Thursday, April 30, 2015

Featured Artist | Thirty7 Photography, LLC

Featured Artist: Johanna Good from Thirty7 Photography, LLC

Tell us about yourself and your business:

My Dad bought me my first digital camera back in 2001. A whopping 3 megapixel digital Kodak camera to be exact! He still has one, too, and it still works! I have always, always loved taking pictures. Always. Since social media wasn't a thing then, I had my very own miniature printer just for printing pictures that I would put into albums. Pictures of me and my sisters, our pets, nature, our house...anything!

It wasn't until 2012 when I purchased my first DSLR (a Nikon D7000-GREAT camera!) that I realized I wanted to make a career out of photography one day. I remember kicking myself for not thinking of doing that years before. I had a two and four-year-old at the time so it would still be a while.

I spent 2014 portfolio-building and learning any and everything I could about professional photography and really taking my hobby to the next level.

This January I purchased my first full frame (Nikon D750) and officially started my business! It's been an amazing experience so far and I can't wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for me.
I'm very shy at heart but the photography business has really helped pull me out of my shell. I'm the epitome of a homebody and don't like to be too busy. If things start affecting time with my family too much I slow way down and take a break for a while. I've learned the hard way what over-booking can do.

Where are you located?
Right now we're located in Fort Stewart, GA. We love it! The humidity takes quite some time getting used to and only having two seasons is kind of a bummer for this nature lover but there are way more pros than cons. We're close to Savannah which is flat-out beautiful and full of history, the beach is close and we're close to family. Since my Husband is active duty Military, we most likely won't be here for too long but we wouldn't mind staying here a little longer than the usual three-year stint.

Who or what inspires your art?I would honestly have to say that the root of my photography inspiration is nature. I'm a total nature freak. My Mom would take my sisters and I on long walks and hikes through Germany's farmland and forests and we would just spend the day exploring. The forests there (and in Europe in general) look like something straight out of a fairytale. Often we were out until later in the day when the sun was setting. Even before I got into photography I have always loved morning and evening sun. Walking through a German forest with golden hour light pouring through the trees was beyond magical. If I wasn't outside, I loved golden hour light beaming through the windows. It was so warm and beautiful.
As far as people inspiring me, I have WAY too many artists to mention! I admire so many different styles and different artists...there is one person, though, who I give credit to really helping me get more creative and breaking out of my newbie, scared shell. And she didn't even know it at first! My dear sweet friend, Jana Butman of Jana Butman Photography, lives just a few minutes away from me. She is THE sweetest person ever! I first liked her page back in 2013 before I'd really started learning about professional photography and instantly fell in love with her work. We met in person at a Military homecoming ceremony that we were there photographing back in August of 2014. When we became Facebook friends, I noticed her submitting images to different pages with different themes. I had NO idea pages like that even existed for photographers and was blown away and SO excited! I started thinking outside of the box and getting creative and started getting images shared. It was truly humbling and exciting and I honestly don't know how long it would've taken for me to discover all those pages that truly helped build my confidence and finally discover my style had it not been for her.

Jana has been nothing short of encouraging and helpful and amazing throughout my new journey. I love her to pieces and am thinking of ways to sabotage her move next year. ;)

What do you love most about photography?
Oh man...everything! The whole process of it. Scouting a new location, snapping something beautifully unexpected either with clients or at home with my kids, looking to see what I got afterwards, editing, posting the images online, client's reactions to their sneak peeks, my kid's reactions when I show their pictures to them...I love everything about it. I truly feel that photography is a part of me, a part of my soul. What I shoot and how I shoot is how I view the world.

Describe your style in 2 words. Candid, lifestyle.

Tell us about your specialization or what subjects you prefer to shoot.
I specialize in outdoor and natural light photography and I prefer to photograph nature, families and couples although lately I've been getting the itch to work with a model. I should be getting my first opportunity some time in May which I'm really excited about!

What do you do to jolt your creativity when it’s running low?
When I start to feel burned out or like I'm not achieving my vision or just feeling blah about my creativity...I stop shooting! I tuck my camera away unless I have a shoot. Like lately, for example: I was REALLY busy in March which started to wear on me. April so far has been really slow which I'm thankful for. My family also came down with the stomach flu and we all have nasty colds so, for the past few weeks, my creativity and desire to shoot has been extremely low. I used to feel like a failure when I'd feel this way but I now know that every artist goes through periods like this. It's good for the creative soul to rest!

What’s in your camera bag?
In my camera bag is a Nikon D750 with a Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art attached to it. Loooove that lens and camera something fierce! There's also a Nikon 85mm 1.8G (also an amazing lens), extra battery and SD cards, a cleaning kit, a prism, some hand sanitizer, baby wipes, chapstick and extra contracts and model releases and all that fun paperwork stuff. 

Must-haves: I would have to say the three things I HAVE to have while shooting are my cleaning kit, baby wipes, and an extra charged battery. The baby wipes might seem random but I'm confident that even after my children are out of college I will always have some on me. They're lifesavers. Haha. Especially in Georgia during outdoor shoots. I can't tell you how many times they've come in handy! Spraying/rubbing on bug spray mid-shoot, wiping snotty noses from either my kid's noses or the client's many situations where they've been a blessing. 

Fun Fact: 
I grew up in Germany courtesy of my Dad being in the Army. I absolutely LOVED it. My Husband is in the Army and that was also our first duty station. So, in total, I spent 16 years there. It will forever hold a very dear place in my heart. The culture and travel I got to experience was priceless. I mean, our High School prom was held in Heidelberg's Castle! Not only that, I've been to France, Italy, Ireland, England, Croatia and Spain as well as driven through several more countries. I've been to France and Italy multiple times. How cool is it that, as a teenager, I got to take weekend trips to different countries? I was truly blessed growing up!
And the forests...breathtaking! I've actually been finding myself missing Germany terribly lately. I'm a proud American but Germany and Europe still has its pull on me.

If you could photograph anyone in the world, who would he/she be?
If I could photograph anyone in the world it would be my Husband's best friend, Jordan Schumann, with his wife, Sarah and son, Tristan. Jordan was killed in action during his deployment to Afghanistan on July 5th, 2011 just two months before his first child was born. They've never had, nor will they ever have, a family picture of the three of them and it will forever break my heart.

Natural light or artificial? 
Natural light all the way! I do, however, admire the heck out of photographers who have mastered flash. I don't care for the look of flash and it also intimidates me. Haha. Eventually I want to purchase an external flash just in case but, for now, I'm all natural. ;)

What impact does photography have on your family life?
Starting my photography business has had a great impact on our family! The little bit of extra income I've brought in has been nice and, since I shoot outdoors and have to take my kids with me most of the time, getting them out to play while I shoot has been fun for them. I call them my photo shoot buddies. :)
When I'm not working with clients, I'll take my kids on long walks with my camera and I'll point things out to them and they even know what light I like.
My Husband is a huge supporter of me and loves watching me work and edit. It's definitely been a huge and fun blessing for us.

What’s your most important artistic tool besides your camera? 
Does editing software count as an artistic tool? LOL I love, love, love VSCO Film Presets. That's what I use 99.99% of the time. If for some reason I don't use that I use Sarah-Beth's matte presets. They're amazing.
I never would've thought I'd like the look of film but I'm obsessed with it. My best work lately has been from using those presets.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned since started photography?
The most important lesson I've learned is to not compare yourself to others and to really do some soul-searching into what it is that YOU like to shoot. I was the typical cliched newbie who thought I had to do this and this and this to be considered good and it was frustrating and disheartening.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting their journey in the photography world?
Just be YOU and, most importantly, HAVE FUN!


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