A picture speaks a thousand words, and there’s truly an art to capturing a scene in a photo! As we recently opened up our online shop to offer eco-minded apparel and goods, we wanted the photography to capture the joy of living with porpoise.
So as a small business on a mission to make waves of positivity, we decided to:
- self-model our apparel (a learning experience for sure!)
- work with an insanely talented, award-winning nature photographer
- have a TON of fun with this!
We convinced our longtime friend & award-winning photographer, Donna, to step out of her comfort zone and embark on a new adventure with us! We asked her to stretch her talents as a nature photographer to capture the joyful essence of Living Porpoisefully while showcasing our products.
While she’s won multiple awards for her nature photography, she was a bit tentative about embarking on such a project (well, terrified as she puts it!).
But she stepped up to the challenge, and we are so glad she did. In fact, one of the most frequent comments we hear about our website is: “Who did your photography? It’s amazing!”
Her porpoiseful photography is outstanding and she makes it so much fun for both me and Rett:
Having FUN truly is a big part of the photography! We take time to live with porpoise, enjoy the moments together and the beauty of the coast. And we laugh a TON, if you can’t tell!!!
So in celebration of World Photography Day, we thought we’d sit down for some photography tips from Donna with a little Q & A. She is so inspiring, and #10 especially will inspire you to pick up a camera (phone camera counts)!
Q1: Were you always good at taking photos?
A. Not just no, but heck no. I started with a “point and click” camera and didn’t worry about anything but getting the subject in the frame.
Q2: We know that this project was out of your comfort zone, being that it expresses a lifestyle capture of the product by combining nature photography with portrait + product photography.
Can you talk a little about this experience?
A: This venture was very much out of my comfort zone. I was absolutely terrified of messing it up.
Eve, however, was absolute in her determination that together we had the ingredients for success. In her mind there were no road blocks, only stepping stones!!!
Did we have mishaps? Of course we did and we learned and laughed our way right through them! I can’t begin to tell you how much fun I had and the sense of accomplishment I felt.
Q3: Do you have a favorite shot that you’ve taken from this experience? What makes it your favorite?
A: YES! On our second day of shooting, Eve and I struck gold with the most incredible beach sunrise of glowing peaches and purples that made for absolutely stunning photos.
On top of that, we were just having so much fun together and the photos really capture it. I just love that it captured that memorable moment!
Q4: Nature photography is completely different from indoors, so what would you say is the biggest factor in getting a good photo outdoors?
A: The time of day is everything. Light, light, light is so important!
In the afternoon, the light is too harsh and your photos will be blown out, whereas in the morning or evening, there won’t be such harsh shadows.
Set your alarm to get up early or go at dusk to catch golden hour (the hour after the sun comes up or the hour before the sun sets).
Q5: What tips do you have for bringing photos to the next level?
A: Learn by practicing! Some things to think about are the composition of the photograph and telling a story with your photograph. Join a camera club to learn from others and watch your photos improve. When I joined a camera club, my photography really went to the next level.
Getting the chance to practice with different themes is fun too.
This helps to improve your skills on all of your photos and I’ve found it’s a creative outlet for me, as well.
Most of all, have fun with it!
Q6: What advice would you give for people who may or may not be surrounded by tons of nature but still want to take nature photography?
A: If you take walks, it’s a great time to be observant.
Some of my best nature photos were in places you wouldn’t expect: a grasshopper on the wall outside of a café, a closeup of a patch of flowering weeds, and even an old rusted vintage truck on the side of the road.
If it just rained, it might be a good time to look for flowers with dew drops on them. If you know that there’s a flower garden where bees or butterflies gather at (by being observant!), wait until dawn or dusk to get the best light.
You can take a camera with you on a walk in your neighborhood, visit a park, or just sit in your backyard and see what might be waiting to be discovered.
Be aware of the shadows too! It’s important to observe how different things can look at different times of the day. Experiment with where you stand. Does the composition of your photograph look better from the right of from the left. Is it better for you to get the camera above the composition or maybe you need to get yourself low to the ground.
Q7: It sounds like photography makes you connect with the moment and nature. Would you say it’s a form of mindfulness?
A: Photography is definitely a form of awareness. When you take pictures it makes you so much more aware of your surroundings. Also by doing photography on a regular basis it makes you better and more focused on your skill.
I remember when I was in a car caravan on a trip with my husband and son. At the end of an eight hour drive we all got out and described every hawk and osprey that we had seen along the way. It was incredible that all of us had focused on those exquisite mental snapshots as if each of us had had a camera in our hands.
Q8: So it’s not just you that’s into photography, it’s your whole family, right?
A: Yes! It’s a whole family adventure, my husband loves to photograph birds especially and our kids got the photography gene too. They are amazingly talented too, and it’s really fun to do together.
Q9: Ok so we know you love to wear our clothing too, and not just photograph it. What do you find yourself reaching for most from your Living Porpoisefully closet?
A: I’m loving the Beach Wash Pullover, the Breezy Tee in coral, and the Porpoiseful Long Sleeve Tee in sea salt. Those are my hands-down favorites that I’m always reaching for. They are so flattering and comfortable, and I wear them everywhere!
Q10: Anything else you want people to know that might inspire them to pick up a camera or that you wish you had known starting out?
A. One thing I learned from this enterprise is that you can’t be afraid of making mistakes. Besides, you can just delete the photo!
Also, photography is like a lens on life. You choose the composition and the focal point to develop your art–so experiment, get dirty, have fun, and create!
Isn’t she such an inspiration? We’re so thankful that she was willing to step outside her comfort zone, stretch her talents and share them with us!
Live with porpoise,
Eve + Rett