Kari Wattenbarger | Featured Photographer

This week’s Featured Photographer is:

day in the life (23 of 45)

Kari Wattenbarger
Kari Wattenbarger Photography


Areas you Serve:
Salem, OR and surrounding areas

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I live in the Willamette Valley of Oregon with my two kids and husband. I am expecting my third child and despite the hectic days of life I feel really blessed to have such a wonderful family. Over the past several years I have learned that my camera can be a powerful tool and I love to use it to preserve memories but also be a creative and almost therapeutic outlet for me. I love people and look for ways I can use my camera to document the emotion of life and connection between families.


How did you get started in photography?
Honestly, like a lot of other photographers. After I had my first child I decided to get a “good” camera to capture all those moments we want to as first time parents. After a couple years I wondered why my images didn’t look like I thought they would….so I started learning and practicing and started to see growth. I am not that creative and it didn’t come naturally….in fact, learning light was something so hard for me. I am a math and science person so this stretched my brain in a good way!


What do you shoot?
For the past couple years I have been a passionate hobbyist documenting my family life in a storytelling fashion. I recently started a business with the focus of family storytelling sessions.


Who or what inspires you?
When the concept of “light” finally clicked I started seeing the world in a completely different way. Before, things that I never even payed attention to I was seeing in a completely different way. The mundane and simple became beautiful and the ordinary became extraordinary.

I love the ladies in my visual storytelling alumni group.

Connecting with other photographers.

My family.

I love street photography and documentary work. I was really inspired by the story of Vivian Maier.


What kind of camera bag do you carry and what’s in it?
I mostly use my Tenba messenger bag. I also have a Kelly | Moore bag but don’t use it for sessions. Although I am a firm believer in maximizing your gear, my heart sang when I upgraded to a full frame camera.
Body: Canon 6d
Lenses: A variety of prime lenses – my Sigma 35mm is on 90% of the time followed by my 50mm 1.4.


What are some of your favorite photography products?
I wouldn’t say that I am a product guru….but I recently got exposure 6 and really like it so far.
I try and keep things pretty simple.


Three random things about yourself:
I love organic gardening.
I am introverted but love working with people.
I would love to live in the country and have a small farm.


Best piece of advice you’ve received?
Shoot what you love!


Any advice you’d like to share?
Be patient, keep practicing, and shoot what you love!


Mac or PC? Photoshop or Lightroom?
PC…hopefully a Mac in the future.
Lightroom 99% of the time. I do love a sharpening present that I use in PSE.


Where else can we find you on the web?
Best place to find me is through my facebook page and website.
I am also part of a blog circle with 4 other awesome photographers. Here is a link to our latest blog post that we put out each month on October 20th. http://kariwattenbarger.com/october-feels-like-salem-family-photographer/

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