Sunday, June 28, 2015

Featured Artist: Bright Eye Boutique Photography

Featured Artist: Jessica Montour
from Bright Eye Boutique Photography

Tell us about yourself and your business (if applicable).

I am a small town girl. I came from a very rural county outside of Tallahassee, Florida where there were beautiful moss covered oak trees and tons of ponds and springs to play in. I obtained a degree in Communication Arts, and specialized in Advertising, so after working in the media field for a while, photography was an easy transition. I actually learned darkroom photography in college and loved it. 

I started my business in 2012 after my last child was born, and I needed to step away from a high stress deadline job and do something that would work around my mommy schedule. It was first a hobby, that quickly blossomed. I was super lucky to meet other photographers that encouraged me and helped me sharpen my skill along the way. 

Where are you located?

I am located right on the Maryland/Pennsylvania line. It’s a great place to be, because it’s an easy commute for clients coming from both Baltimore and Harrisburg and surrounding areas. Plus, you can’t beat the amazing views, rolling hills, and abundant farmland. It is such a small town feel around here, but I absolutely love it. 

Who or what inspires your art?

My children. Always. I think that’s why I absolutely adore maternity and newborn sessions. I recently had the opportunity to photograph a birth story, and it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. There will absolutely be more of those in my professional future. 

What do you love most about photography?

I love that I can provide real meaning to what I do. My style is very candid and journalistic for family and outdoor sessions. At the end of the day, it’s so cool to review the images and see this amazing storyline that comes together for that family. 20 years from now they will look back on it and say, wow, we were this (insert word that describes that family here)… silly, dramatic, fun, serious. The awesome thing about photography is that no family is ever the same. No session is either. 

Describe your style in 2 words.

Candid/journalistic mixed with a few posed. I keep things simple, tall grass, open fields, and if in studio, minimal props. The session should focus on the subject, and share a feeling with the audience. If I have achieved that, I have done my job. 

Tell us about your specialization or what subjects you prefer to shoot.

I specialize in Maternity, Newborn, Child and Family photography. If I had to choose, I would say I prefer newborns, but the great thing about doing all of the above is having a great veriety. I just recently did some product photography for a neighbor, and while totally out of the realm of what I do, it was nice to change it up a bit. 

What do you do to jolt your creativity when it’s running low?

Pretty much the above answer. I do a special project, edit something out of my norm, or browse through magazines for inspiration. 

What’s in your camera bag?

I work with a Canon 5D Mark III. My lenses are 50 1.4, 100 macro, and I just recently sold my 70-200 to upgrade to the 135. Looking forward to playing with that. 

What are your Top 3 must haves when shooting.

A good attitude, a good attitude, and a good attitude. Man, it totally shows in your work if you are having an off day. The subject feeds off of your energy, so always bring your happy self to the session. And, I try to make it more about having fun than a typical photo session. I work with small children, so playing a game, or saying something silly, asking questions…for me, that’s what works. 

Share a fun fact about yourself with the readers.

I LOVE spicy food. Thai, indian, Mexican…whatever the cuisine I want it hot. We are actually growing pepper plants in our garden 

If you could photograph anyone in the world, who would he/she be?

I already did. I recently had the pleasure of photographing a girl by the name of Claire who is battling cancer. She was amazing. Full of life and fight. I am happy to say that she is now in remission, but she was such a dream to photograph. I think that’s the best thing about photography, you never know what life will throw your way, or how long you have on this earth, so document everything. Make memories, and cherish them throughout the years. 

Natural light or artificial?

Both. I am natural light outdoors, and use an Alien Bee 400 and reflector in my home studio. 

What impact does photography have on your family life? 

It’s tough sometimes. I get obsessive over editing sometimes, so I can stay up later than I should (don’t we all?) and because I work around my children’s schedule, I find myself cutting into the family weekend times for sessions. BUT, I still love every minute of it. 

What’s your most important artistic tool besides your camera?

I would say my ability to empathize and my patience level. If you can relate to your clients, understand their needs, the session goes very smooth. With newborns, you have to have patience. No tangible tool will help you when a newborn has a different opinion on the session than you do. You just have to step back, reset, and start again. 

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned since started photography?

Value yourself. Your time is so precious. I put a lot of time into my work and started out like most of us not knowing what to charge. My first year of business, I actually filed a loss from the overhead and taxes. Value what you are worth. You deserve it. 


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