Our Member of the Week comes to us from the West Coast – it’s Sean Hoyt from Seattle, Washington. Sean is no stranger to Adoramapix, he has already purchased more than 80 of our photo books and continues to impress us with his work.
Sean has been professionally photographing since 2005 and just recently picked up THE KNOT award for the Best of Weddings 2011. Before he turned professional shutterbug, he was a graduate research assistant in electrical engineering working on robotics and circuit design. He entered the field because of the technical challenges mixed with the psychological and artistic components. He says it’s the best of all worlds.
I asked Sean what his favorite subject to photograph was and he replied, “I enjoy photographing people and love. This could be two people “in love” or family bonds. I use photography to express those connections.”
So Sean, knowing what you know today, if you could go back in time and give yourself some advice, what would it be? He answered, “I would join more groups to learn from other peoples’ mistakes and triumphs. Peers also challenge and inspire me to innovate and be more creative. I’ve never been secretive about how I do my business. I think the artistry, personality and mastery of equipment is what distinguishes good from the not-so-good photographers.”
I was curious to know where Sean receives his inspiration from, he said, “Facebook is becoming huge and I follow a ton of photographers’ daily postings. I also take inspiration directly from my clients as they each have a unique story to tell. They’ve also likely done a bunch of fieldwork and bring ideas to the table. One of my favorite photographs from my portfolio is of a brial party in blue store windows. We did a bunch of prep work and bounced ideas off each other before the wedding so we could go into it and have fun. It worked out really well.”
When Sean first started out, he was toting around a D70 with a 70-200mm 2.8 lens. I asked him what he’s toting around today , he replied, “Nikon D3s, D3, D200 bodies. Nikon 24-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8, 50mm 1.4 and Tamron 11-18 DX lens that I use on the FX D3s. …I use SB-800s with Pocket Wizards and a portable beauty dish for engagement and family sessions, but have 500Ws Bowens monolights with batteries for bigger groups. Also, I have 128GB of CF memory and a cool Custom Brackets C rotating bracket. It all goes in my ThinkTank Urban Disguise 70V2.0 bag which can hold a pro body and a telephoto lens upright in the center column. Best. Bag. Ever.”
So what’s in the future for Sean, besides the Nikon D4? He said, “I am actively transitioning into a hybrid “fusion” market where I will deliver both photographs and highlight films to my clients. If you thought stills photography was a challenge, try doing film. It’s immensely more difficult and rewarding.”
Thank you Sean for sharing, your work is both breath-taking and inspirational. So if you would like to see more of his work on facebook you can click HERE. If is your thing, feel free to follow him HERE.
It’s SuperBowl Week … what a perfect time to get to know featured member John Kersten of John Kersten Photography and Kersten Sport Photography. I first noticed John’s amazing football and basketball photography on Twitter where I follow him @john_kersten. However, once I started to ask him a few questions, I found out he has a much bigger project he’s working on and it is simply amazing. So grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and get to know John and his work.
I asked John how long he had been a shutterbug. He replied, ” I have been photographing for 12 years. I have gotten more serious about my photography the last 4 years after my daughter was born. I purchased my first DSLR and a pro lens to keep up with her. My interest and love for college athletics led me to some freelance photography for the University of South Florida. After a few years of shooting some basketball games I was finally issued a credential to photograph their football games in 2010. The past two years has given me much needed experience. ”
I’m curious to know what John has in his photo bag. He answered, ” My bag has a Nikon D300 and a 70-200 2.8 attached to it the majority of the time. I also shoot with a 35mm 1.8 that works very well around the house and everyday life. ”
I also had to know what shutter speed he uses to get such sharp action on the field, he said a lot of these images on the blog were shot at 1/2000.
John also said, besides his daughter, he loves to photograph beach volleyball the most. “Living near Siesta Key Beach, FL has given me the opportunity to photograph some very passionate and incredible athletes competing at a sport that does not pay much at all unless you win. These athletes are traveling all over and competing because they love beach volleyball, ” said John.
So I asked John if he could go back in time, what would he tell his younger self. He replied, “I would definitely have asked my dad more questions about photography. He enjoyed shooting a lot, but I never paid attention till much later in life. I would have taken some courses when I actually had time to do so, instead of trying to learn on the fly as I am now. ”
Now the most amazing thing about John, besides his sports photography, is his personal project of photographing his daughter. So what you say? So he photographs her.every.single.day. That’s right every day he captures the giggles, the crying, the love and the changes. John said, ” My inspiration comes from my daughter. I am in the middle of a special project for her when she gets older. I have been taking an image of her everyday since she was born a little over 4 four years ago. I have no intention of stopping or breaking the streak anytime soon. She is growing up to be a very beautiful little girl and loves the camera 99 percent of the time.”
What an amazing project. Thank you for sharing.
Before I let John go, I did have to ask him his SuperBowl pick — he’s going with the NY Giants. We’ll see this Sunday if he’s right! Again, thanks John for everything and if you would like to see more of his work, you can check out his flickr stream HERE or follow him on Twitter HERE.
Deep in the heart of Texas is where you will find our next Member of the Week. We want to introduce you to the fabulous, Andrea Hughes of A Studio Productions. You’ll find Andrea’s images bright, colorful and oh so amazing. I asked her when she started photography and she said, “I was on the other side of the lens for almost 20+ years in the print business. Then, I reinvented myself and decided to go pro 7 years ago with my photography.”
So I asked her what her favorite type of photography is and she replied, “My absolute favorite subjects to photograph are high school seniors. They are free spirits and truly prepare for their shoot. They think through everything…jewelry, the shoes, the place. They will show you magazine pictures when you show up on the scene and will always say “I trust you”. I’ve gotten some of the most amazing shots through this attitude of “I trust you”. They are open to anything! ”
So where does she get her inspiration? Her answer might surprise you. She said, “My inspiration…I always pray before each photo shoot for God to see my subjects through His lens, His eyes. God has always blessed me with amazing clients that continue to support and edify my work. I feel so inspired by their words after a photo shoot. In addition, I have been so incredibly blessed to work with amazing photographers in the industry that have taught me so much. Their perspectives and insight have rocked my world.”
I asked her if she could go back in time and give herself a bit of advice what would it be? “Ok…a great question! Do not walk in a camera store and buy whatever the person says you need after talking with them for 10 minutes. It’s the worst thing I ever did. I knew I wanted to pursue this business but I had not invested in my knowledge of camera equipment, shooting in manual mode, etc.
I spent 2 years doing this off and on and finally took the jump and started investing in workshops. This decision brought my photography and equipment to a whole new level. I would highly encourage a newbie to pursue a workshop before investing in all kinds of equipment. One lens might not fit that family shoot perfectly versus another. It’s key that you fully understand your camera and lenses before buying anything, ” she said.
I decided to go outside of our normal questions and ask her what her favorite image is of and why? This is her response.
“I was shooting a wedding during a torrential rainstorm. My clients had put a lot of faith in the fact that they could have outside pictures near this gorgeous field next to the church. When I say “torrential rainstorm”..this was an understatement. At the last hour of the wedding everyone had surrendered to the fact that the get-a-way bubble pictures were not going to happen. So, one of bride’s maids pulled out the bubbles and the kids started blowing them INSIDE the reception hall while the bride/groom were dancing. In short, My on camera flash was not syncing up with my off camera flash and I literally started to panic. I saw these bubbles surrounding the bride/groom and thought…ok, here I go. I raised my ISO to 6400 and turned off my on/camera flash. I just allowed my back light flash to trigger behind them. It turned out to be the most amazing image ever. I was in awe of the drama light that was surrounding the bubbles from the backlight. My bride/groom were utterly amazed and had it NOT RAINED…I never would have gotten this shot. It was a huge lesson for me on a wedding day. I walked away enlightened and inspired to think outside the box,” she replied.
In case you are wondering, she is a Canon shooter with enough lenses to make you blush. She also uses radio poppers to pop that light into her photos.If you would like to see more of her work you can find her on Facebook HERE. You can follow her on Twitter HERE. Or you can simply Pin her stuff by visiting her on Pinterest HERE.
Thank you Andrea – your work is divine and your positive attitude is contagious!