Most of the photography I shoot is commercial and editorial or centers around people. Being in Cleveland, I can't really be specialized, you need to be able to shoot food, product, people - lifestyle and fashion, all of it!
What I enjoy photographing the most is people - be it fashion, portrait, or lifestyle. In many ways, interacting with the subject is a whole other art form. And when you're able to help being something of them they've been struggling to get out, or didn't know they had. It's a great feeling - seeing the excitement on their faces and watching them get excited, it's always fun. I also love shooting men's fashion. I'm a huge fan of men's clothing.
Who is the most famous person you have photographed?
I first discovered I wanted to be in the arts at a very young age, particularly a screenwriter for feature films, or a cinematographer. When I eventually decided to go back to school, I enrolled in the film program at Cuyahoga Community College. One of the required classes was Intro to Digital Photography. From there, I quickly realized it was a lot "easier" to be a photographer than a film maker. I could go out every day, take photos, or recruit my friends to photograph, come home, go over the images and critique myself day in and day out. Whereas it would take so much more time and dependence on other people to create films.
What would be your dream destination assignment?
My dream destination assignment would be in a huge studio with a limitless budget! I much prefer to shoot in studio than on location, but I'm open to shooting anywhere (for all of you potential clients reading this, haha!)
Describe your photographic style.
I would describe my photographic style as commercial - clean, well exposed, and controlled.
What life lessons has being a photographer taught you?
The life lessons being a photographer has taught me, particularly a freelance photographer, are: be nice, considerate, and a pleasure to be around, your livelihood depends on it! It's also taught me to have tick skin. Your work will NOT be for everyone, and that's okay. Another key thing it has taught me is how to manage my money. Being freelance, you never know when your next paycheck is coming - being a photographer is not all fun and happiness. It's constant work. 10% of my job is shooting, the other 90% is emails, follow up emails, meetings, trying to get meetings, editing, editing, editing...did I mention editing? My portfolio and website, sending out promos, hard copies of emails. It's a lot of work! Thousands of people are right behind me, nipping at my heels, dying to do what I do. Day in and day out I'm amazed I get paid to do what I do. Be humble, and don't take anything for granted.
Written by: Josephine Wheeler