**WARNING: There will be random photos throughout this post that I found on weheartit. They serve no other purpose on here other than to keep interest for those of you who are more visual. … You are welcome. :)
So, a couple weeks ago I opened up the floor to questions from you. I gave you total freedom to ask whatever you wanted. Here are answers to the questions I received (sorry if I missed some!)…
“Can we be friends?”
– Of course! I am always up for making new friends. If you are ever nearby, I would love to meet you! I love your website and blog. They are adorable. I am adding your blogs to my reader. :) (Psst…If anyone else wants me to follow your blog, leave me the link!)
“If you had to describe yourself as an animal…what animal would you be and why? :)”
– Oh geeze! I don’t even know, actually. I guess my first thought would be a bear cub. At first glance, I probably look cute and harmless. However, if you try to get too close for comfort or give me trouble, I can be pretty dangerous. Also, I have friends and family nearby who are always ready to coming charge in my defense if I need it. Does that work? :)
Miss James asked:
“How’d you get to be so damn cute? ;) XO.”
– Well, probably by wanting to be just like you. ha! I am kidding, but that means a lot coming from you. I love your style and cute life. I think you balance everything really well (from my perspective). It is definitely something I admire in you. :)
I have rarely seen myself as “cute.” Especially growing up. I was a really big tomboy and never tried to be cute. In just the last couple years, I started wearing dresses and caring more about my appearance. Then, all of a sudden, people were wanting to take my photos, guys were approaching me in a much different (but not always gross) way, and I was being complimented on my looks all the time. Most people would assume that this gave me confidence, but it worked the completely opposite way. I was embarrassed and felt like people would assume that is all I cared about or that was all that was to me. You know, probably the stuff I should have gone through in 7th grade. ha! In the last few months I have recently found a pretty good balance in my outlook of myself and am learning to not care what others think of me. It is definitely making me a much happier person. :)
a) “What is your favorite time of day?”
– I go back and forth on this. I really enjoy early morning when I am able to wake up and get an early start. It makes me feel ahead of everyone else and SUPER productive. I am usually in a really good mood when I can get a lot done in the morning. Unfortunately, I am a night owl. Most of the time, I can’t fall asleep right away regardless of how tired I am. I have found that I feel most creative late late at night. There is something really inspiring to me about the quiet that exists while the world is asleep. I also have been in love with staying up just to see the sun rise ever since I did so in the desert. It was one of the most beautiful things I have seen so far. So, I guess I would consider myself pretty fortunate no matter what, as long as I am able to get some stuff done. :)
b) “If you could only wear three outfits for the rest of your life, what would you pick?”
– I guess I would choose first and foremost my comfy outfit: my USMC hoodie over a t-shirt, running shorts under sweats, and Asics running shoes. (photo here) Man, oh man. I love that outfit. haha Next would be the casual but cute outfit: my new grey skinny pants I bought from Forever21, a teal tank top I got from Target, a cardigan from F21, and some black flats. Last would be a more dress-ish outfit: My bright yellow floral sundress with a blue cardigan over it (in case I get cold, which is always) and some brown sandals. :) Maybe I will take photos of the rest of these later. Who knows? :)
c) “What is your daily schedule like?”
– I don’t really have a daily schedule. haha Every day is completely different. There are things I do every day, like shower, brush my teeth, eat. You know, the essentials. :) I would love to get to where doing a photo session (or two or three or…) is part of my daily schedule. (HINT, HINT, WINK, WINK)
d) “What would your dream house be?”
– One that is MINE. I would love an old plantation home in the South. I love the sense of history you get. Plus, there is always a chance for ghosts. :) As much as I have slowly become a city girl, I would still rather live out in the country and commute to the city.
“uh…ya. My name’s Mikal. First time caller, long time listener. I got a question.. Do hampsters really know or not they have stylish hair doos? I have been quite troubled about this for some years now. Love your show!”
– I have honestly never paid attention to hamsters or their “hair doos.” I will certainly look into this and try to get back to you. Thanks for listening. ;)
You are ridiculous, my friend. (Let’s hang out!)
“These are photography questions, situations that I sometimes have trouble with and I wanted to know how you deal with them.”
a) “Are you ever shy around people/models? How do you direct them with poses and such?”
– I wouldn’t say I am shy around models/clients. I really can’t be. I certainly get nervous before meeting/shooting with a model for the first time. Mainly because I don’t know what to expect. However, once I introduce myself, there is no room for me to be shy. Besides, there must be a reason why they are wanting to work with me so I try to have that fuel excitement and not feed my nerves. :) As far as being shy around people in general, I don’t think I will get over it. I am not as shy as I used to be but I still get bashful from time to time.
With posing, I try to direct as little as possible. I make suggestions but usually, I just let people be themselves. That is what I love to capture and so I don’t want to interfere too much. When I am working with models, I direct more because no matter how good the model is, they aren’t seeing what I am and don’t always know what looks best for what we are going for. For shoots based on my own ideas or concepts, I try to have my hand in everything (styling, wardrobe, posing, etc). Those are my absolute favorite! I have like 10 ideas that I am hoping to start in the next year that will eventually be made into series and hopefully books. :) For family shoots, I usually try to strike two deals. The first is made with the parents: If they agree, I have them help me with the deal with the kids. The deal with the kids is that if they do the posed, cheesy photos, they will get to choose a theme for the last set of photos: whatever they want (within reason & budget of course) and the parents have to go along. Usually, the whole family loves the idea and loves the final edit of the photos even more!
b) “Do you ever tell your models what to wear for the type of shoot you want?”
– I guess I kind of answered this in the last question. ha! Yes, I do if it matters. (I actually have two suitcases and some of my closet space filled with costumes, vintage clothes, props, and other pieces specifically saved for photo shoot use.) Otherwise, I let them come up with their own outfits.
c) “Have you found yourself in a situation yet where you might charge a family member or a friend for a shoot? How do you deal with the money situation? I always found this to be very difficult for me. I kind of squirm when it comes down to business.”
– Yes! I am the same way. Isn’t it the worst? I always feel weird. My very first paid shoot was actually for one of my best friends. I tried and tried to do it for free but she wouldn’t have it. She said something like, “Erin, you would not expect to get my stuff for free because you are my friend, so I wouldn’t expect you to give me free shoots. Let me pay you for the photos or…” Needless to say, her threat was definitely convincing enough to let her pay me. I guess what she said before was as well. ;) Ever since, it has gotten easier to charge people for photos, whether I knew them or not. I just have to keep reminding myself that I can’t make a career out of photography and pay the bills when I give discounted or free shoots. In fact, I am taking photos of my nephew for his 1 year birthday this weekend… and my sister is paying me. So DON’T FEEL BAD!! If they love you and care about you, they will understand why they are paying you. :)
a) “Where are you from originally?”
– I was born in Rockford, IL. The summer after 6th grade, my mom moved my sisters and I to Springfield, MO. :)
b) “What are some places you’ve lived?”
– Well, I moved at least a dozen times growing up, between Rockford, Kentucky, and here in Springfield. When I graduated, I went to South Carolina for USMC training. I was stationed in 29 Palms, CA and then San Diego. I arrived in Jacksonville, FL December 31, 2007 to be with my (now ex) husband. A little over a year later, I moved back home. I’ve been here since. :)
c) “Where do you want to be in 5 years?”
– I would love to be out of debt or at least to where I can see the end in sight. I would love to be married and pregnant, if I don’t already have a child. I would like to be established in one of my career goals. I want to be the happiest I have ever been. :)
“How did you and Will meet? I love cute love stories, and you guys seem adorable!”
– Thank you so much! Well, this is a fun story that we laugh about regularly. :)
Will and I were involved in a Christian retreat while I was in high school. We are 5 years apart in age, so we didn’t talk much, if at all, then. We knew of each other (I kind of had a tiny crush on him at one point) because we were both very involved and knew/hung around the same people.
When I went off to the Marines, I lost touch with most of the people I associated with from the retreat. It is kind of hard to not get stuck in your own military world. I went through a lot of changes and grew a lot, finding new passions and aspirations. One of those passions was photography. I started looking for photographers to talk to on this new social networking site (to me) called Myspace. (haha) This started as a way for me to find friends in the area that enjoyed the same things I did. I was married and definitely not looking for anything else. I met a couple people but never found anyone who I felt I could be good friends with that I didn’t already know in the area. When I moved to San Diego, I tried a search to see if I could find some new friends and had no luck. Seeing that I was really disappointed, my friend suggested that I make friends from all over and not worry so much about needing “real-life” friends. He also suggested talking with photographers around my hometown so I could have people to hang with when I went for visits. Upon searching around Springfield, Emergent Photography’s profile came up. The profile photo looked beautiful so I clicked on it. I loved all of the photos and felt really inspired by the person’s work.
Upon looking further on the profile, I realized that the photographer was a guitar player from the retreat I used to be involved with. So, after some debating, I decided to email him and get back in touch. I did this… but never received a response. I went on with life, drawing the conclusion that he ended up a jerk.
About a year later, I received an email from that photographer. I was a little shocked and very skeptical about his reasons behind contacting me. However, I decided to entertain the thought of us possibly becoming friends. Besides, I thought he was really cute (my marriage was ending at this point). We talked… and talked… and talked. I don’t think there was anything I felt we couldn’t talk about. We grew pretty close and my little crush reappeared. I tried to stay skeptical so that I could avoid getting hurt again (not feeling quite ready to trust). However, I ended up moving back home (NOT because of him at all). This opened up the door to actually meeting him.
The day came for him to come home from tour (he was in a band, also). And he did. Then he sent me a text message. We arranged a meeting. And there it was. A time. A place. And the butterflies.
Frantically, I raided my sister’s closet and slapped on some makeup in an attempt to look my best. I ventured out, a little late, onto the icy roads of Springfield in my sister’s car. I squinted through the blistery weather beating on the windshield as I drove to Starbucks that afternoon. I walked in and scanned the room… to reveal no one else in the place.
Disappointed, I slumped into a little booth and sulked a bit, halfway thinking that I had been stood up. Then, another text arrived. Minutes later, he walked through the door. We instantly smiled. I was hooked.
He bought me a drink. He asked me questions… lots of questions. We talked a bit, and then… it was 5 hours later. He was hooked. :)
More than one person asked about us so I thought I would elaborate a bit. :)
I hope you enjoyed this Q&A post. Please leave any other questions you may have in the comments or email me. This was fun and I would love to continue this some more. :)
I love you guys! I hope you have had a wonderful day.