Photographer Spotlight: Lexia Frank

We are so excited to welcome the wonderfully talented Lexia Frank of Lexia Frank Photography to the Rock the Shot Blog! Take a moment to learn more about her beautiful wedding photography, and be sure to visit her website. Thank you so much Lexia for taking the time to share your work with us today!


Where did your inspiration for photography begin?
I’ve always known I would be an artist in some capacity, even when i was a child. i have a diary from when I was six that had a little questionnaire in the beginning that posed the question: “what do you want to do when you grow up?”  and I answered: “a dancer and an artist” and am happy to say I grew up to be both. It’s not often adults take children seriously when they express their desires of what they want to be when they grow up, but luckily for me, my parents did.  They put me in special art classes, and when I was serious about ballet, they drove me an hour and a half both ways to classes every night of the week. It was really a massive sacrifice for my parents as well as myself.

When I was in high school my dad (an incredible hobbyist photographer in his own right) showed me how to use his Nikon film camera. He loaned it to me on the premise that it must ALWAYS stay in Manual mode. If he ever caught me with it on automatic, it would no longer be available to me. He wanted me to fully understand the camera and the science behind how to create the image I had in my mind, and never let the camera do the thinking for me. There was also a bit of luck involved. My first darkroom printing class I had in high school, the first image i developed actually turned out (a picture of a corn husk- I’m from a small town in the midwest!), which spurred a little bit of confidence in myself and gave me the momentum to keep working at the craft.

How would you describe your photography style?
Quietly emotive. Sometimes I find myself taking my clients away from the hustle and bustle, bringing them down to a more peaceful place and actually whispering!  Then again, the ruckus of real life is also a favorite of mine to capture unobtrusively!

Did you study photography in school or are you self taught?
I did study specifically photography. I went to the university of wisconsin in Madison and majored in fine art.  There was a lot of photography involved, and history of art and photography as well.  It gave me a really great base to build upon.  However, the photography I did and studied in school was fine art based, not portrait based, so I really had a lot of learning to do in my field. I was TERRIBLE in the beginning!

What brand/model camera do you shoot, and what is your favorite lens?
I am not a brand specific photographer. I shoot with the medium/brand/lens that best fits the given situation.  I am 99% film based, and shoot with a Contax 645 medium format camera with an 80mm lens or a 35mm lens, a Rolleiflex sl66, a Nikon f4, a Polaroid 66SE… the list could go on.   If the rare occurance happens where i need to shoot digital (for a commercial shoot and they need to see the images on set for instance), I shoot with my Nikon d3S and whatever lens is required for the shoot, or a Canon 7d, etc.

Do you have any tips for photographers on how to find the light?
I have a pretty strong opinion on this one.  A lot of photographers talk about ‘good light’. ‘find the light’, etc.  I think, personally, it’s kind of a load of crap.  There is good light ALL THE TIME when there is light. You just have to know how to use it, and what sort of feeling it is going to emote in the photograph.  Shooting at sunset is pretty, and will give that soft sort of magical feel to a photograph, but sometimes it’s not an option or sometimes, frankly, you’re just sick of it. Noon-time full sun can be GORGEOUS! This shot was done at noon in Jamaica.
Harsh light can be gorgeous when you use shadows and geometry:
or after the sun has already set:
or when there is almost no light at all:

I think it’s important to fail, and fail often – preferrably not with clients. Which means that you need to be doing personal work, and carrying your camera with you EVERY.DAY.  It’s also important to get comfortable shooting in all different kinds of light so that when you’re put in (what you feel is) a less-than-ideal situation with a client, you know how to comfortably handle it and be confident you’re going to deliver killer imagery. Versatility is a tool not many photographers carry in their back pocket. It’s a tool gained through massive amounts of failure and trial and error.

What is the most challenging thing about photographing weddings?
It has changed for me over the years. At first, it was very close to what we were discussing above- the versatility of the day. There are so many changes and scenarios that you have to be comfortable handling (especially with lighting), and there is only so much control over you have over it. Meeting client expectations – they want sunset pictures, but it’s raining outside.  Once I was comfortable shooting in every lighting situation and felt like a ninja, the hardest thing was managing client expectations and educating my clients beforehand so there were no bumps in the road or unachievable expectations. Now, I think my biggest challenge is balancing the need to shoot both stunning portraits and beautiful details but also giving the same amount of care and attention to the photojournalist aspect of wedding photography. Many times, after shooting the portraits and details, photographers (myself included) breathe a sigh of relief and sort of let down in a way… and just shoot casually the on-goings of the day. I’m working on making this a focus of mine and giving it the same care as the rest of my work.
 
What is a good lesson you have learned this year in photography or in your business?
This has been the year of lessons for myself. I’ve been in business 6 years, and the 6-year-slump did indeed happen. I burnt out a bit and took on some personal work instead. Ryan Weeger and Zalmy Berkowitz were kind enough to let me tag along at one of their weddings to photograph photojournalistic moments without any pressure of delivering the standard photographs (ie- safety shots) that I feel like my clients need/expect. Having that pressure lifted, I was free to try unusual angles, shoot in all black and white if I wanted, free to fail and mess up and step out of my comfort zone.  Failing is important.
In terms of business, if we’re being all too real here, I learned that you can not just ‘get to a point’ in your business where you no longer need to network and reach out. Last year, I felt like my business would sort of run itself, people would find me, I wouldnt need to market or network. I was busy buying a house and renovating it, getting my kids in school, and moving across the country.  It turns out, no matter how successful you may be in your field, you still need to hit the pavement and hustle, otherwise you’ll see the affects of that decision a year later with slow bookings.  Now in a new area, it’s like I’m starting from scratch, and it takes a LOT of effort, hurts the ego, and puts you right back in your place!

If you could encourage a new photographer in one area, what would it be?
To fail and grow all the time. I think it’s important to distinguish here that when I say ‘fail’, I concurrently mean ‘grow’.  If you’re failing all the time and you’re also not growing – it’s a sign that maybe you shouldn’t quit your day job and perhaps you should find a different creative outlet.   But if you are failing all the time while at the same time growing, that means you are constantly stepping out of your safe zone and working. I also always encourage photographers to stay with one camera body, one lens, and one film stock, one lab until they know it like the back of their hand. THEN switch one of those things out. You don’t need a lot of equipment- you need equipment that you KNOW. Also, if everyone’s shooting backlit f/2, shoot direct sun f/8.  Make it your own.

What do you love most about being a photographer?
I love the people. The people in the industry, the people I get to meet and take a peek at the most intimate moments of their life, telling their stories, and treating them with love.  I also am a sensitive soul that hates confrontation or uncomfortable situations, so I think I’ve successfully surrounded myself with people who are experiencing the most happy moments of their entire life.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
If it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you can’t predict the future, and it’s futile to try to do so. I’m not saying don’t have goals, but I’m saying be open to the doors that present themselves to you. I actually NEVER thought I’d be doing wedding photography, but it was a door I sort of accidentally stepped through without realizing it. My only goal is to be focused on doing the best work I possibly can in the here-and-now, and be mindful of opportunities that come knocking.

About the Artist: Lexia Frank is a highly sought after fine art wedding and portrait film photographer, who regularly shoots throughout the continental US as well as internationally. As a former ballet dancer with the Madison Ballet, she attributes her love for the human form and the arts from her years in training, and she translates this beautifully into her photography. While obtaining her degree in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin, she fell in love with the traditional practices of film photography, and continues to use these methods of image making in her business, which helps to set her apart from the slew of digital media in this current age. In her work, she aspires to create honest, raw, quietly emotional imagery. In 2011, Lexia won the prestigious Canon Project Imagin8ion Contest chosen by Ron Howard as the winner from amongst almost 100,000 photographs. The Chosen photograph went on to inspire the award winning film, “When You Find Me”, directed by Academy Award winning director Ron Howard and Bryce Dallas Howard. Ron Howard says about Lexia’s work: “It’s dramatic, it’s utterly human, powerfully relatable. (her work) Spoke so pointedly, powerfully, to a very relatable set of human emotions.”
She, as well as her work, have graced the cover of many national magazines such as BabyTalk, Rangefinder, and Veil magazine; exhibited in galleries; and authored many articles on photography. She has been interviewed for magazines and news programs alike, and as an industry leader she also teaches master classes at the world’s largest photography convention- WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International). Her work has taken her all over the world- to Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South America, the Caribbean, and beyond. In the future she hopes to continue to tell people’s stories photographically here in the US and beyond, and to teach her two young boys the art of slowing down to appreciate the beauty that is this life.

Visit Lexia at her WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | GOOGLE+ pages

New “Members Only” FREEBIE Packet {V43}

HO, HO, HO!!  Black Friday is coming early to Rock the Shot!  The newest “Members Only” FREEBIE Packet {Volume #43} is now available for download in the forum!!  This month’s packet is filled with the most FABULOUS goodies from our amazing vendors!  We want to extend a HUGE thank you for their generosity and support. Special thanks to CRAVE Photography & Design; The Hummingbird Press; and 7th Avenue Designs for this month’s contributions to Rock the Shot Forum members!

You can find the download link in [the Forum] under “Freebie Packets”. New members, don’t forget to download the other available issues of our “Members Only” Subscriber Packets as well! You’ll get HUNDREDS of dollars in FREE photography products.  Hurry, these packets are only available for a limited time!

Not a member of our forum yet?? JOIN TODAY, and get exclusive access to all our FANTASTIC FREEBIES!  Plus… for a limited time, save a whopping 40% off any level membership using code BFCM40 (new/inactive members only: expires on December 1, 2014).  A deal this BIG only comes once a year, so don’t let it pass you by!

And now….on to the goodies! You will receive the following freebies:

Facebook Timeline Collection (10 Cover Templates) from CRAVE Photography & Design {$29 Value}

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

CRAVE Design offers photoshop templates and marketing materials to help grow your photography business.  Our unique look is inspired from vintage elements and current trends to offer your clients something special. CRAVE Design templates are created to help you impress your clients, increase your sales, market your business, and save on design time.

  •  Compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Creative Cloud, and Photoshop Elements

Holiday Card Collection (4 Card Templates) from Hummingbird Press {$32 Value}

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

Hummingbird Press offers user-friendly templates for the professional photographer.  With everything from cards to photo boxes, overlays and more, you’re sure to find exactly what you need.  And should you need something you don’t see, please get in touch, I always welcome custom work.  Every file is fully layered, so you can customize to your hearts content!

  •  Compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Creative Cloud, and Photoshop Elements

Christmas Overlays Collection from 7th Avenue Designs {$20 Value}

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

At 7th Avenue Designs, you will find fresh and fun designs for all your business needs, from pre made logo to custom logo and marketing sets, and lots of beautiful templates for your photography business. Every templates are saved as layered psd files, making it easy for you to modify the files, change colors etc and come up with your own custom set. You can also find beautiful overlays for your wedding, save the date and birth announcements photos, saved as csh and layered psd files. I design everything mostly from scratch, hence I believe my designs are unique and one of a kind with vintage modern style.

  • Compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Creative Cloud and Photoshop Elements

Not a member of Rock the Shot Photography Forum yet? Come on over and JOIN our fun and friendly community TODAY!  Plus… for a limited time, save 30% off any level membership using code save 40% off any level membership using code BFCM40 (new/inactive members only: expires on December 1, 2014).

And… don’t forget to stop by these wonderful vendors websites and Facebook pages and check out all the FANTASTIC products they have to offer. Remember to download all of our currently available packets in the forum. Here is a list of all the fantastic freebies available for download.  Hurry, these packets are only available for a limited time!!

Volume 42:

  • Exclusive Mini-Session Marketing Set from EW Couture Collection {$24 Value}
  • Holiday Card Ordering Kit from Galler.ee {$45 Value}
  • “Simply Elegant” Wedding Marketing Collection from Designs that Inspire {$70 Value}

Volume 41:

  • Mini-Marketing Collection from Kimla Designs
  • Facebook Timeline Collection {5 Timelines) from The Album Cafe
  • Vintage Frame Bundle from Indigo Boutique

Volume 40: (expires December 1, 2014)

  • Exclusive Photo Overlay Collection from Click and Blossom
  • “Back to School” Marketing Collection by Cherry Bloom Design
  • Exclusive Cloud Overlay Pack from Photographer Depot

25 Great Gift Ideas for Photographers

Don’t know what to get your FAVE photographer this holiday season?  Well, we’ve got you covered!!  We’ve put together a fabulous list of 25 Great Gift Ideas for Photographers.  These fun and unique gift ideas are perfect for any photography enthusiast!

1.   Designed exclusively for photographers, the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan (Photoshop CC + Lightroom) [Digital Subscription] is a MUST HAVE for any photographer!  You’ll get the world’s best photography tools at one incredible price {only $9.99 a month/annual subscription}. Photoshop CC and Lightroom are tightly integrated for a complete photography workflow across your desktop and mobile devices.

Photoshop Creative Cloud is the world’s most advanced image editing software lets you transform your images in any way you can imagine.

Lightroom gives you the ease and power to organize, enhance, and share gorgeous images, every day. Now not only on PC or Mac but also on iPad and iPhone, with all changes syncing back to the originals on the desktop.  We cannot recommend this program highly enough.  This is an indispensible workflow tool that will help you organize and edit your images quickly and easily.

2.   The Datacolor SpyderCHECKR 24 target offers the accuracy of full size, spectrally designed pigment patches, in a thin, portable, affordable color target designed for both still and motion imaging. SpyderCHECKR 24’s gray face provides in-camera and post-process white balance and exposure adjustment, while the color face allows you to color correct your capture automatically in Adobe Photoshop ACR, Adobe Lightroom, Hasselblad Phocus, and Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve.

3.   Check out the Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom GP3 Flexible Camera Tripod, and place your camera on almost any surface!  Its sturdy prehensile legs help you achieve a steady shot with your SLR camera and zoom lenses. It attaches to any virtually any SLR, video camera, or tripodhead. The Gorillapod SLR-Zoom can support an impressive 6.6 pounds, yet it is remarkably compact and lightweight.  A perfect tripod to have on hand for all your family photos where YOU want to be in the shot too!

4.   The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens is a great deal for around $100.  If you’re looking for sharper images and love background bokeh, start here.  This is the perfect gift for a friend!  If you’re looking for the 1.4, it’s about $200 more and a great buy.  If you are a Nikon user, check out the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S NIKKOR Lens.

5.   Another great editing program we highly recommend is Adobe Photoshop Elements 13.   Make quick edits, add artistic touches like a pro, or transform your photos to show your vision. Express your creativity in beautiful photo books and cards. Access your photos on the go. And always find any photo, fast.

6.  The Datacolor Spyder 4 Express Display Calibration Device is a fantastic tool for photographers!   We get a lot of questions about how to calibrate monitors and this is a wonderful way to do it. The Spyder4Express is a simple, affordable solution for calibrating a display. Featuring a patented, full-spectrum seven-color sensor that can accurately characterize a variety of wide gamut and normal displays, Spyder4Express lets you use the same sensor to calibrate your monitor, laptop computer, iPad, and iPhone. The fourth-generation sensor uses double-shielded filters for long life and optimum performance.  It is designed for Photo Enthusiasts, Advanced Amateurs, Passionate Photographers and DSLR users of all kinds.

7.   Kelly Moore bags are a FABULOUS way to carry your camera gear in style!  Who wouldn’t love a bag like this for Christmas?  Kelly Moore bags come in a wide range of styles and include bags for both men and women!

8.   With more than 350,000 copies sold, Understanding Exposure has demystified the complex concepts of exposure for countless photographers.  Now updated with current technologies, more than one hundred new images, and an all-new chapter, this new edition will inspire you more than ever to free yourself from “auto” and create the pictures you truly want.  This is a perfect book for anyone wanting to learn the basics of Photography.

9.   Express your creativity with the Lensbaby composer for Canon or Nikon.   Product Description:  All Lensbaby™ selective focus SLR camera lenses provide photographers with a new way to control depth of field by bringing one area of a photo into sharpest focus with that Sweet Spot surrounded by graduated blur. By bending the Lensbaby lens, the photographer moves the sharp area around the photo for customized creative effects!

10.  Photo-opoly is a FUN idea for the entire family!!  Choose 22 of your favorite photos and create a game for a birthday, a family reunion, a wedding, a party, a baby shower, an anniversary, or ANY EVENT.  For 2 to 6 players.  Ages 8 & Up.

11.  A Camera Lens Mug in either Nikon or Canon. Any photographer would love to show off this kind of a lens in public. Seeing people’s eyes bug out when you twist off and take a drink is entertainment for sure.

12.   If the photographer on your list doesn’t have an ExpoDisc, they are really missing out. This is hands down the easiest way to get spot on White Balance every time.  The ExpoDisc White Balance Filter can be used to quickly set a custom white balance, virtually eliminating the need for RAW and JPEG color adjustments.

13.  This 5-in-1 Fotodiox 42″ Premium-Grade Professional Collapsible Disc Reflector is a versatile and economical solution for light control in the field. With a simple flip of the sleeve, the reflector can be used as a warm gold tone reflector, a soft silver reflector, a neutral white bounce, or a solid black flag. The internal disc can be used as a diffuser to soften and spread the light hitting your subject. The reflector easily collapses to fit into the included carrying case making it a breeze to transport. The reflector is ready-to-go and available in many sizes.

14. These ADORABLE Camera USB Flash Drives are a fun and convenient way to save all of your important documents whether you are at the office or at home. It is also a great gift for your favorite photographer!

15.   The Black Rapid Camera Women’s Strap is designed specifically for women. Part of the award-winning R-Strap line, the Women’s Strap is the world’s first camera strap that focuses on the perfect fit for the female. While maintaining the traditional “Built for Speed” design, BlackRapid’s designers added a sleek curve highlighted with an elegant but slight pattern accent or classic black. This Women’s Strap provides comfort, speed, and durability along with graceful styling.  I LOVE my Black Rapid!!

 

16.  The first time you experience a Gary Fong Cloud Diffuser can completely change your world. It’s a simple attachment that goes onto a Speedlight on top of your camera and helps spread the light around. For situations where you can’t set up an off camera flash and don’t want the direct light from the Speedlight, this is the best way to add more light without blinding your subjects.

17.  This EXCLUSIVE Camera Charm Necklace from Photographer Depot was designed with impeccable attention to detail.  Perfect for everyday wear and glamorous enough for a night on the town!  A sparkling crystal “Lens” is bezel set and surrounded by 18 accent stones.  Presented on a classic cable chain Sterling Silver necklace.  This beautiful charm is hand crafted in the USA.

18.  Memory Cards in any size or speed are something that are always a welcome gift for photographers. Make sure you find out if the receiver uses Compact Flash cards or SD Cards.

19.  Camera Cookie Cutters are a fun way to treat your friends, family and business associates to a true taste of your photography. Bake batches of cookies in any of the three camera shapes the set includes – SLR, TLR and rangefinder. The reusable cutters can be used to cook up a delicious photographic treat that can be decorated, iced or eaten right out of the mold.

20.  The Tenba Shootout 24L Bag  holds one or two DSLR cameras and 4-6 lenses, plus a flash and other accessories. It has a large main compartment with padded dividers that are customizable to fit your gear. It can also hold a 15″ laptop in its padded sleeve. There are also numerous exterior and interior pockets for additional accessories.  Best part about this backpack style bag is the quick access side door which allows a camera or lenses to be swapped out without removing the bag from your body.

21. Another thing that any photographer can use more of is hard drive memory.  Technology is getting better and cheaper.  You can now get a 1TB Portable Hard Drive for less than $100 – that’s amazing!!

22.   This Professional Cleaning Kit for DSLR Cameras makes an amazing stocking stuffer! Everything needed to keep gear in top working condition is included.

23.   Dating back to the early 1960’s, the all-plastic Diana camera is a cult legend – famous for its its dreamy, radiant, and lo-fi images. The brand new DianaF+ is a faithful reproduction and a loving homage to the classic Diana – with a few new features tossed in.  Each package includes the beautiful “Diana Vignettes” book – packed with over 200 pages of Diana history, Diana+ images, and truly off-the-wall short stories. Uses all varieties of medium format 120 film.

24.  Any photographer needs to be on time to be successful. This FUN F-Stop Watch is a great way to stay punctual and show off your career.

25.  Back in the day, the only way you could see your images instantly was with a Polaroid. Now, there are so many different ways to see images immediately but the joy of a Polaroid or Instax camera has never diminished. Especially not when it’s in an adorable pink Instax camera like this!

LEGAL STUFF: This promotion is in NO WAY sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.  All of these gift ideas are items we recommend and some are affiliates to our company.

Tips for Getting Tack Sharp Images

Getting consistently sharp images takes some practice. I know we all have taken that perfect shot, only to get home and upload it and discover that the eyes are not in focus! It is so frustrating! But there are some things you can do to help you start getting tack-sharp images!

The first thing (and most important in my mind) is to make sure you are focusing on the eyes (more specifically, the irises)!

The eyes are what draw you into the image! When focusing on the eyes, it helps to set your camera on a single AF point. This way your camera is not choosing on its own what it wants to focus on.

Next, use your toggle points!

Sometimes when using the “focus and recompose” method, the camera can tend to lose the focus in the short time it takes you to recompose your image. When using your toggle points, you are telling the camera exactly where to focus!

Avoid motion blur and camera shake!

You may not see it while you’re framing your shot, but it is nearly impossible to hold your camera completely still unless you are using a tripod. When I am using my heavier lenses, I will brace my elbows against my body, and that helps hold my camera more still.

I do believe that prime lenses are sharper than zoom lenses.

My reason behind my belief is that zoom lenses have a lot more glass in them than primes do. It is harder to get tack sharp focus when trying to focus through 6 or more pieces of glass inside your lens. That is not to say that zooms are bad. This is just my own personal opinion and mainly why I choose primes over zoom lenses.

Make sure your exposure is correct!

An over or under exposed image will cause the image to become soft. I also don’t suggest shooting wide open (ie: 1.2-1.6). It is hard to nail focus when you have such a small focal area! Also, shooting with a lower ISO setting can help the image to not be fuzzy!

You can sharpen the eyes in post using the high pass filter (here is a great post about this!)!

This is not something I typically do, only because it can be so easy to over do it, and then you end up with an image that has alien eyes (at least that’s what I call them, haha!). Over-sharpened eyes tend to look crispy and glowing. However, there is nothing wrong with enhancing the eyes a bit! Just do it in moderation!;-)

And lastly, while I hate to actually say this, equipment can sometimes make a big difference in image quality!

Just because you buy new equipment, does not mean you will automatically be a better photographer (you still will need knowledge in how to properly expose your images). However, better equipment can play a part in the higher quality of your images, and save you some time in Photoshop! So if you are doing everything right, and still not getting high-quality images, that’s when you’ll know that it might be time to upgrade!

About the Author:  Hi, I’m Becky Engle.  I love capturing everyday-life kind of moments, and turning them into lasting memories! I invite you to follow my journey in life through my online photography diary!

I’m a wife of almost 18 years to my amazing and supportive husband, and a proud mama to two wonderful children (ages 14 and 8)! I manage our family-owned self-storage facility by day, but my passion is photography!

I’m a Nikon girl, all the way! I shoot with the following gear…D700, 85mm f/1.8, 60mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4, 35mm f/2, 70-300mm f/4-5.6, and of course I love my Lensbaby Composer with Edge 80 optic!

Visit Becky at her WEBSITE | FACEBOOK pages today!

Photographer Spotlight + Celebrity Mentor: Liz Franco Photography

We are so excited to welcome the insanely talented Liz Franco of Liz Franco Photography to the Rock the Shot Blog! Take a moment to learn more about her beautiful portrait and fine art photography, and be sure to visit her website.  The best news… Liz will be featured as our “Celebrity Mentor” in the Rock the Shot Forum for the entire month of November so come on over and ask her anything you like. Thank you so much Liz for taking the time to share your work with us today!

Where did your inspiration for photography begin? ​

I have always loved art and the beauty in it, but little did I imagine that my way of expressing art to others was going to be through my camera and lens. I enjoy sharing this with others and little by little I am growing into a new love for teaching, I truly enjoy sharing what the Lord has given me through this journey.


How would you describe your photography style? ​
Whimsical and Romantic. Using the nature that was given to us, I love to create a unique mystery in many of my portraits. I enjoy so many styles but my heart is set on Fine Whimsical Art.

Did you study photography in school or are you self taught? ​
I am self taught. Even though I know that I would completely enjoy attending a workshop or maybe even taking a class in photography, I am thankful for being able to find my own self in this journey as a photographer. Though the process of being self taught has not been easy for me I have enjoyed growing each day a little more and more. There has been trial and error quite often, but I hope that this desire to continue to learn never fades. It is what keeps my creative soul going, knowing there is always something new to learn.

Do brand/model camera do you shoot, and what is your favorite lens?
I shoot with a Nikon D800 and my two babies are the Nikon 85mm 1.8G and 50mm​ 1.4G.

Do you have any tips for photographers on how to find the light?
Use your creative eye. Don’t just arrive at a location and start shooting, walk around search for it. Imagine how a specific spot with beautiful light will make a difference in your portraits. Also know that the way and direction to which you pose your subjects is very important.

What is your favorite subject to photograph and why?
That is a hard question for me, I honestly love to photograph Love, Life and Beauty. The love between a couple, the beauty of an expecting mommy or the beauty of a soul. I simply enjoy photography so much.

What is a good lesson you have learned this year in photography or in your business?
I have learned to NOT compare myself to others. We block our minds from seeing further once we are so focused on what others are doing. Wish them well, motivate one another and compliment when you see talent but focus on your own art and vision. ​

If you could encourage a new photographer in one area, what would it be?
I have been there. Keep working hard, it will be okay. Stay humble, do not envy your neighbor photographers, there is a client for everyone. You will make it. ​

What do you love most about being a photographer?
I can share with others my love for Christ and Art. How do these two beauties fall together? They simply do because what I do is not for myself but for His glory. Photography was given to me as a way of healing in a difficult time in my life, this journey is not a coincidence. It was given to me and I am truly blessed to be able and share that amazing testimony with others. ​

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
My dreamer’s mind sees many things. I just know it is somewhere beautiful. Two years ago I had NO idea I would be here, it did not even cross my mind. I am simply thankful and taking this day by day…. One day at a time. ​

About the Artist: Liz Franco is a Fine Art natural light photographer serving the Chicago are and surrounding suburbs. With her focus on capturing life, love and beauty in a unique way with her unique vision she enjoys every second of this journey with the amazing support of her husband and daughter.

Visit Liz at her WEBSITE | FACEBOOK  pages today!

And don’t forget, you can ask Liz anything you like in the Rock the Shot Celebrity Mentor Forum for the entire month of November!!

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