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© Ute Reckhorn

© Ute Reckhorn

The Importance of Personal Understanding in Photography

  • 3 min read

The Importance of Personal Understanding in Photography

Artist Interview with Koren Smith

Koren Smithis a photographer based in the United States who explains the importance of knowing yourself and how this knowledge can improve your photography. We had the opportunity to interview her and learn more about her process!

Koren Smith with Lensbaby Trio 28

Q: When did you start taking photographs?

A: I started taking photos in 2018 just before my middle child was born. I continue photography because it's one of the few things that have remained just mine since being a wife and mom. It helps me to remind myself I'm so much more that "just mom".


Q: Which is your favorite Lensbaby lens and why?

A: My Omni Crystal, it's so easy to use and adds a little dash magic to my images whenever I use it.

Koren Smith with Lensbaby Trio 28

Q: What tips do you have for beginners just learning how to use Lensbaby OMNIs?

A: Experiment and don't worry about perfection, the beauty of Lensbaby is striving for unique images, so embrace the weird and have fun!


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

A: I love Sean Tucker and David DuChemin. I have been inspired by Sean's contrast, love his stuff. David has inspired me to give my images more thought, makes me consider the why behind the images.


Koren Smith with Lensbaby Trio 28

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

A: The pressure to create. That might be more of a social media thing but I feel guilty taking breaks and I really shouldn't. No one is on all the time and yet I felt shame if I'm not.


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

A: SeLf TaUgHt lol it's been hard but fun. I love a good challenge for my brain.


Koren Smith with Lensbaby Trio 28

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

A: Personal understanding, knowing myself helps me to create for myself. I'm a hobbyist so the only person I have to impress is myself and in order to do that I need to know what I like. 9/10 If I mind the things that are important to me I love my images. 1/10 I still hate it though haha


Q: What inspires you most?

A: Life. Because it's funny and sad and weird and horrible and wonderful.


Q: Tell us your favorite quote!

A: "Me up at doesout of the floorquietly Starea poisoned mousestill who aliveis asking Whathave i done thatYou wouldn’t have" - a poem by e.e.cummings


Q: What is your favorite subject to photograph?

A: Meeeee lol and my kids


Koren Smith with Lensbaby Trio 28

Q: How would you describe your photography style?

A: Weird haha but if you are looking for a genre documentary.


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

A: That it gives me something for myself.


Koren Smith

I'm a wife and mother of three from Bellevue, Nebraska. I consider myself an artist versus a photographer. I am often inspired by the weird and mundane love turning it into something beautiful.

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