Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Photographer Interview: Angie Arthur

To know Angie is to love her.angie 10

Just this year,

her shoes went from looking like this:angie 12to looking like this!angie 13

For the sake of her kids,

she got a puppy!angie         

 Not only does she balance being a Mom to 4 gorgeous children,angie 2

she also started her own photography business angie 11

and started the internet sensation,

 I Heart Faces with her friend Amy.angie 1 Sit back and enjoy because you are going to learn a whole lot of things today about one of my favorite photographers:

Angie Arthur.           angie 10  

Can you list all of your cameras and a time frame for them?

I'm sure I had a point-and-shoot camera when I was a teenager, but I can't even remember what kind it was.angie 3

My husband and I bought a film camera when our first child was born (in 1998.)  I never learned how to use it but I took tons and tons of (really bad) photos with it!angie 8

I purchased a Canon Rebel sight unseen on my sister, Drew's, recommendation.  I was a Stampin' Up demonstrator at the time and had earned their free cruise.  I mainly was hoping for a camera that would have a great battery life and that had a card that would hold the millions of photos I would take while on our vacation.angie 11

In early spring of 2008 I stumbled across The Pioneer Woman's blog.  I just loved her photos and started reading all of her photography tutorials over and over again.  Her blog made me start to think "Hey!  Maybe I could learn how to do that!" angie 6I decided to learn how to use my camera and bought Photoshop CS3 even though I had never used a photo editing program before in my life.  I'm completely self-taught mainly from reading online tutorials and practicing my photography continuously.angie 7

In February 2010 I bought my big girl camera - the Canon 5D Mark II.  I am in love!   There are so many wonderful things about this camera but one of the most amazing is the almost complete lack of noise.  I can shoot at 1600 ISO and the noise is barely even noticeable.  Woo-hoo!!angie 4

Did you ever imagine that I Heart Faces would be such a powerful force in the photography blogging community?angie 5

Oh my...I'm not sure if I would consider myself to be a powerful force, but I do know that I Heart Faces exploded in a way that Amy and I never could have expected it to.  I wish that there had been an I Heart Faces years ago when my children were small and that I had been a part of it then.  angie 9What an encouragement and inspiration it would have been to me as a young mom who had no idea what to do with her camera.  I'm amazed daily at the wonderful people I've met through IHF, the close friends I have made and the inspiration I receive from the participants each week.angie

Describe a dream shoot.  Who would you be shooting? angie 5

To be honest with you, I get really nervous on my shoots...especially if I don't know the clients at all.  So, my dream shoot would be with my daughter because it would be completely stress-free and fun. :)  She's become quite the little model for me and loves the camera.  She literally is a dream for me to work with!  I would love to do a themed, stylized shoot with her someday - complete with props, party favors, fancy clothing and all.  That would be a blast!

My other dream shoot would be for me and one (or more) of my kids to go on a Missions Trip someday while I was the official photographer of the trip.  I think and pray about this often and know that one day it is something I am going to do.  My husband and I both have a heart for missions and want to cultivate that love in the hearts of our children as well.  angie 5

How long does it usually take you to edit a session?

Editing is the bane of my existence!  LOL! 

A typical session would probably take me 5-10 hours from start to finish if I sat down and worked on it continuously.  I usually shoot 600-800 photos during a 2 hour session (and many more than that during a longer session like Senior Portraits.)  I use Camera RAW to narrow them down to the top 25-50 images (I provide 25-30 edited proofs for a typical session and 40-50 edited proofs for a senior session.) I am obsessive about trying to make my photos as perfect as possible...choosing the right editing style for each session, making each person look their best while still making sure they look natural, etc.  This all takes a tremendous amount of time.angie 7

I recently decided that I am not meant to be a wedding photographer.  While I absolutely love, love, LOVE shooting weddings, I just don't have the amount of time that I would need in order to edit the photos to my satisfaction.  It makes me sad because shooting weddings is so much fun! Editing them...not so much.

angie 8

Do you have music on while you are editing? angie 3


What is your favorite thing to listen to?

We live in the middle of Amish country and radio reception around here is almost non-existent.  I discovered Imeem (which is now owned by MySpace) several years ago and love it!  It's free and allows you to add a variety of songs to your playlist.angie 2

I really enjoy a little bit of everything when it comes to music.  I love Contemporary Christian, Praise and Worship, rock, pop, some country...and even some rap!  One of my favorite singers right now though is Colbie Caillat.  I'm a bit obsessed with her songs You Got Me and Begin Again.  I've started wearing headphones because I think my husband's going to lose it if he has to hear them one more time!angie 9

I also recently realized how wonderful audiobooks can be for an editing session.  This only works for me while the kids are gone, but wow!  It can make time spent editing go by a lot faster than it typically would.angie 4

When you look through photo albums when the kids were babies what do you think? angie 6Do you wish you knew what you know now then?
This is literally the biggest regret I have in my life.  When I see a young pregnant mom I want to grab her and say "You need to buy a decent camera and make yourself learn how to use it right now before it's too late!"  If I could go back and do one thing differently in life it would be to go back to 1997, buy myself the best digital camera I could find and make myself learn how to use it.  I get sad just thinking about all the lost years when I could have been capturing my kiddos during all of their important milestones. :(

How often do you order pictures of your children? Do you have them hanging all over the house? angie 1

How embarrassing!  I am terrible about ordering photos of my children and I do not have any photos hanging in my house at all.  I do have some framed photos of the kids in my bedroom but it really is pathetic how few photos of them I have printed and displayed.  It's not all my fault though!  My husband acts like I'm pulling out his fingernails whenever I ask him to hang any kind of artwork in our home.  So, I'm just going to go ahead and blame this problem all on him.  Hee!

Do you ever see a beautiful child and hand the mother a card so she will call you? Are you good at self promoting your business?angie 2

Even though I know I should do this, I never have.  I'm awful about self promoting my business!  All of my business has come by word of mouth through friends and family and through people who stumble across my blog or website somehow.  The best thing I ever did for my business was setting up a Facebook Fan Page and I highly recommend that all professional photographers set one up for themselves.  I try to put a sneak peek from every session up on my Fan Page and I tag my client in the photos which then allows all of their Facebook friends to see the photos as well.  It's amazing to me how many sessions I have received from my Fan Page.angie 1

What is the weirdest thing you have ever taken a picture of?

Oh boy.  Back in the summer of 2008 I stubbed my toe really bad while running up our basement steps barefoot.  I ended up losing my toenail and several weeks later my toe swelled up in the most disgusting, infectious-looking thing that I had ever seen in my life. 

I blogged about it.

My blogging friends requested photos.

And stupid me took a photo and put it on my blog.

They were all properly disgusted. I left the photos on there until one of my friends from high school texted me something like this... "Nice photo of your gross toe!  Do you realize how much your toe looks like an infected 'boy part'?!"

Ack!!  My face turned 10 shades of red and the photo came down immediately.  Not one of my shining moments.angie 3

Have you ever dropped a lens or broken a camera?
I am such a klutz!  While at the I Heart Faces photo walk in Columbus, I tripped and fell in front of everyone and ended up twisting my ankle so bad that it still hurts even months later.

angie 6 I also dropped my camera at some point during the walk (yes!  My fairly new Canon 5D Mark II.  I almost died!)  I then dropped my Tamron 70-200 2.8 lens and my 50 mm.  All in the same day.  Thankfully, everything except my ankle ended up being fine.

What are your favorite actions that you can't live without?
I always use Noiseware on every photo I edit.  I like my photos to be sharp and crisp and Noiseware is enormously helpful when it comes to this.

From The Pioneer Woman:  Boost, Fresh & Colorful, Slight Sharpen and Bring On The Eyesangie 3

The new Florabella Lux Actions are my newest favs!  And I use her Milk & Honey action often as well.

From Totally Rad:  Bitchin' B&W (best B&W ever!) and Pro Retouchangie 2

I've learned that the key to using actions is to learn how to use the opacity slider bar and tone those suckers down. That made all of the difference in my editing when I learned that little "trick."

    angie 4Angie is at Blogher in New York City this weekend but she said she would love to answer any questions you leave for in the comment section when she returns.

Ask her anything!

Angie’s blog is entitled The Arthur Clan

She has a great about me page

that will show you all the ways you can connect with her.

You should, because she really is a

Supah Stah!


Pam D said...

I love you, Angie!!!! :<) I don't need to ask her anything, because I seriously feel like I KNOW her. How many BIG bloggers are so approachable? ummm... Angie, and her good bud Amy. That's about it. Oh wait.. there's this really, really sweet chick named Becky who has a HUGE following and yet ALWAYS comments on my blog AND on the pics I post on Facebook... I wonder if anyone knows HER? (hello, can I interview you for my blog? Except that it's practically defunct.. *sigh*)
Anyway... Angie is amazing. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Love her blog. Love her photos. Love IHF. LOVE ANGIE. Period. Great interview, Becky, and, oh... btw... I love you, too!

Sarah said...

OK, well, anything I say underneath Pam's glowing review will not sound nearly as exciting! She did a great job of summing it all up :) Great interview, love Angie, love Becky and I, too, want to interview BECKY :)

theTsaritsa said...

I like the questions that you asked. I'm not a photographer or a business owner, but as a blogger I enjoy reading how other people have found success. It makes me feel hopeful that I can be successful too if I work at it.

Lovely interview, beautiful photos.

Cloudia said...


the real thing!

Aloha from Honolulu :)

Comfort Spiral

DD said...

Wow this was EXTREMELY interesting! How do you line up these interviews with these big people?

Life with Kaishon said...

I want to ask Angie a question I didn't ask her in the interview : )
Is that allowed?

I want to know how high her highest heels are? That girl stays in high heels. She is amazing! :)

Caroline said...

OMG...this was a great interview! I love her work and it's so fun to get to know Angie more.

Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

Awww, Angie thanks for sharing. You mean the world too me. You opened a door I was afraid to walk through and I am so thankful. Love all the info you've shared so freely.

Have fun at Blogher...

Kay said...

excellent photographs! excellent choice to post!

Thank you!

Buckeroomama said...

What a great interview --Becky-style! I love how the interview flowed and of course, all those photos interspersed throughout... just perfect. I loved reading more about Angie and I think it's wonderful how 'real' she is. :)

What I want to ask/tell her (and you, Becky!): When are you guys coming out here to visit me in HK?! It would be just super if the IHF gals and the CG gals all got! How cool would that be?! :)

Buckeroomama said...

I didn't realize that Drew is her sister! Wow, talent sure abounds in their family. :)

Angie - The Arthur Clan said...

Awwww Becky!!!!

What an honor for you to ask me to be interviewed. That was super fun and really made me think back to when I first became addicted to photography.

To answer your extra question...

The shoes I am wearing to the Social Luxe awards later on tonight are my highest yet. I am seriously doubting myself because I'm thinking I'm going to trip in front of everyone again. They were so cute though! I couldn't resist! ;)

Hmmm. Maybe I should go blog about them quick.

I'll be back in touch after I get home from NYC.

Love to you all!


Pam D said...

Ooooh.. can't wait to see the skinny on "heels"! I cannot go there, but I totally admire those who wobble so gracefully in my place! lol... go Angie go! (and I hope you win... I voted!!!)

Rachel said...

Oh no way... you got THE Angie?!?! Wahoo!

I love this interview! I am so intimidated at the thought of truly forcing myself to learn to use my camera to its fullest - and you two (Angie and Becky) are totally inspirational!

Questions??? Umm... when are you coming to the northwest? :)

Anonymous said...

Amazingly beautiful photos! Very well put together interview! WoW! I am impressed and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this Becky!

Josh, Steph, The Boys and Maddie said...

Wow I loved loved loved this interview. Angie is such an inspiration to so many people!i don't think she understands that she is loved my almost any photographer who has heard of her! She might one day start her own TV Show! LOL! And guess what.... I have Angie Arthur photos hanging up in my living room that I won about a year ago off her website! I wish she had autographed them cause maybe one day they may be worth some money. Angie is it too late to send them back for an autograph? :D

Denise said...

Great interview Becky! Angie is an awesome role model and I aspire to have my photography be half as good as hers!

stephseef said...

I heart Angie. :) She's been a dear friend.... I had gotten to know her in blogland BEFORE she was famous, so it's been fun to watch her grow.... I think we met over at the other amazing photography site, Miz Boo... another site with as much heart as talent.

Blessings, Becky - glad I finally meandered over your way!

-Steph from the QLCS

Formerly known as Frau said...

Great interview and amazing pictures!

Ivy said...

Becky, you're an amazing journalist! I love the questions you ask and Angie's answers. Angie has been one of my biggest fans for such a long time for all the reasons she described. She's so down to earth, humble and created the biggest community of photographers, each bringing something unique to IHF.

It's nice to hear we sort of have so much in common with those we admire. Although I can't wear heels like that LOL!

Great interview! Off to comment on Angie's blog!!!

Tisha said...

wow,what a fantastic interview! thanks!!! :) i feel so inspired!

Catherine said...

Angie - you are so inspiring. I agree with you about taking every pregnant woman and forcing her to buy a camera. I wish I had taken photography in high school when I realized how interested I was in the art, however, I thought it wasn't "cool". BIG MISTAKE! Your photography never stops amazing me!

Great interview!!

Caseybumpinalong said...

Really enjoyed this. Her photos are amazing! Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

Maddy said...

Another amazing interview, Becky!! And I am in AWE that Angie only started getting serious about her photography in 2008! It's amazing how quickly everyone seems to go from good pictures to AMAZING pictures in a matter of months!! I guess if you've got the God given talent, then it's easy to flourish into a (like you so geniusely put it!) SUPAH STAH!!! I love this series, the interviews are so inspirational and Angie is so talented!! How she went from just a normal girl to starting an internet sensation like I♥Faces is incredible!

Trudy said...

Great interview Becky and the photos are awesome! This has definitely renewed my interest in photography and I think I need to get to work on my new little 'subject' at home!

Thanks for sharing this.

Mental P Mama said...

Wow. Wow. Wow. What is her go-to lens? This makes me want to learn photoshop!

keli @ kidnapped by suburbia said...

a beautiful interview with a beautiful photographer ... i love everything about angie, she is such an inspiration!! i am loving these so much, becky! :)

Christy said...

amazing interview!!!! I love her pictures and her stories! (and of course, her websites) :-)

Dita said...

Becky, you really have a gift! You are an amazing interviewer.
I learned so much about Angie and so many other things in this interview...all the things I wanted to ask as I was reading along!
Angie is a fantastic photographer and its so great to hear that even SHE drops her camera once in a while (luckily unscathed!)
Hope you have a wonderful time in NYC today, Angie!


Mama Kayla said...

You have no clue how much I love these interviews! I am constantly watching my updates for them! I love getting to know other photographers and hearing their answers to such simple questions. I understand them completely and love seeing new work.

Thank you so much for doing this!

Sarah King said...

Thank you for another great interview, Becky! Angie, I am newer to IHF but it has helped me so much in my short time there. Thank you all so much for what you do for us! Oh, and I, too, am so sad that I didn't pursue my love of photography before or when my daughter was born. I missed out on 5 years of good photos....though she would say I have more than made up for it in less than 2 years, hehe

Brooke said...

I love Angie! I love I Heart Faces! I love Becky for having these wonderful interviews!

Danelle said...

I just love this series of interviews you are doing, and this has to be one of my favorites. I just love her photos!

TechnoBabe said...

How fun to have one great photographer interview another great photographer. Wonderful pictures and interesting interview.

Anonymous said...

So much fun to see the story unfold in words...and pictures. Angie, how hard was it to make the leap to becoming a "professional" photographer? Do you have someone do the financial end of the photo sessions or do you do it all yourself?

Tricia Nugen said...

Angie is one of my favorite to watch. She's amazing. I have been following with IHF since March of 2009. I won fan of the week when I entered my photo from the hospital after heart surg! I have made so many blog friends and learned some amazing tricks! Thank you for all you have taught us! I am happy to say I know you!

Becky I love this and look forward to it every week on your blog!

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

Didn't know she and Drew were sisters!!

LOVE that tu-tu capture!

I'm just the MOM said...

Her photos are sooo inspiring. I only have a point and shoot but hoping to move to a dslr by christmas. I love i heart faces...I think I will start back again too :)

When Pigs Fly said...

I love these photos! Thanks for sharing.

the Lola Letters said...

Wow, wow, wow!
I loved this whole post!
That first shot of the kiddos in the rear-view mirror nearly killed me! What an amazing talent.

Dot O said...

Love this Becky! Good job - I think you truly captured Angie's "essence" :)

Katie said...

This was a very, very good interview!! I love that you interspersed all those great photos in it, too!! Very inspiring!

Melissa {adventuroo} said...

Those pictures are simply amazing!

Great interview!

Honey Mommy said...

Awesome interview! Thanks so much for all the info. I got my Canon XSi a little over a year ago and it has been wonderful! Now I just need to figure out how to get better at photo editing!

Tracey Axnick said...

Beautiful photos! Angie, I TOO have a Chocolate Lab! Ours just turned 2... the destruction has dialed back substantially but from time to time I'll come home and find (like this past week) a case of toilet paper has been shredded.
It certainly makes for some "interesting" photographic subjects!

gretchen said...

great interview Becky! I especially love the idea to take the kids on the mission trip. what great exposure for them.

Ruthanne said...

How fun! Angie is so stinkin' cute.

BeLoVed AiMeE said...

wonderful interview! Love Angie so much. thanks for doing this :)

Carly said...

I really enjoyed this great interview and definitely learned something. Thanks!

Kristen Duke Photography said...

Girl--get some family portraits on your wall! This is my crusade...

Zabrinah said...

Wow! What an amazing post! I love this. I love everything your blog is about.

How beautiful!

Best wishes from one blogger to another,


Naomi said...

Great interview--great photos!!

Karen O'Donnell said...

Becky I love how you posted this interview....interesting questions, interesting photos throughout....great job! Were you on the NY photo walk. I missed it...had to cancel at the last minute. Would have loved to see you again. As for Angie..she is just a "work of art". Thanks!

Scraps said...

Gorgeous photos (natch!) and great interview! Actions are not something I'm used to using but I might have to play around with the ones mentioned, here.

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest, too!

Sarafree said...

So great to hear a photographers perspective! I want a new camera soooo badly. But they are sooooo expensive. I'll keep on dreaming and living vicariously through the awesome photographers out there.

Nessa said...

Dazzling images.

Bekah said...

Love the laid-back interview style!

Suki said...

Oh I love every tiny detail of Angie's work and her beautiful self :)
Wonderful interview series you started. :)

She Writes said...


Tiffany said...

beautiful photos and Jealous of such a wonderful camera. I have a entry level dslr but in a couple years plan to advance but for now absolutely love mine and the learning capabilities of shooting with it. :-)

Angie - The Arthur Clan said...

I'm home and have finally had more than 2 hours of sleep per night. :)

I'm going to try to answer questions now...

@Buckeroomama - That would be a dream come true to visit HK! I can hope and wish, right?

Angie - The Arthur Clan said...

@Rachel - Can you be more specific? Northwest might be doable depending on which part of Northwest. LOL!

Angie - The Arthur Clan said...

@Mental P Mama - My favorite all-around lens right now is the Tamron 70-200 2.8. I actually don't have very many compatible lenses since I upgraded my camera and that's what I'm going to be purchasing whenever I can put the extra money together. :)

Here is more info about my camera gear:

Angie - The Arthur Clan said...

@Anonymous - Everything with my photography business is done by me...except for filing tax information. That is my husband's job!

To keep things simple, I paid for a pro account through SmugMug. I can set up private galleries for my clients there, I can price the individual photos however I'd like to, I can set up "packages", etc. It's very customizable and user-friendly. I've loved it so far!

Angie - The Arthur Clan said...

Alrighty...I think I've answered all the questions! Honestly and truly, reading through the comments has made my day. Thank you so much everyone!

PS - And continue posting questions if you'd like to have any others answered. :)

Drew said...

Fun to see my sister featured here. She truly is the one who got my photography journey kicked into gear.

☼¨`*•.♥RocĂ­o♥.•*¨`☼ said...

What a fantastic interview!!! Angie is a wonderful women!!!
Her photography continues to amaze me!

jennykate77 said...

I love Angie and her photography!! She takes the most gorgeous pictures. I Heart Faces was one of the things that got me wanting a bigger better camera...a big girl camera. LOVE this post!

Serline said...

Great choice! Thanks for the spotlight on Angie Arthur.

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

Great interview! Angie inspires me daily:-)

amypins said...

Just saw your comment on my blog, thanks so much. I LOVE your photography, working slowing (very slowly) at learning to use my Dslr, although I do only shoot in manual already and just got it a couple months ago. Next will be editing but waiting on a friend who's going to give me photoshop for free, can't wait!

Susan said...

Thanks!! This was great, I really appreciate you taking the time to do this♥

Mighty M said...

What a great interview! There are so many fantastic pictures, but I really love the first one!!

ArtsyCanvasGirl said...

I am so truly inspired by your story... I literally got chills reading about your success! Thank you!

Beth @ Pages of Our Life Photography said...


I'm really enjoying these interviews. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this.

I would love to know when someone interviews you!! You are one of the most naturally gracious people I know on line. Seriously!