Friday, June 05, 2009

PhotoFANatic Friday featuring Savor Photography

This week's PhotoFANatic Friday feature is Rachel Durik from Savor Photography. She's a relatively new pro in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, but has FIERCE style and creative skill. That pic over there on the right is her self-portrait...and I'm not even going to begin to explain how jealous I am of it. Ha!

After spending some time on her blog, I've got to tell you, I'm quite impressed that she's only been shooting professionally for a little over a year. Her colors are bold and her images are sharp...two things that I can't get enough of! She's also doing some really interesting things with marketing...things I'm only beginning to hear about. Rather than let me tell you all the reasons why I think she's a wonderful addition to the PhotoFANatic Friday Class of 09, I'll let you hear from her!

    1. How did you make the leap from amateur photographer to pro? I'm sitting here trying to figure this out and I can't really remember! I think it mostly had to do with the fact that I knew a few local photographers that didn't have as much technical knowledge as I did. Even though at the time I didn't know that much, it kind of blew my mind that someone could make a living from photography and not know the very basics. It got me thinking that maybe I could do it, too.

    And I feel that I should make a confession here: the reason I got into photography is so I could have beautiful pictures to post on my personal blog. Yep, that was the only reason. Most photographers grew up with the love of photography in their blood, they played with their parents cameras, they were always creative with their point and shoots before upgrading to a DSLR. I was none of that. I was a crappy picture taker with my point and shoot. I made learning photography a project for me and insisted that I learn as much about my camera as I possibly could. I hit the books hard, and I still do. So I think maybe creativity is more inherent, but photography as an art can be learned!

    2. What lens can you absolutely not live without? This is a tough one because I'm still trying to figure that out. I go through phases of favorites. And now with the beautiful weather outdoors, my favorite is the 85mm 1.8. It gives beautiful bokeh and there's something a little different about primes. I never believed that until just recently. I find that I do much less processing on my prime pictures than with my zoom. I also have a 50mm 1.4 and a 24-70mm 2.8L and I've used the 50mm 1.2L and 70-200mm 2.8L. If I could buy one lens right now, it would be the 50mm 1.2. I hardly ever touched my pictures taken with that lens. Straight out of the camera, they were beautiful.

    3.What has been your biggest disappointment as a photographer? Your biggest success? Disappointment? Where do I begin?! I think my short career has been filled with highs and lows, but one thing sticks out to me the most. On my very first real shoot with a paying family, my files corrupted when I was transferring them from the memory card to the computer. It took about three minutes for the reality of what happened to sink in, and when it did, let's just say there was a lot of crying and screaming. I told my husband I was selling all of my equipment and that there was no way on earth I could ever be a photographer. Well, being the smart man that he is, within a few minutes, he had located some software that could recover the files and within the hour, all of my files were restored. Best $40 I ever spent! I won't even tell you about the time I formatted one of my cards DURING A WEDDING! Thank you, Card Recovery!

    As for a success, I have to say being interviewed on your blog amongst photographers like Jasmine Star, David Jay, Gabriel Ryan, Sarah Q, etc, etc, wow! What an honor to be in that list! I don't belong in that list, but I'm super excited that somehow I got there. (No, the BLAH BLAH BLAHger did not pay her to say that!) I think my other success(es) are when my husband will buy me an expensive piece of equipment. It's an affirmation to me that he believes I'll make it big enough that he's willing to invest in me. I have huge doubts sometimes and having his support is invaluable.

    4. What's Team 2010? How did you come up with the program? Since this is my first year as a professional photographer, I'm trying to get my name out there. I've read a lot from other photographers about high school senior rep programs. Team 2010 is designed to pick influential seniors, take some awesome pictures of them, and let the pictures speak for themselves. The seniors will earn print credit for each person that they refer. I'm fortunate to have a lot of teacher friends in the area who have helped me pinpoint those to invite. I'm hoping it will be successful. We will see!

    5. What's the best piece of advice you were given when you were just starting out? I know this has been said over and over again, but it would have to be: Be yourself. I started out trying to take pictures just like this photographer. And then that photographer. And on, and on. I'm just now starting to do my style and become my own person. I think it's something that comes with time and I'm happy to have so many stunning photographers as inspiration. But I'm really excited that I'm juuuust starting to come into my own now.

    Thanks so much for having me! Such an honor!
Thank YOU, Rachel for taking the time to answer my questions and be featured here. I love your work and can tell you have the natural gift!!! It was so hard to choose my favorites, but here are a handful that I just think are divine!

If you have a favorite photographer with skills like these who you think I should learn more about (and from), please let me know!!! I do these features to 1) learn more and 2) feature fabulous photogs whose work should be noticed by more than their community!!! As for Rachel's amazing images, I think my favorite is the 1st...which is a pic of her son. Those eyes are just remarkable and I love everything about it. Which is YOUR favorite???


Rachel @ American Mum said...

Thanks so much for featuring me! I still can't believe you asked ME to do this! I'm so honored!

susan @homedigz said...

Wow...great photos! I just got a new camera (yes, to take better pics for blogging) - but I have a loooong way to go. :)

TidyMom said...

WOW! can I say it again?! WOW! Rachels pictures are AMAZING!

I'd love to hear about how she finds locations to shoot at. do they look as amazing as they do in the photos?

I just got my first dslr (been a HUGE photo freak for most of my life) and I'm dying to take it out some where fun to take pictures of my dd's - but I just don't know where to go! LOL

I'm over on Rachel's blog now drooling! ♥


McMommy said...

Rachel, you absolutely ROCK!!! It would be my dream to have you take photos of my family.

JennyLee said...

wonderful photos, my favorite is the little girl on her tummy!

Life with Kaishon said...

Wow. That is a great marketing plan! I LOVE it!

Beth@Pages of Our Life said...

I love Rachel's pics too!

And, I love this feature. Thanks for taking the time to share this with us.