meet the gal behind the interviews...Leslie Kerrigan
By Leslie Kerrigan
I am a journalist at heart. Asking questions and finding out the scoop are both things I am good at and enjoy doing. So when Marsha mentioned to me that she wanted an interview from me, I wasn’t sure how to react! I ask the questions, not answer them. I write the stories about other people, not me. I am out of my comfort zone as the interviewee and not the interviewer. Was I going to be able to do this?
I pulled out some of my past interviews and looked at the questions. I stared at the computer screen, not sure how to answer. And then I just began writing, and hoping my answers would be as good as the ones from past interviews!
So here goes…my interview with, well, myself. I generally write something at the beginning of each interview that introduces the interviewee so first let me start there.
My name is Leslie Kerrigan. I am the owner of Leslie Kerrigan Photography in Greenville, South Carolina. I am also the creator and editor of Seniorologie.com, an inspirational blog dedicated to the study of senior portrait photography. I have a passion for blogging, connecting with other photographers and photography.
Tell me about you…where are you from? Married? Kids?
I am from a very small town in South Carolina called Hartsville. It is funny, because as small as that town is, no matter where I am in the world, if I say where I am from, someone knows someone from Hartsville! Ha! I currently live in Greenville, South Carolina, which is much bigger than Hartsville and I love that! I am a city girl! I am married to my best friend who I met while working in a cubicle across from his! We have two boys…Jack is 8 and Eli is 5!
How did you get into photography? My story is not unlike many others I’ve interviewed. I was interested in photography in college but heard that the professor was strict and the class was hard. Being the fun-seeking, non-studying type, I opted not to take a hard class! Fast forward a few years and I picked up my dad’s film camera and tried to figure it out. I was going to Colorado to help move my sister to Aspen and figured the scenery out west would provide the perfect backdrop for my new hobby. I asked a coworker who was into photography to help me out and he gave me some tips. I wasted a ton of film and really got terrible photos. So I put the camera down for a while. Then, like a lot of other photographers, I had my first child and wanted a million photos of him. Living in my small town, there weren’t a lot of photographers. Really there was only one and his style was not what I was looking for at the time. So I started playing around with my point and shoot camera. I was glued to my computer, trying to teach myself the techniques of how to use a camera. I learned a lot from Savvy, The Pioneer Woman and Google! I received my first DSLR for Christmas in 2005 and I have been shooting ever since!
How long have you been in the business? I have been in business three years.
Who or what inspires you as a photographer? Gosh, soooo much! I am extremely visual and I get ideas from anything I see. I love window displays, catalogs, magazines, etc. And now with pinterest….it is like an inspirational playground! I could spend hours on there!
How would you describe your photography style? I think I would say it is fun and colorful! I love to play with color and texture and try to incorporate a little of that into shoots. I think there is a stylist somewhere inside of me that comes out every once in a while and I love to help put together wardrobes or sets for photo shoots!
What has been your proudest moment as a photographer so far? I think the moment I was able to contribute interviews and posts to The Savvy Photographer was a wonderful moment! I learned about photography from following this blog and the fact that I have had the opportunity to write for it is so rewarding! Thanks Marsha!!
What has been your most successful marketing technique? I would say connecting with other photographers and potential clients through social media and blogging. Having a voice online through my blog, posts on other blogs, facebook and twitter, really help me attract clients.
What is the biggest piece of advice you could share with those starting out in this business? Figure out what makes you unique and build your business around that. There are lots of people that can take great photos but it is what you do in addition to that, that really makes you stand out. If you are great at blogging and photography, then build your business on that. If you love to help clients with styling, then build a business that incorporates that. Figure out your unique skills and use those to your advantage!
You have a photography business and a blog called Seniorologie. Tell us about that and how you came up with it. Seniorologie was based on my love of senior portrait photography and my love of blogging. I have been involved with blogging for The Savvy Photographer, The Lens Loves and others. I absolutely love connecting with other photographers and interviewing them! I have a degree in journalism so finding out the who, what, when and how of something is my favorite thing! So Seniorologie was a way to combine my love of blogging, writing and interviewing on a subject I love, senior portrait photography. Seniorologie is an inspirational blog dedicated to the study of senior portrait photography and I hope that other photographers learn all there is to know about senior portrait photography. I also hope to connect with seniors and other teens so they will be able to express what they want in their senior photos.
What can we expect in from Seniorologie in 2012? I am super excited to host a workshop in Atlanta April 22-24! The Seniorologie Tour was created as an all-access pass to senior portrait photography. I have put together four speakers that will be sharing their experiences, marketing ideas, workflow and much, much more! There will also be a day of shooting with these fabulous speakers! Amanda Holloway, Holli True, Courtney DeLaura and Lisa Carpenter will give hands-on education to each attendee through the educational day and through the day of shooting. We are going to have different sets and models to photograph and attendees will not only get to watch these photographers do their thing but they will get to shoot along side of them and get valuable advice on finding light, posing and working with seniors! If you are looking to build the senior side of your photography business in 2012, The Seniorologie Tour is the place to get information, education and ideas to help you do just that! Visit the blog here for more information and to register! There are limited seats available!
Where will The Seniorologie Tour be held in Atlanta? We have this amazing Inn picked out called The Inn at Serenbe! It is secluded and on a sprawling 1000 acres! We will have some amazing backdrops for our styled shoots, wonderful gourmet food from the restaurants and gorgeous rooms for the attendees! In addition to the wonderful things everyone will learn from the four speakers, they will have a relaxing southern get away! Check out www.serenbeinn.com!!
In addition to the workshop, Seniorologie will be at WPPI hosting a fun senior Shoot Out! If you have ever been to WPPI then you know that you rarely pull out your camera! This Shoot Out is the perfect opportunity to take awesome photos for your portfolio! Vanessa Warren, of Butterfly Sparks, will be creating awesome concepts for this shoot out and it promises to be a lot of fun!
What is in your camera bag? Nikon D300, 50mm 1.4 and 24-70mm 2.8. I also always have batteries floating around, bobbi pins and snacks! J
Favorite Lens? 50 mm 1.4 but I really want the 85mm 1.4!
On location or studio? On location
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be? I think either a graphic designer or magazine editor! Of course those are dreams but both jobs would be super fun!
What is your favorite Savvy Indulgence? Any dessert and I love Coke, real not diet!
What is your favorite thing about being a photographer? There is so much I love about being a photographer! I love creating art and working with clients! I love coming up with a concept and seeing it fulfilled!
Thank you for a wonderful interview Leslie! I'm so excited about the Seniorologie tour coming to Atlanta...my new hometown. I will be stopping by to meet all the attendees and bring a some savvy goodies for each! I can't wait for April...this will be a wonderful event for senior photographers at a wonderful little Inn in such a sweet town...looking forward to meeting you all there! Marsha