This week’s featured photog is Christy Spurlock of Southern Expressions Photography! So excited to have Christy here and sharing with us! I just love learning about the person behind the photos, their journey and personal stories. Enjoy!!
Q. Welcome, Christy! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! Personally, I am a very busy, but blessed Mama to 5: Tori- 17 yrs, Tracer- 14yrs, Taylin- 13yrs, Jake & Jesse- 5yrs. During the school year, I am running between church functions, cheerleading, football, band, softball, wrestling, and baseball practices. My twins have special needs so we also have various appointments for them. Thankfully, those are far, far less in number than they used to be. My kids keep me busy and there is never a dull moment in our house, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Professionally, I have two “jobs.” First, I have been a registered nurse since 1999. My favorite areas to work are the ER and ICU. Currently I work in a small ICU with a very supportive boss and wonderful co-workers. I work two days a week. That doesn’t sound like much, but they are long days. I leave my house around 5:45am and return at 8:30pm. Although my nursing days are long, sometimes physically and emotionally draining, I could never see myself completely out of the hospital. A good nursing day feeds the soul. Second, I am a “mainly” self-taught photographer. I have attended a few workshops, utilized google and youtube, and am blessed to have Amy of Amylu Photography that has taught me a few tricks.
Q. How and when did you get into photography?
I am one of those photogs that have always loved photography. My first camera was a 110. I can remember falling in love with taking pictures around the same time that I decided I wanted to be a nurse- around the age of 9 or 10.
Q. How long have you been in business and what do you specialize in?
Although I have dabbled in photography for a while shooting just about anything and anyone, I consider August 2009 as my real beginning. I have shot just about everything- maternity, birth, newborns, babies, toddlers, tweens, teens, seniors, couples, engagements, families, wedding, birthday parties, and even pets. It took me a while to decide my best and favorite types of shoots… seniors and newborns. They are at the opposite ends of the spectrum, but I love them both dearly!
Q. Natural light v. studio light?
I shoot mainly natural light, but I am going to Canada in less than 2 weeks for a 5 day long photography school on Advanced Lighting taught by Tony Corbell at Image Explorations. I am beyond excited!
Q. Tell us about your camera gear. Any gear on your wish list?
Cute, mossy green Kelly Moore hobo and an awesome saddle brown Kelly Moore juju camera bags.
50mm 1.4G (90% of the time)
Lensbaby Sweet 35
wish list- AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR (for varsity sports:), 35 mm F/1.4, 24-70mm 2.8 (had one, but sold it)
I am a Nikon girl, obviously.
Q. How would you describe your style of shooting; your style of editing?
Ugh, that’s a tough one because I don’t really know my style or, at least, I don’t know how to describe it. That may sound terrible, but I just shoot what I like to see. My editing is a bit easier to describe. I like bright bold colors. I’m not much for the hazy look, although I have turned to that just a bit for my newborns. It gives it a slightly softer look.
Q. What’s your favorite subject to photograph?
Seniors & Newborns. I also LOVE being able to come up with a concept, pull in my best friend (who happens to be a very creative seamstress) and bring that vision to life.
Q. What’s your favorite time of day to take photos?
For the beach, it is definitely the hour before dusk. At any other location, I’m fine as long as I have shade although I have had my daughter, Taylin, hold reflectors to shade my clients when we were in bright sunlight.
Q. What’s your best marketing tool? Where do most of your clients come from?
Word of mouth has been my best advertisement, by far! Facebook has helped the journey, too. Lately, many photographers have had problems with missed posts so I don’t know how much it will help anymore. Most of my clients have been within an hour radius, but I have had them travel as far as 6 hours! That makes me feel very honored for someone to admire my work so much that they would travel that far for me.
Q. What has been the best advice you have received on your photography journey?
Don’t pay attention to the work of others. You aren’t going to have the best equipment. You aren’t going to be the busiest. You aren’t going to be the best period, but if you shoot what you love, then you will be happy.
Q. What’s something you wish you knew when you first started out?
That this IS A BUSINESS! I have never ran my own business so I know that I have made every rookie mistake and learned from them. I wish that I would have done better research into that side of it. Alicia Caine’s Easy as Pie pricing guide DID change my business. I have also invested in just about everything that Kristen at Brand Camp Blog has written and I’m slowly implementing them.
Q. From what or whom do you draw your creative inspiration?
You can find inspiration just about anywhere. I love the work of Carrie and Brittany of Baby as Art. Rachel Vanoven is also just as sweet as she is talented. I love the use of light by Nichole Van Photography and Wild Spirit Photography. Oh, and I just adore the work of Lisa Holloway.
Q. Any parting words of inspiration or tips for those starting out?
Keep your chin up. Great photography takes lots of practice, patience, and passion!!