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© Ute Reckhorn

© Ute Reckhorn

Expressing Emotions Through Photography | Lensbaby

  • 4 min read

Expressing Emotions through Photography

Artist Interview with Monica McLean

Monica McLeanis a photographer based in the United States who works hard to express emotion through her photogaphy and make her audience feel that emotion. We had the opportunity to interview her and learn more about her process!

Monica McLean with Lensbaby Sol 45

Q: When did you start taking photographs and why did you continue?

A: I started when I was a kid, we moved several times and my Dad gave me a point and shot film camera. I documented my life that way through all my life recorded my experiences, family, friends & life. I started taking it seriously about 3 years ago when I decided to go back to school and learn photography and took classes in the dark room. Photography has always been part of my life.


Q: Which is your favorite Lensbaby lens and why?

A: The hardest question so far! I can't choose but if I had to just bring one lens would be the Sol45. It was my first lens and it gave me that magic to create the way I was experiencing life and it continues giving me that spark! But LOVE all of my LB gear it all depends what I am creating.

Monica McLean with Lensbaby Velvet 28

Q: What tips do you have for beginners just learning how to use the Sol 45?

A: I mention my first Lensbaby was the Sol45. When I start it using it I honestly thought there was something wrong with me or the lens! Be patient, let the lens guide you and let your eyes get use to see the focus and blur. Takes practice and focus on one lens at the time and let it take you to help you create. Enjoy it!


Q: What professional photographers have influenced your work, and how do you incorporate their techniques into your photographs?

A: There are so many photographers that have influenced my work and that I can spend hours on end looking at their work. Some of them: Vivian Maier, Graciela Iturbide, Annie Leibovitz, Dorothea Lange, Robert Frank to name a few. I love their street and Portrait work. Two of my favorite genres in photography.


Monica McLean with Lensbaby Velvet 28

Q: What is the most difficult part of being a photographer?

A: Doubting about my abilities as a photographer, artist and creator. Comparing at times even when you try not to. At times following to my own voice and working on my own path.


Q: Do you have formal training as a photographer or are you self-taught? What was that journey like?

A: I went to Community College for Photography courses and Dark Room. I have completed all the credits I could and considering possibly in the future doing a Bachelors or Masters in Art. I also take online courses when I am able.


Q: What details do you believe make the best photographs? How do you go about focusing on them in your work?

A: Definitely it helps to have it visualized but not always works for me that way. If I can make you feel something with my photograph I consider it a win. I feel the photograph should speak for it self. So I try to connect with my emotions and ask myself the why and try to express it through my image.


Monica McLean with Lensbaby Sol 45

Q: What inspires you most?

A: People for sure, they are my most favorite subjects. Love learning about people and I think the experience of moving many times through my life has taught me to learn about others cultures, daily life, routines, etc. I am an extrovert person a when I am around people I get energized. I also love street photography for that same reason. Exploring new areas and meeting new friends.


Q: Tell us your favorite quote!

A: "Change is the only constant in life. Ones ability to adapt to those changes will determine your success in life" Benjamin Franklin


Q: What is your favorite subject to photograph?

A: People, landscape, macro, street photography


Monica McLean with Lensbaby Sol 45

Q: How would you describe your photography style?

A: Documentary, genuine and lighthearted


Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer?

A: The experiences that I take with me along the way!


Q: How do you bring the best out of your models? What tips do you have?

A: I get to know them I try to find connection or something we can relate or have a common ground. I make them feel comfortable and explain what I have in mind for the shoot . I like to listen to their worries and wishes as well and what they envision for their photographs.


Monica McLean

Monica is an artist based in based in Phoenix, AZ USA. Photography has enable her to document both the ordinary and special moments in life. I love working with natural light and I specialize in natural light Family and Senior Photography.


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