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© Ute Reckhorn

© Ute Reckhorn

Capturing My Own Family Photography with Lensbaby


  • 5 min read

Capturing My Own Family Photography with Lensbaby

Artist Interview with Stephanie Schweitzer


Stephanie Schweitzer is a professional photographer based in the United States who creates captivating images. We had the opportunity to interview her and learn more about her process!

Stephanie Schweitzer with Lensbaby Edge 35

Q: When did you start taking photographs? Why did you continue?

A: I learned manual mode on my DSLR in 2017. I loved being able to keep all these fleeting memories of my young kids in a permanent way. It's had me hooked ever since. But outside of that, I also love the creative outlet, and will often take photos of things that don't involve my children, like self portraits or still life photography. Sometimes it's nice to have a subject that is easier to work with than young children. ;)

Stephanie Schweitzer with Lensbaby Sol 45

Q: Which is your favorite Lensbaby lens/gear and why?

A: I absolutely love my Edge 35. Its effect is similar to freelensing, and I love that look for my photography. I also recently purchased the Velvet 56 and am enjoying using it to learn nature photography.

Q: What tips do you have for beginners just learning how to use an Edge 35?

A: Put your new lens on your camera and don't take it off for a week, possibly longer. Take as many photos with it as you can. You'll only master it with experience. Don't be afraid to make mistakes in those first few weeks and months. Mistakes are learning opportunities!

Inspiration Finding Us in Chores

Stephanie Schweitzer with Lensbaby Edge 35

Q: What is the BTS of this shot?

A: I was folding laundry one day, and the piles just kept getting higher and higher. Let's just say I had put off the chore for a bit too long. The piles started to feel like chaos, and I knew the effect of the Lensbaby Edge 35 would capture my feeling well. It was also near Valentine's Day, so I grabbed a pair of my daughter's pants with hearts on the knees, knowing the red/pink pants would complement my green wall AND help capture a nod to the holiday.

Then I set the camera and asked my husband to help me snap the final photo. I believe I captioned the photo: "Sometimes true love looks like this," meaning this Valentine's Day, I was expressing my love through folding endless piles of laundry for my lovely family.

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

A: It's hard to name just one! I'm influenced by many amazing Hello Storyteller and Click Pro photographers, as well as Lensbaby Ambassadors. Anyone doing lifestyle and documentary photography with young kids, with a love for color theory, diptychs, and/or artful blur . . . I could stare at their art all day long.

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

A: Keeping up with the editing! Sometimes knowing that I'll need to edit will hold me back from taking photos in the first place.

Stephanie Schweitzer with Lensbaby Sol 45

Q: Do you have formal training as a photographer or are you self-taught?

A: No formal training, but I have taken several Click Photo School and Hello Storyteller courses. I started my photography journey over 4 years ago, when my second child was born. We had owned a DSLR camera since my first was born, but quickly realized there was a steep learning curve, and put it aside for quite some time. A month before my second kiddo was born, a friend mentioned taking a year-long, learn-manual-mode photography course for DSLRs and invited me to join, and I've loved the hobby ever since.

Last year was my biggest year of growth yet, as I completed a 365 photography project. From that year, I solidified my editing style, found my photography niches, and was able to become a Hello Pro, Click Pro, and Lensbaby Ambassador. I highly recommend 365s as a tool for growth. Somewhere in all that, I entertained the idea of going professional for approximately 0.2 seconds, but am thankful to have realized that it wasn't for me before I really tried. I like to say that I'm keeping this hobby selfishly to myself. The joy of photography for me is being the memory keeper of my own family.

Stephanie Schweitzer with Lensbaby Sol 45

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

A: Knowing how to utilize light, understanding composition, and not being afraid to try new things. In my own work, it's been about learning as much as I can about light and composition, and practicing both a ton. If you understand the fundamentals, and know them well, you're going to do just fine.

Q: What inspires you most?

A: Color! I'm a huge fan of color theory, and plan many photos by playing around with different color combinations. I'll still take a photo even if there's nothing stand-out about the color, but then it has to have good light, or a good story.

 

Q: What is your favorite subject to photograph?

A: My kids, by far.

Stephanie Schweitzer with Lensbaby Sol 45

Q: How would you describe your photography style?

A: My photography ranges from documentary to portrait (just depends on what the kids are up to that day), and I enjoys color theory, artful blur, diptychs, and self portraiture.

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

A: Being able to freeze memories in time.

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

A: With my kids, we try to find a way to make it fun! Whether that's the fun happening in the photo (ice cream cones or playing with a hose), or some incentive for taking the photo (candy after we're done), they know it's going to be a good time. My eldest is also getting into photography himself, and that has him more invested in what I'm doing now; he appreciates it more. And when they're just not cooperating, scrap the idea, and see what unfolds naturally. Some of my best photos are documentary moments where I just let me kids do their own thing.

Stephanie Schweitzer

Hello Artist, hobbyist momtog, living in Tennessee, 3 young kiddos, self portraiture, Lensbaby, and our everyday life.

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