we've got another photographer feature. Here at Cheeky Lime, we're continually impressed at how talented our fans are and how willing they are to share with us their tips. This afternoon, we're talking with Jacki Raney a military wife who is currently in North Carolina. She specialized in maternity and newborn photography and has the most adorable packaging! Thanks Jacki for giving us a peek into your world!
1. What sparked your interest in photography? How old were you?
I can't remember a time I wasn't interested in photography! When I was 6 years old my grandpa was diagnosed with cancer. I was put in charge of taking the pictures at his very last birthday party shortly before he passed away. From then on I always had a yellow disposable Kodak in my possession. I upgraded my gear after the birth of my first baby, and everything blossomed from that point.
2. What are your favorite sessions, subject, or situations to photograph?
Candid moments between parents and newborns are my absolute favorites. They are still getting to know each other. The parents are sleep-deprived, but still glowing with complete elation. And I get to be there to document all the snuggles and kisses, and those cute little back rolls!
3. What's in your camera bag?
Nikon D60, Nikon D600, 35 mm 1.8, 50mm 1.8, Nikon SB-600 speedlight, pop-out reflector, business cards, hand sanitizer, blotting papers, bug spray, sunscreen, and like 5 pens! I like to be prepared.
4. Most memorable "on the job" moment?
I will never forget the very first time I took a perfect SOOC image. It was an engagement session that I was doing for practice and portfolio building. The first few images weren't the best, but then something finally clicked (pun most definitely intended), and I was able to capture great shots for the rest of the session. The couple absolutely loved their images, and I felt so much pride in my work.
5. How do you balance your business with your family or social life?
I am a planner. I can't get anything done without a schedule or to do list, so I have several posted in various places around my house. We get a lot of family time together during the week. I am hardly ever without my kids, and I mostly do sessions on weekends so they can stay home with daddy instead of going to a babysitter.
6. What has been your favorite photography related accomplishment?There are no words to describe how I felt when my application was accepted to be a volunteer photographer for The Gold Hope Project, but a sense of accomplishment was definitely there. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to do something to help people with cancer. When I had my own children, it became a more specific goal of doing something for the families of children with cancer. To be able to use photography to help others thoroughly defines my purpose in life, and I feel so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful organization.
7. What has been your biggest business blunder or embarrassing moment?
Honestly, my entire first year of being in business was embarrassing! I used to hand my clients their cds with my head down because I thought the images were so bad. Luckily I had very few complaints. We are our own worst critics. But my work has definitely improved since then.
8. What do you hope people take away from your work?
I want to inspire positive emotion in others. The joy of a new baby is unmatched, and I want people to be able to experience that through my portraits. If a new mom starts ugly crying happy tears at her viewing session, I've done my job!
9. Where do you draw your inspiration from?I find a lot of inspiration in nature, children's books, and from other photographers. I've read several articles claiming it's not a great idea for photographers to "Like" too many other photographers on Facebook since it can bring about feelings of inadequacy. I've found it to be just the opposite for me. I love being surrounded by so many creative people!
10. How has photography shaped the way you see the world?It has helped me to see hope in everything. Sometimes a session will find you in less than ideal conditions, but you work around those conditions. If you stay positive and patient, you can make something beautiful out of something not so great. Optimism is like a telephoto lens! It will get you far (see what I did there?).
Give us your best photography related tip.
Practice! I know that is probably the most platitudinous advice I can give, but it really is the most important. Practice all the time and forever. There will always be something new to learn, so even a seasoned professional has to keep practicing and keep pushing themselves. That is one of the things that makes photography so appealing to me.
Thanks, Jacki for participating in our monthly feature. And again, be sure to check out her facebook page and website!