It's All About the Eyes
Artist Interview with Denise Snyder
Q: When did you start taking photographs?
A: I began taking photographs when my children were little to document them growing up. I discovered a real love for photography and capturing that "perfect moment". Over the years that grew into a family photography business. Several years ago I gave up my business to focus on my health and other family concerns, but continued to shoot for myself and the occasional book cover for an agency I had been signed with. I discovered that I enjoyed many other genres including wildlife and macro. My lensbabies have been a huge part of that, as I now shoot with them almost exclusively.
Q: Which is your favorite Lensbaby lens and why?
Q: What tips do you have for beginners just learning how to use Lensbaby Gear?
A: Practice. If your camera has focus peaking - use it. It makes a world of difference with manual focus lenses. Don't try to shoot wide open right away as its easier to focus with the shutter closed down a bit. Master F5.6, then gradually open up as you get better.
Q: What professional photographers have influenced your work, and how do you incorporate their techniques into your photographs?
A: I have followed so many photographers over the years, but I would say I learned the most about the technical aspects from books by Bryan Peterson, Joe McNally and Neil Van Niekerk. I also took a great class with Tiffany Kelly on macro photography that absolutely influenced how I approach that genre. The most influence on my photography, however, came from a small group of female photographers I met on a photo contest site many years ago who became my dear friends.
Q: What is the most difficult part of being a photographer?
A: Sometimes for me its just finding a subject that intrigues me.
Q: Do you have formal training as a photographer or are you self-taught? What was that journey like?
A: Mostly self-taught, but I have taken a few online classes and have been a member of several online forums where I have learned quite a bit. I also have quite a library of photography books that I re-read constantly. It's really a never ending process. There is so much to learn and every time I step into a new genre there is a learning curve, but that's half the fun.
Denise Snyder with Lensbaby
Q: What details do you believe make the best photographs? How do you go about focusing on them in your work?
A: In a portrait for me it's all about the eyes and trying to convey some emotion so I try to get to know my subject and get them comfortable in front of my lens. In my macro work I try to focus on lines and shapes and that's where I find my lensbabies really help define my style as they help me blur out anything that is not important and draw the eye to what I am trying to convey in the photograph.
Q: What inspires you most?
A: Beauty in the every day. I try to focus in on the things that we may see all the time but never really take the time to appreciate.
Q: What's your favorite quote?
A: I'm going to geek out here and give you my favorite quote from Harry Potter: "happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light". I have had a very difficult year with family deaths and illnesses, and I try to recall that qoute whenever possible.
Denise Snyder with Lensbaby
Q: What's your favorite subject to photograph?
A: People - without question my favorite subject.
Q: How would you describe your photography style?
A: That's a really hard question for me to answer. I feel like its always evolving. I can tell you that blur and shallow depth of field are a constant across nearly all of my images.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer?
A: Being able to show people how beautiful they are and how beautiful the world around them can be.
Q: How do you bring the best out of your models? What tips do you have?
A: Just engage with them... find common ground and talk. I probably talk too much but I find that it helps put people at ease if I am talking as I am photographing them.