This week’s featured photographer is Krystle Ipsen. Another photographer who’s work I just love. So real and emotional, magical in a sense. Can a photograph be both real and magical? Well, I think she does it; she creates magic out of real moments. She is a master of light and her black and whites are to die for.
Q. Welcome, Krystle! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Thanks so much for having me! Let’s see… I live in a house full of boys, never a dull moment! Caden is 5 and Conor is nearly 3. I just entered what I’m hearing is the best decade – 30′s! I love chocolate (eat it every day), Friends, sunshine and quiet. I have a full time “day job” and photography is my weekend shooting after bedtime editing job.
Q. How and when did you get into photography?
I can remember when I was around 10 holding my dad’s SLR (film) in his office, I remember the weight of it, what the strap looked like and staring at the lens wishing I knew what all those marks and numbers meant. I told myself that one day I would. Fast forward to 3 years ago, I was 20 weeks pregnant with my 2nd boy when my dad passed away. I was devastated, but after Conor was born I felt this pull to explore photography more. I had no desire to start a business, but I wanted to learn to control the camera. My dad always enjoyed photography and our walls were filled with blown up images of family vacations and every day moments. In a way, it has helped me stay connected to him.
So, in those months and months after I had Conor while I spent countless hours in the mapping room at work pumping I read book after book about photography. Slowly I put it to use, practicing on friends and family every weekend. Learning to shoot manually was the best thing I could do. I was forever seeing shots in my mind but unable to get the camera to do what I wanted. It helps when I’m in charge
Q. How long have you been in business and what do you specialize in?
I’ve been in business two years and have learned a TON in that time. I’ve photographed a wide range of subjects, families, newborn, boudoir, weddings… this summer I am focusing mainly on weddings. I love being able to spend so much time with people and document their day through photographs. During a wedding day there is so much emotion and people let their guard down, you can really capture a lot of authentic moments between people which is my favorite part.
Q. Natural light v. studio light?
Natural light is amazing. I am very simplistic in my shooting and like to bring and handle as little gear as possible. I’m most comfortable with natural light and one lens
I have no problem admiring all those amazingly beautiful off camera flash shots without lugging all that gear around, maybe I’m just lazy!
Q. Tell us about your camera gear. Any gear on your wish list?
I shoot with a Nikon f100 (film); digital: Nikon D700, 50mm 1.4g; 24mm 2.8; 80-200 2.8
I would love to play with a medium format film camera; also a 14mm or a fisheye lens (for my D700)
Q. How would you describe your style of shooting; your style of editing?
My shooting style is pure and simple. I looooove backlighting and have a soft spot for black & whites. I just shoot what feels right. My editing style could probably be described the same way, I keep it simple. I secretly despise editing SO much. Which probably explains why I’m so drawn to film, apart from the look of it – no editing! I edit in LR and my editing consists of: white balance correction, a bump of fill light, a pinch of blacks, some vibrance and there you have it!
Q. What’s your favorite subject to photograph?
People. I distinctly remember getting home from one week long vacation and dividing my vacation photos into two categories: people and scenery. I love being able to capture people authentically, lifestyle or documentary I guess you could say.
Q. What’s your favorite time of day to take photos?
I just love that evening light, it’s so beautiful! Backlighting the subject in that hazy light is my favorite, and the spot meter is your best friend for that! I would say an hour before sunset
Q. How do you balance working and motherhood?
I haven’t figured that out yet honestly. I have to balance motherhood, being a wife, keeping the house in order, a full time day job and photography. Up until two months ago I was commuting two hours per day also, yikes – I was tired to say the least. I tried to find balance by only editing after the kids were in bed so that after work my time was free for them. Of course that led to many way too late nights awake at the computer. Did I mention I hate editing? ;)
Q. I know you recently made a decision to cut back on your business for personal reasons, can you tell us more about that? What was the journey/process to get to that point?
I love that through my business I have had the opportunity to grow and learn and provide images that clients loved. But I’m tired. I work a lot and I felt it wearing on me. Working on weekends and late nights just doesn’t really fit into my life right now. It’s been a lot of thinking to get to this decision. I took an excellent self exploration geared for photographers called Fly, with Angie Warren, she said something during the mentoring that really struck me “you don’t have to be in business to be a photographer.” It sounds so simple. I let those words float around in my head for about six months and then I stumbled across Becky Earl, an amazing film photographer who used to have a portrait business and now mainly photographs her own children. Stunning. I thought some more and as I hit one of the hardest years of our families little life thus far – losing a job, then living apart for a job change, a move, etc – I really had to look within and prioritize. First and foremost, I want to be a good mom, and NOT be tired. Do I think I’ll miss shooting weddings? Yes! But there will be a time for that in the future when the kiddos are older. Right now is the time for play and for documenting us and to breathe it all in.
Q. What has been the best advice you have received on your photography journey?
Oh there has been a lot! I would say what tops the list is to just keep shooting, even when you feel uninspired. Get it right in camera. Also, stop looking at other people’s work – clean out your facebook feed and blog reader.
Q. What’s something you wish you knew when you first started out?
I definitely wish I knew more about pricing, and the costs of running a business. Imagine my surprise when I took a huge loss the first year!
Q. From what or whom do you draw your creative inspiration?
I get inspired by light and life. I love just watching and shooting. I have several photographers that I admire, but topping the list right now is Molly Flanagan and Tara Whitney. The way they capture families is so inspiring. For weddings, Jonas Peterson - insanely good. On a day to day basis my friend and 2nd shooter Jodi keeps me sane and inspired
Q. Any parting words of inspiration or tips for those starting out?
just keep on shooting & shoot in manual mode and never look back! ;) Shoot what you love and others will love it too.