Today, we're featuring another one of our fans! Heather Avrech is a photographer serving the San Fransisco Bay area and we are in love with her work. There's a warmth to her images that shows personality and life. Heather seems to play off of situations many photographers would avoid. She welcomes back light and plans around it to get her bright, warm shots. Thanks Heather for taking the time to answer a few questions and letting all of us get to know her better. You can also check her out on facebook as well as her site.
1. What sparked your interest in photography? How old were you?
I've always loved pictures and was the girl with collages of pictures all over her room. At the time, it was all about the pictures and not the art of photography. I did take a film photography class in high school and really enjoyed that but my interest in photography really sparked after my first baby, Lilly, was born. I was taking pictures and filling hard drives like a crazy person! After a while, I really wanted to learn how to take better pictures....to understand how to take a great shot and what can make an image amazing. And that's when it all started for me...in my quest to become a better photographer.
2. What are your favorite sessions, subject, or situations to photograph?
My absolute favorite sessions to photograph our weddings. I LOVE weddings. The excitement, the build-up, the love, the speeches, the fun, the dancing...it's all just amazing. I truly get wrapped up in all of my clients love stories and feel so incredibly happy for them on their big day.
My favorite subject to shoot is people. Kids, families, couples...I aim to capture the love. The emotion. The connection. Raw emotions, whether it be happiness, love, sadness, admiration, etc., that can be seen in images are truly powerful and that is what I love to capture.
As far as favorite situations to shoot in....I LOVE to backlight. I always backlight in every session I have. The flare, the added haze is just SO beautiful to me and can really add to the emotions in an image. They are almost heavenly to me.
3. What's in your camera bag?
Nikon D600, Nikon D700
Nikon 35mm f/1.8
Nikon 85mm f/1.8G
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8
Tokina 100mm Macro
SB700 and SB900
4. Most memorable "on the job" moment?
There are so many! A newborn *boy* peeing on me while I posed him all the while spraying my camera. A little girl taking her first steps at our session. First looks in weddings and speeches are things I never forget...really, all weddings are super memorable for me...I am just a big sap for weddings! :) I really could go on and on.
5. How do you balance your business with your family or social life?
I make it a point to not overbook so that I can balance my photography business with my family life. I would love to shoot everyday but I love to have dinner with my family, go on family walks, read bedtime stories and tuck my girls and kiss them goodnight. So in order to be there to do those things most of the time, I do not overbook, and I wait to cull, edit and process orders once my girls are in bed or before they wake up in the morning. On days that I am not going to be there because of a session, my husband tends to do fun daddy-daughter dates with them and it's a real special time for all of them and I know they enjoy and need that time with just daddy. <3
6. What has been your favorite photography related accomplishment?
Personally: Capturing the little important moments of my girls. The ones I never want to forget. Little fingers, little toes, curly cue hair spirals, dimples, firsts, milestones. I'm so glad to have these images. And I make it a point not to just have them on my computer. I create yearly albums and have prints and canvases all over the house.
Professionally: Same idea, really. But capturing those moments for other people. The kiss, the first look, the snuggled up 6 day old baby...all those moments people never want to forget. They can be so easily forgotten no matter how hard you try to remember and I'm just glad that I can freeze those special moments in a photograph they can treasure forever.
7. What has been your biggest business blunder or embarrassing moment?
Ha! This was recently. A few months ago I decided I needed to start being healthier. Start exercising and eating better. Anyhow, I had come quite a ways and had some after shots on my phone as motivation for myself. Well....later at a newborn session, I was scrolling through my images on my phone with my client because I had taken some screen shots of some images she liked. Well as I scroll, I scroll right to my after shot! Me in my workout pants and bra! OOPS! Scrolled too far! I ended up scrolling back as fast as I could...I was so embarrassed! The client was too sweet and pretended not to notice. :)
8. What do you hope people take away from your work?
I want for people to see and feel the love and happiness in my images. Any emotion that is triggered. I also process clean and want clients and others to look at my work as timeless.
9. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I get inspiration from everywhere. My girls are a huge inspiration and the biggest reason I worked so hard to become a better photographer. I have many photography "e-friends" that I draw inspiration from too. I am a part of a couple photography forums and the talent on those forums is amazing and all so different. Sometimes I see someone post an amazingly dramatic image and that gets my mind thinking. Or an image using off camera flash and it inspires to me to pull out my flash. These e-friends have really helped me develop my photography and try new things. I always aim to be better and trying new things and seeing what works for me and my style...they help me do that.
10. How has photography shaped the way you see the world?
I will never look at light the same. I think my husband thinks I'm crazy when I'm walking around or looking around in the car and constantly talking about the light, the sunset, the clouds, framing, etc. I see the opportunity to capture images nearly everywhere I go.
And lastly, give us your best photography related tip.
Have fun and shoot for you. Shoot things that make you happy. Share images that make your heart sing. Find the reasons an image makes you swoon and learn how to recreate that in your own work. And don't forget to take pictures of the little things. The details. The things you never want to forget.