How long have you been shooting professionally?
Two years professionally but the passion for imagery started back when I was about 7 years old and would plaster my walls floor to ceiling with magazine ads. It was at that time that my mom knew I was either going to into marketing or be a photographer!
What camera do you use? Which lens is your most-used?
I have the Canon 5d and my fav lens is the 50 1.4 even after two trips to the Canon Dr., it’s still on my camera 95% of the time!
What additional equipment or gear do you find really helpful?
Yummy natural light
How much digital manipulation do you do to your images and what programs do you use?
When I upload images into the computer, they go right into Lightroom and get a basic adjustment. Then I use Photoshop for any fine tuning.
Do you have any rituals or mantras that you use to prepare mentally before a session?
Most sessions start with a decaf, non-fat upside-down caramel machiatto! lol! I love that the Starbucks next to our house knows my drink order! It’s sort of embarrassing to share but I have to admit it makes me feel a little bit like a rock star!Honestly, I feel the best before a session when I am excited about an outfit, prop or new location. When I have something inspiring I get giddy and the ideas just start coming! And most importantly, I pray and ask for God to work through me
Can you describe your process for getting your subject into that perfect pose?
I talk to them and show them the pose that I am thinking and let them fall into what feels natural. Then I modify. Subtle changes make a dramatic difference.
How many hours goes into editing a standard session?
3-4 hours from start to finish.
What inspires you personally and as a photographer?
Love, confidence, fashion, movies, music and anything vintage.
What mode do you shoot in?
green box, of course! Kidding! Full manual for me
Do you prefer color or black and white images? How do you decide which one for each image?
Most of the time I prefer color but there are definitely times when black and white fits best; usually when a strong emotion is being expressed in the imagery.
How would you describe your photographic style?
My style directly reflects who I am. It can come across serious at times, fun-loving, and sometimes a bit sassy! It wasn’t until I was sitting with a friend at coffee, discussing this question, that I put the two together! But it’s true. There is a little of my personality, as well as the person I am shooting, in each image I take.
Do you ever get photographer’s block? How do you overcome that?
The only times that I get pb is when I’ve over scheduled myself. One of those tough lessons learned through experience. Now I have committed to myself (and my family!) to shoot no more than 3 sessions a week.
What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
Large groups of people, preferably more than 10+ adults at a time! NOT! Truthfully, my favorite is Seniors, hands down!
Who have been your influences?
My influences would be more of a what influences rather than who influences me. I am influenced by high fashion magazines, good cinematography and music.
Do you listen to music while you edit your images? If so, what’s your favorite music for editing?
It’s a must have for this A.D.D girl! I big ol’ heart Pandora and have a Christian rock station that I love.
How do you handle a shy child, pushy parent, or difficult bride?
While working with seniors, the thing that I run across most is insecurity. Mostly with the girls. I just do my best to tell them that they are gorgeous and reaffirm the beauty that I am seeing! It’s a shame to see how the world has warped what the standard for beauty is and how it effects teens. I do my best to make them feel gorgeous both on the inside and out.
How many images do you typically have at the end of a session, portrait or wedding?
I shoot 200-250 typically and the client sees 30-40 fully edited images.
What challenges or struggles did you face early on? How about currently?
Having a bunch of questions and finding that photographers aren’t eager to talk about what works for them. I really had to learn a lot of the stuff I know now on my own. Basically through trial and error. Currently I am in the process of hiring a staff and trying to figure out the dynamics of that.
Have you ever considered ending your career as a photographer? What were the circumstances?
Not yet! And hopefully it doesn’t happen! I think it is so important to shoot what you love and can see how if you are not doing that, a burnout would be close behind!
What is the best advice you have received regarding photography?
Be YOU and shoot what YOU love
What advice would you give another photographer?
Try not to get caught up in being the next so and so! Be yourself and love what you do. Your love and passion will shine through your work! Don’t fear failure. It’s in our greatest failures that we truly grow
Sarah is native to the beautiful Napa Valley where she lives with her husband and two kids. You’ll usually find her editing away in her gorgeous studio downtown, shooting an urban maternity, or making a junkyard beautiful with a set of siblings. Known for her fresh and hip senior sessions, Sarah has recently launched Studio 12 Seniors – an exciting new branch of Sarah Lane Studios! When she isn’t hanging out with her fabulous clients, she can be found at Starbucks, antiquing at the local fairs, or enjoying time with her family.