This weeks Featured Photographer is:
Sandra Jolly Photography
Areas you Serve:
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m an Irish mother of two happy little girls, married to my soul-mate, Chris, and living in Stockholm, Sweden. We’ve lived here for the past six years, but I harbour dreams of buying a large plot of land in the west of Ireland and designing and building our dream home there.
How did you get started in photography?
My first real introduction to photography was in 2000 when my then-boyfriend, now husband, bought me a Minolta film camera. I loved it! Then I moved to London and eventually did a course in film photography. I still remember going home that night after the first class and thinking I’d never look at the world in quite the same way again. I began to shoot more and soon had many images published in the local paper, and won first and second prize in a local photography competition.
In June 2008 we moved to Sweden and in autumn of 2009 I did a digital photography course and the rest is history!
What do you shoot?
I primarily photography children. I dabbled in weddings for awhile, even though I knew deep down that I am not a wedding photographer. When I made the decision to concentrate on children’s photography, I knew it was the right decision for me. Of course, this may change in the future, but I’m very instinctive, so I will know when the time comes to try something else.
Who or what inspires you?
Emotions, for sure. I am a very emotional person, who is very sensitive to the moods, emotions and energies of other people. Children, in particular, experience a wide range of emotions every day. I will not hesitiate to capture tears and tantrums as well as the good stuff, because any parent will tell you children are not happy all the time. Childhood is made of all the little moments, so why not capture the full spectrum of emotions.
I am also hugely inspired by new locations. I live in an apartment in a built up neighbourhood and I find it quite suffocating at times. It is really important for me to escape at the weekends and find somewhere new. I love wild, rugged landscape, as well as forests and lush fields. You can take the girl out of the country, but…
What kind of camera bag do you carry and what’s in it?
Right now I have a Jo Totes, which has not, unfortunately, been very durable. I also have a more functional camera bag, but I do need a new bag for day to day use. I like to keep my gear simple. I shoot with a Canon 5d Markiii (I LOVE being full frame!) and I have a 50mm 1.4 and an 85mm 1.8. Next on my wish list is the 135mm 2.0 and the 35mm 1.4. Yes, I love my prime lenses!
What are some of your favorite photography products?
I like to keep things simple. That goes for both gear and products. One product I’ve started offering my clients recently is fine art mounted prints. They have been a big hit so far and to me, are more beautiful than canvases. Even the photo books I offer are quite simple, as I want the emphasis to be on the images themselves. I like all my products to have a timeless look to them.
Three random things about yourself:
After Princess Diana died, I wrote a poem about her. It somehow made its way to the royal family in England and shortly afterwards I received an official letter from St James’ Palace, thanking me for my kind words. I was pretty chuffed to say the least.
I am a HUGE Elvis fan and it is a dream of mine to celebrate my 40th birthday (a few years away yet!) by visiting Graceland.
I’m scared of the dark, especially when sleeping alone. Big chicken.
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
To be kind to myself. A cousin told me that once, after I had really been beating myself up about something. She told me to give myself a break and I’ve been trying to do that ever since. I’m on my own journey, in photography and in life, so I try to take a step back now and again and look at the bigger picture.
Any advice you’d like to share?
Shoot what makes you happy. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. You are unique and have your own way of looking at the world. I know once I accepted this, my own style evolved much faster.
Oh, and look for the light! Look for it, see it and shoot in all kinds of light. Make light your new best friend.
Mac or PC? Photoshop or Lightroom?
PC. I know a lot of photographers use MAC and love it, but I’m not one for jumping on the bandwagon and I’m happy with my PC.
I mainly use LR for editing, but I will pull an image into PS for cloning or just to all a little something something to the image.
Where else can we find you on the web?
Flickr: Sandra Jolly Photography