Thursday, October 27, 2011
Seniorologie Week- Day Four
I have always loved flipping through the pages of fashion magazines. I think any girl really does! Especially seniors! And with this photographer's editorial style, seniors, brides and families can all feel like they are models for a fashion shoot!
Lisa Carpenter of Lisa Carpenter Photography has a unique way of combining editorial and fashion style with traditional elegance. This combination allows her to know exactly how to guide her clients in a way that leads them into a natural pose with an editorial edge.
After spending many years in the corporate world, Lisa decided to go for her dream and become the photographer she always wanted. She studied and took classes at a local college, took workshops and practiced her craft. Soon she was shooting full-time and has since become one of the top photographers in her area.
I had the opportunity to interview Lisa about her story. Check out what she had to say below, and be sure to check out her work here.
Tell me a little about you...where are you from? where do you live? Kids?
I am a wedding & editorial fashion photographer based out of Greenville, SC however travel worldwide. I have two amazing children, both are boys ages 11 & 12. My boys are creative as well and will even offer their own critiques on images which I love.
How did you get into photography?
I have always loved imagery...photos, magazines and any other medium that has visual candy. In college I was referred to as the girl with the yellow Canon Snappy. I took that thing everywhere which annoyed people at times, but guess what? They always wanted the photos ;) I have been fascinated with editorial fashion since the 4th grade and even incorporate it into my shoots whether it is with a bride or a senior.
Any formal training?
Yes. I have had formal training. About 11 years ago I started to read many books on photography and took classes at a local college. I then enrolled in the NY Institute of Photography which was good for the basics. Then I found a workshop in Chicago, which is home for me, that was put on by the American Photo Mentor Series. It was a 3 day very intense program that was instructed by the amazing Rob Van Petten. Rob is a very well-known fashion photographer based out of New York. He told me that I should seriously consider doing this as a career. It took me 5 years to get there, but I took his advice.
How long have you been in business?
I have been in business since 2005
How long have you been photographing seniors?
My first senior was in 2006. I absolutely love working with seniors because I get to infuse my love for editorial fashion as well as keeping the shoots fun and playful.
Does your area have a specific senior season?
How would you describe your photography style?
My style is a mix of looks: editorial fashion, playful, emotional, timeless & fun.
What is your favorite thing about photographing seniors?
I love shooting seniors because they are so open to new & exciting concepts. They really want to have amazing pictures to show off to their friends, and that attitude shows in the sessions. It's fun to do high fashion looks, trendy looks, photo journalistic looks as well as a bit of traditional. I consider it a great day when we get out there & shoot while laughing and having a blast!
What are your most popular senior products?
Metal murals and albums
You also shoot weddings and bridal portraits...how do you feel both of these genres work together to make your business unique?
Since my style stems from commercial and editorial fashion, I feel it works brilliantly with both seniors and brides. The concepts are the same in posing. It's all about the angles, lighting & expression. I have studied vintage fashion photography for years and still do. The basics of that style of photography still apply today and I just add my own personal style while bringing out the best in my clients. If your client feels comfortable & confident the shoot will go amazing. It's a must to direct & guide and not just leave it up to them to fall into the right poses. But over-direct and it will look posed. It's a fine balance. Since I work with both brides & seniors, I feel it keeps my ideas fresh and benefits both genres.
What from the wedding/bridal side of things helps when shooting seniors?
Seniors don't want to be treated like a kid. They are young adults and want to have a voice in how the shoot will go. It is our job as the photographer to get a feel for each person's style & personality and play off that in the shoot. That is no different when working with brides. Shooting weddings allows me to work with so many types of personalities in which I adapt to while still keeping my personal photography style. Outside of knowing your equipment inside and out and being able to handle any lighting situation, it is imperative to have fun and connect with the senior or bride you are working with. Good working chemistry is key.
Because there are specific senior seasons, do you feel it is helpful to have another genre to photograph?
I personally love shooting both weddings & seniors simply because it keeps me fresh creatively. Seniors have fun & young ideas that I can use while shooting weddings, while a bride & groom might have something a bit more elegant and timeless that can be used when shooting seniors. It's a cool balance.
What is in your camera bag?
2 Nikon D3's, 1 D300, 1 Fuji S5. 70-200, 24-70, 85, 50, Lensbaby
What is one tip you can share with other photographers who want to break into the senior market?
Remember that everyone is different, but the one thing that remains the same is that everyone wants to feel good in front of the camera. Connect, laugh and have an open mind. Always look for new locations for shoots.
(Interview by Leslie Kerrigan from Seniorologie.)