Monday, January 24, 2011

Stacey Answers

The studio is coming up on its one-year mark, and in that time, I've gotten a lot of the same questions from clients and from other photographers.  So this is sort of a FAQ post--I'll add to it as I get more questions :)

How old ARE you?
I get this question a lot, though not usually so directly worded.  Let's just say I was in grade school when MTV aired its very first video.  I remember the death of John Lennon, though the Beatles had gone their separate ways before I was born.  I first used an SLR camera (a Leica owned by the school) as a sophomore in high school in the late 80's and have been a shutterbug ever since, though I didn't buy my own SLR until 2000. 

Canon, Nikon, Olympus?
I'm of the firm opinion that it's the skill of the artist, not the tools used, that makes a masterpiece.  But I'm a Canon girl :)  Not because Canon is necessarily any better, but because it's what I know.  My first SLR was a Canon EOS Elan 7e, and I stuck with Canon each time I upgraded mostly so I didn't have to buy all new lenses.

What does 'SLR' mean?
Single Lens Reflex--what you see in the viewfinder is the lens view reflected up to your eye with a mirror.  SLR's have detachable and interchangeable lenses, and digital SLRs still have an actual mechanical shutter like a film camera.

Where do you get your backgrounds and props and stuff?
We are, at our very core, do-it-yourselfers. Most of what we use is handcrafted in house. Rather than spend hundreds of dollars on a single mass-produced backdrop or prop that might be in any number of other studios, we choose to craft one-of-a-kind items ourselves and spend a lot less money.  We hand-paint and/or hand-dye our backdrops and floor cloths.  We hand-make our hats and tutus and hair clips. Not only does that make our product that much more unique, it allows us to charge YOU less money for it.

Do you make hats, backdrops, etc. for sale?
Not at this time.

How come you don't sell images on CD or DVD?
It's a quality thing. So much effort and care goes into each image that I can't fathom allowing them to be mass-printed with snapshot-worthy ink on snapshot-worthy paper at Walmart or CVS. The quality of my work is not defined merely by the image itself, but also the quality of the finished product. We do make exceptions for business headshots and such, which will be printed on business cards, billboards, etc., but in general, the Facebook images are the only digital files we release.

Did you have to go to school to learn how to do this?
This one's a tough one. The only photography-specific course I ever took was that photography class in high school where I learned how to use the camera, process film, darkroom stuff, etc. More useful for what I currently do were all the design classes I took getting certified in interior design, and spending 10+ years in the publishing industry experimenting with styles and refining my skills while crafting book covers.