Who or what is your primary focus? (Weddings, portraits, commercial work, editorial, etc.)
I shoot maternity, newborn, children and families. I also shoot commercial and editorial assignments, especially those involving children and babies.
Film or digital?
Do you shoot on-location, in-studio, or both?
I shoot both on-location and in our natural light loft in downtown Austin.
What drew you to photography initially?
I wasn’t interested in photography as a child. I never took pictures for my school paper in high school, nor did I get my first camera when I was 3. I am someone who never really valued photography at all…until the unthinkable happened in my own life. The unexpected loss of my firstborn when he was just an infant left me with empty arms and very, very few pictures to help me remember my baby by. It was then that I realized how infinitely valuable photography really is.
Who has influenced your work, style and/or approach to photography?
I wish I could just screencap the “favorites” in my phone….the actual exact list of those who have influenced me most is right there. I’m beyond grateful to keep the company of some of the most amazing women I’ve ever known…who also happen to be gifted and talented photographers!
Who or what continues to inspire you most, personally and professionally?
Personally, my husband and my children give me three of the greatest reasons in the world to wake up every morning. From a professional standpoint, I’m continually inspired by watching my clients love their children, delight in their children and laugh with their children.
What do you enjoy most about being a professional photographer? What do you enjoy least?
Giving my clients the very thing I wish that I had of my own son is what fuels my passion to be a photographer on a daily basis. I love meeting people, holding babies, playing with children. I love the butterflies (I still get them) when waiting to meet a new little person who has just been born. I love the emails I get from my clients when they realize that I’ve captured the EXACT thing that they love most about their child. I love that it never feels like I have a job, even though I’m insanely busy.
The biggest challenge I’ve always faced is the constant struggle to maintain balance with my personal and professional life.
How would you describe your photographic style?
Modern, bright, colorful.Do you have any formal training or education in photography?
I have never had any formal training in photography. As is true with nearly all of my friends, my head took me somewhere else before my heart found its way to photography. I actually went to college to be a chiropractor.
What camera do you use in your work? What lens is your most used? Most fun?
Nikon D3. I shoot with only 1 of these 4 lenses….the 85 mm 1.4, the 50 mm 1.4, the 60 mm macro (only for newborn feet!) and the 24-70 mm 2.8 (for families). The 24-70 is fun at it’s widest, but I tend to like the flatter look of the 85 or portraits.
In which mode do you prefer to shoot?
RAW or JPG?
JPG (except for the occasional commercial assignment requiring RAW)
Any additional equipment or gear that you just can’t live without?
As I recent PC-to-Mac convert, I feel compelled to say ANYTHING WITH AN APPLE ON IT.What program(s) do you use for post-processing?
What is your favorite tip you can share with our readers regarding post-processing?
Adobe Photoshop CS4 and CS5. Actually, the best advice I can give about post processing is actually something to remember at the shoot…always have mom take the hair binder off her wrist BEFORE pushing the shutter…or you’ll be trying to artistically make a wrist out of thin air later on!!
Do you prefer color or black and white images? What determines how you’ll process each image (or which film you’ll use)?
I strongly prefer color images. I typically show about 80-90% color and 10-20% black and white. I convert the images that just belong in black and white…the more timeless, soulful, serious images.
What is your favorite personal indulgence or treat?
Where is your dream getaway? And… would you take your camera with you, or leave it at home and enjoy the moment?
We’ve been wanting to go to Alaska for years now. I would pack my camera before I even packed my clothes!!
Cheryl also offers workshops and mentoring. Please contact her for more information.