My name is Indira Klotzer and I'm a fine art photographer/owner of Indira Klotzer Photography based out of Greenport, New York, serving Long Island. I always loved taking images, but like so many, my passion for photography actually started after I had kids. I love shooting different genres because I feel as though it keeps me thinking and fuels my creativity. I also love exploring new locations, especially places filled with color, texture, and gorgeous light.
Tell us about your experience transitioning from an amateur to a professional photographer, what were the biggest hurdles and misconceptions?
The biggest thing for me was getting over the fear and trusting myself. Knowing that even though there are a million photographers out there, someone is choosing me and my work for its uniqueness. Im not really a business or marketing woman so this continues to be a learning process. I didnt realize how much things like business cards, branding, classes, taxes, insurance, new equipment, etc. all add up and cost me in terms of both time and money. I also think that a lot people think that a photographer snaps an image and its done. They fail to realize how much additional work goes into producing a successful session. So raising my prices and standing by them has been a bit of a hurdle especially for the people who couldnt understand why I went from being free to charging money when I finally transitioned.
Has there ever been any photography equipment that initially intimidated you? If so, why, and what did you find when you actually used it?
When I first got my Lensbaby I was a tad intimidated by it and wasnt sure if what I was capturing was good enough to post. Prior to owning any Lensbaby products, I always thought of them as being a tool for a more creative artist. I honestly dont see myself as being creative so I thought that investing in Lensbaby would help me develop an eye and see more opportunity for capturing a subject in a unique way.
Once I got the lens I decided to challenge myself and shoot with it everyday. I found it to be fun and not intimating at all. The more I played with it the more I loved the challenge of bending light, narrowing focus, and capturing bokeh.
At first I started of using it as a regular lens with no tilting and then I started to tilt it a little to see the effect. Once I could see the blur and line of focus or sweet spot I was able to have more fun tilting and becoming more creative. When I look back at my first images I actually love them. In the end - producing imagery that you are happy with is what is most important, and with anything new I believe that practice makes perfect.
Was there a specific moment when you realized that you wanted to pursue photography as more than just a hobby?
One day I took my nephew out and took a bunch of images of him for fun. He was skeptical and asked that I only post a few images online - but, about a 1/3 way though the session I showed him some of his images and his face lit up and said that I should post ALL of his images. His self-esteem was lifted and it was honestly so rewarding to me. Everyone is beautiful and I love capturing this, freezing time and making everyone feel special when they see themselves in my images.
What is the biggest piece of advice that you wish you would have had when you were first starting out?
My first three years of having my camera, it was stuck in the auto focus mode, so I really wish someone told me to never use the auto mode and simply go straight to manual. I wish that I was encouraged to study light and shadows, learn the rules so I could break them, practice everyday, try new things, and push limits.
How were you introduced to Lensbaby? How has it helped shape your photography?
A couple of years ago, I saw an ad in a magazine about Lensbaby and the imagery immediately drew me in. However, I didnt buy the optics until this year. I actually thought that I wasnt creative enough to master this lens, so I didnt want to buy it and have it sit. Even though I was still inspired to shoot everyday, I also found myself bored with my typical images and decided that Lensbaby might help my creativity. Lensbaby has helped me to use light and colors in a new way. I now feel like my images have more depth, magic, movement, and emotion.
Buying this lens has challenged me all year to push my own limits and to see in a new way." It taught me that imperfections could be so beautiful and dreamy. Lensbaby reminded me that its not only about a technically right image, but it was also about the emotion an image can evoke. Wow, this was so eye opening for me. I tend to shoot this optic as wide open as possible, which means more bokeh and blur to draw the eye to my real subject. Lensbaby has also helped me to master manual focusing, which has helped me so much in capturing videos. I started off the year with the Edge 80, but I now own the Sweet 35, Sweet 50, Circular Fisheye, and the Macro Converters.
What is your favorite Lensbaby at the moment?
Edge 50 is a very versatile lens, in that I was able to use it for landscapes, macros, food, and portraits - and I think it's going to be my favorite optic! I thought that the focal length was perfect in capturing my everyday both indoors and outdoors. I found shooting it at f3.5 to be razor sharp and very easy to find and use my slice of focus. The way this optic captures light and bokeh adds a dreamy effect and magic to my images. I think that the Edge 50 is very similar to the Edge 80, except its wider, which actually helps me to express my voice a bit more. I love the little kid in a big world type images and this focal length is perfect for capturing this in a very artistic way.
Who/what inspires you?
This is the simplest question because for me, my family continues to inspire me everyday. I love seeing the world though my kids eyes and capturing them in their moment. I am also inspired by any type of light, my environment, music, books, and from other genres that I dont typically shoot, like food, landscape, and macro images.
Tell us about what you're currently working on or any upcoming projects you may have.
Im currently working on capturing life on video. Im hoping to use this more for personal documentation, but possibly offer it to my clients in the future as well. Video is all manual focusing, steady hands or use of techniques to stabilize the camera, and seeing life in a new, interesting way. It uses so many different techniques to creatively put together a short video.
Im already involved in a black and white project and have been shooting and sharing images for a couple of years. The other thing Im currently working on is seeing and capturing moments in a fine art way. I have been using my lensbabies to help me accomplish more of a fine art feel to my images and hopefully I can build a solid lensbaby, fine art portfolio.
Website : www.indiraklotzer.com
All of Indira's images above were taken with the Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic.