Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Interview with Lifestyle Photographer Andrea Riley

An interview with the one and only Andrea Riley.

How many pictures do you take on an average day?     

drew 6

  (Average being a weekday, 3 healthy and happy kids, no stress, and perfect weather : )

photo story friday
drew 1    

I am not a daily picture taker.  Sometimes I go a week or two without taking photos.  Then I'll take hundreds in a day.  Eventually, I get around to editing some of them.

drew 11

If you could photograph someone famous, who would you pick?

martina mcbride 

Man, that's a tough one.  There were many names that came to mind, but I think Martina McBride would be an awesome person to photograph.  She's gorgeous, has a killer voice, and seems like a genuinely good person.

drew 1

Tell me about your photoshop journey.

drew 4

When did you first get it?
Were you hooked right away?
When did you upgrade to CS4?

drew 9

My Photoshop journey started with Elements.  I bought it a couple months before I Heart Faces was launched.  Honestly, I knew very little about it until Fix-it Friday came about.

  drew 8
I wasn't originally a contributor for I Heart Faces.  When several people posted that they would love more help with Elements, my sister asked me if I could start writing tutorials and contributing as the Elements "expert". 

  drew 12

Sheer panic caused my journey to learning Elements to kick into full gear.  Last Fall, I started back to college to get my Master's degree.  College students get an incredible discount on Photoshop, so I transitioned to CS4 at that point. 

  drew 3

Since I bought an iMac, I have gone back to using Elements.  Eventually I'll buy the Mac version of CS5, but I haven't missed it enough to fork over the money yet.

drew 15

Can you show a picture straight out of the camera and show how you would fix it?

drew 4Click right here to go to all of Drew’s Friday Fixes.
The difference is unreal!drew 5

If you weren't a teacher,
What would you want to be? Why?

drew 6

If I weren't a teacher, I'm pretty sure my career path would have eventually moved to something computer-related.  You might say I'm a bit obsessed with technology.  If I had the time, I would look into learning computer programming.

drew 4

Who is your favorite model at this time?

drew 3

My kiddos, of course!    Quite honestly, though, Jordyn is my only kid who will even look in the direction of my camera.
Do you always have a camera with you? 
Do you ever forget it and miss out on something great?

drew 5

I'm ashamed to say that there are many times that I do not have my camera with me.  A huge missed moment doesn't come to mind.  (My life isn't all that exciting.)  When I was without a cell phone with a camera for a couple months, I felt a bit lost.  My cell phone tends to be my "back-up" camera.  Sure, the quality isn't great, but at least the moment is captured.

drew 10

If you could spend an evening with any photographer who would you pick?
What things would you want to ask them?

drew 14

These questions are making me feel so inadequate as a photographer.  With college and teaching, I do not get around to visiting other photographer's websites.  My exposure to creative photography mostly comes from the awesome submissions to I Heart Faces.

  drew 2
I hear that Amy Wenzel is a pretty amazing gal.  There isn't anything specific I'd like to ask her.  Most likely, I'd just soak it all in, watching how she works the camera.

amy wenzel

Out of Ben, Nathan and Jordyn, who do you think will share your love of photography?

drew 13

It's hard to tell.  None of my kids are very thrilled about the camera right now.  Jordyn does enjoy seeing the pictures when they show up on my computer.  I think she just likes proving that she can name every person in the photo. 

  drew 16
Does Mark enjoy your photography hobby?
My photography hobby is probably a blessing and a curse to Mark.  I spend way too much time on the computer, and I'm sure that gets on his nerves.  Every Friday, though, Mark makes sure to check out my edit for Fix-it Friday. He looks through the comment section to see if anyone mentions liking my fix.  It's kind of funny.  

  drew 7
Mark also tends to be my editor on the blog.  He's the first one to tell me if I spell something wrong.  Overall, Mark appreciates how important the blog is at documenting the everyday happenings of our life.  It is so cool to go back a year or two and remember what was going on with our kids and in our lives at that time.
What is your favorite sort of pictures to shoot?

drew 8

Candids.  I really struggle with posed shots.  It seems like I'm trying to create an idealistic situation rather than what is real.  Several people have asked if I'll ever go "pro" and make money with my photography hobby. 

  drew 17

At this time, I have no intention of making it a business.  Right now, photography is fun and challenging.  I'm afraid if I made it a business, my enjoyment of it would fade.

drew 7

If someone is just starting to get interested in photography what kind of equipment and software should they get?

You wouldn't believe how many cameras I have gone through...from basic to SLR.  My suggestion would be to go straight to an SLR.  You'll save money in the long run. 

  drew 2

Buy the highest end SLR that you can.  About a year ago, I purchased the Canon Rebel XSi.  Although it's a great camera, I wish I would have bought something with better ISO options.  There are so many low-lighting situations that I have been in where I would have loved to have a full sensor camera.  As far as software, I strongly suggest going with Adobe.  Yes, there are other great photo editing programs, but the most popular is Photoshop.  With popularity comes a great selection of actions, tutorials, plug-ins and so on.  If you're planning on keeping photography as a hobby, Elements is a great program.  If there is any possibility of going pro, you might as well go ahead and buy Photoshop.  I found the transition from Elements to CS4 to be a very easy change. 

  drew 3
Any other advice?
I'm not sure that I am qualified to give advice.  There are thousands of photographers out there better than me.  Overall, just follow your heart with photography.  Photography can be such a gift to the people in your life.  I always enjoy capturing special events and seeing how much people appreciate seeing the moments that were captured.  That is so rewarding.

drew 1

You have to see what she did with these fixes!
Slide your mouse over the pictures.
Check it out here!

You will love her blog and her teaching style.
You will love her mommy-ing.
You will love her pictures and her heart.
She is my favorite photographer and one of my very favorite friends.

drew 2

Drew’s Blog

You are going to love her! : )


Kristina P. said...

She is clearly very talented and amazing.

the Lola Letters said...

Beautiful, beautiful!

The shot of her little girl sleeping under the Christmas tree is UNreal!

Anonymous said...

I always love to visit her blog. Her kids are very adorable. She seems down to earth. I hope we get to meet her the next time she comes to Pennsylvania. From your Mom

RR Mama said...

Very talented!! And one very AMAZING interview!!!

Adrienne in Ohio said...

I already love her and feel honored to know her. :) Great interview, Becky.

Green Monkey said...

I'm blown away by both of you!

interesting perspective - pulls your heart right in!

Brian Miller said...

wow. those are some amazing pics...i like the kids playing in the dirt with his back to us...

Brooke said...

Great interview!!! Drew is way, way, way too modest. She is so very talented in photography and editing, and I have no idea where she finds the time to manage all that she manages so seemlessly. Whenever I'm trying to edit a picture that I just can't get right, I always think of Drew and wish I could clone her photo editing brain :)

Skeller said...

I adore Drew's family candids, her mad-photoshop skills, her humor, and her design aesthetic. I feel like she and I have both reaped the benefits this last year+ of doing our best for fix-it friday - from totally faking our way through to actually have a small idea of what we're doing! :-)

Skeller said...

ps. Becky - your interviews are delightful!

lifebythecreek said...

Hello. I am a Drew (Andrea) addict. She is my hero. She, Dana Suggs, and YOU are my fav photogs. She has been my BIGGEST Photoshop help, and for someone to share their knowledge so freely? It's invaluable, especially to a newbie. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Andrea. Got it? yeah. good. :<)

Colleen said...

Brilliant pictures! She does lovely work!

BLOGitse said...

wow, thanks for sharing!
It's great to 'meet' talented people...

Rick said...

My goodness...what great photos!

myorii said...

oh, wow! She is an amazing photographer and truly talented :) Thanks for sharing her photos and the interview! I feel inspired to take more photos after see this post :)

He & Me + 3 said...

What a cool interview and her pictures are amazing. Wow. If only I 1% as good as her. I would be happy. Love her shots.

He & Me + 3 said...

What a cool interview and her pictures are amazing. Wow. If only I 1% as good as her. I would be happy. Love her shots.

Busy Bee Suz said...


Sarah said...

Oh my word I can't get past that first picture!! Amazing! Great interview :) Love Drew's pictures!

TechnoBabe said...

I am surprised that you sometimes do not use your camera for a week or two. Your photos are so good and on such a variety of subjects that it seems like you must be taking photos all day every day.

Catherine said...

Drew is just so so talented! I love the perspectives she uses to tell stories. Her editing is unreal! Love it!

Sarah said...

Great interview, Becky! I really enjoyed reading about you, Drew. And I am so glad to see I'm not the only one that can not pick up my camera in a week or two (well, two is probably pushing it) Glad I'm not alone!

The Simple Life said...

These are great pictures, and I loved the interview!

I'm checking out that blog now!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Christy said...

great interview and pictures!

thank you for sharing!

Suki said...

Becky, this was an amazing interview. I really loved it! She is a great photographer and a wonderful person too!

k80 @ onegirlsjourney said...

Gorgeous shot! Such talent! Beautiful, beautiful! Thanks for visiting my blog! :)

From the Kitchen said...

How nice of you to stop by and leave a comment. Even though I read every blog that Kelle shares about her precious little girls, I rarely comment. Today I did and found you. If you spend any time on my blog (and I hope you will) you will see that I need HELP in the photography department. I'm in search of an SLR camera and deciding on Photoshop. I'm so happy to find your wonderful blog and know that it will be a great resource for me.


Helen said...

Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog!
You have a great blog full of photo's!!
I love Kelly's blog!
Stumbled upon it a few months back and she is soooo inspiring! I'm hooked on her!


Jesson And Rey Ann said...

I really enjoyed reading about you, Drew. And I am so glad to see I'm not the only one that can not pick up my camera in a week

Emily said...

I loved each and every picture! I really need to learn how to edit. My pictures are so bad in comparison!

Jesson And Rey Ann said...

cute babies!

Chris said...

What a wonderful interview -- she is much more talented than her modesty allows her to admit. Beautiful moment centered photography!

scrappysue said...

i just love your photos! it sounds like i need to start reading fix it friday! i have a mac, but still have PSE - not sure i'll ever graduate to CS4 - my design student daughters love it!

WackyMummy said...

Love the photos! Just blown away by so many of them!

Drew said...


I sat on the couch until 3:00 working on college. Then, I left with my family for Columbus to celebrate my brother's birthday. It suddenly occurred to me when I was in Cheesecake Factory waiting on the food to arrive that today was the day the interview would be posted! How am I so forgetful?

Thank you so much for all the sweet words. It was neat seeing friends leaving comments. It made me realize how many connections blogging and photography have helped me make. I think the world of you and hope that I can feature you on my website someday when life slows down a bit.

parentingBYdummies said...

Cool that you got to interview her. And, thanks for sharing it with all of us. My photography idol is someone I know IRL so I guess I get to pick her brain any time I want so I'm lucky:)

Los said...

Such good information! I don't take many pictures .... yet! My wife and I are expecting (end of November, we think), and at that point, our picture takinig will definitely increase - so, I'll probably need to focus on editing the pics!

Jenny said...

Such a neat interview! I can honestly say I really enjoyed reading that! Thank you!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

She is fantastic, thanks for sharing her talent with us.

FranticMommy said...

Dang! These take my breath away! My fav is Grandma gardening with the kids. Grandma's are such a precious commodity :)

Alicia said...

This made me want to go and take more pictures!!! She's an awesome photographer! And great questions, Rebekah!

Flo de Sendai said...

Beautiful photos...

Maggie May said...

Absolutely beautiful pictures. Some made me smile, like the unattended children to be sold!

Have just come over from my brother, Eddie's and enjoyed your Roast very much.
I feel I know you a little already but now a lot better.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Gigi said...

Wow, this was an amazing "read" (or should I say "look?"). I really enjoyed it.

Thanks for comin' by my blog for Friday FlipOffs! I appreciate it!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Drew is seriously talented! Her pictures are gorgeous and I love the interview. Thanks a million to both of you for taking the time to put this together. I'm off to check out Drew's blog.

Hope your weekend is grand.

xo jj

PS Stop by, I'm having a new giveaway

Joanna Jenkins said...

PS Just read your Roast with Eddie Bluelights. In a word-- FABULOUS!
xo jj

Liz said...

She takes beautiful pictures!

Big Mama Cass said...

Wow those are amazing!

Kelly said...

I heart Drew and her creative talents as a photographer! I enjoy reading her posts and getting advice about Elements. I'd be lost without all of her Elements tutorials!!!

Becca said...

Oh Drew! I love you and love your photography -- you're just so so talented! Thanks for sharing Becky!