Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Interview with a Photographer: Becca Stanley

IMG_9891 copyBWBecca is one of my favorite photographers. I love her work and have loved it since the very beginning.

I love Becca’s beauty. It is abundant.IMG_9958

I love her photography style.

Fresh.  Fun. Friendly.

More than anything, I love Becca’s passion for the children in the city of Atlanta, Georgia.

IMGCome and learn from one of my heroes. She can teach you things about taking stunning pictures. AND, she can teach you things about living for Jesus every day. What can be better than that?

Did you always love taking pictures? Tell me about your picture taking in high school and college.               IMG_8562 
I did always love it, you can tell by the ridiculous # of photo albums I have on facebook. It’s slightly out of control really. IMG_1502 copy
Tell me when you knew it was something you were beyond passionate about?
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I’d say that my love affair with photography started when we first worked at Camp Grace and I helped my friend Carrie capture pictures of the kiddos at camp. Funny how much God used that summer and our work with those kids to change the course of my life!
IMG_6085What is the first picture you took that made you go WOW! IMG_5723
hmmm. That’s a tough one. But probably as soon as I took my first picture of my baby girl, I was in love. Now that’s not necessarily because it was a “good” picture, but because she is HER. IMG_3501BWAs far as my first picture that I loved for what it captured and being surprised it actually came out of my camera: it might have been this one from a business trip in Asia. Because even though it’s a little blurry, it totally perfectly captured that moment! IMG_0063BW
Tell me about your first big girl camera? The rebel right? IMG_1535
That first summer at camp, I used the camp’s Rebel to take pictures when they needed me to. And I was blown away by how much better my pictures were than the ones I took with my P&S. So after camp, I begged and bothered Adam until he got me one of my own for my birthday. 
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Have you upgraded? IMG_7937
I have, as a matter of fact. My friend Megan, who I do most of my photography with (Meg Davidson Photography) upgraded her camera to the ultimate big girl camera (the 5d Mark II) and let me buy her old camera for a really good price. Booyah.
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How did Adam feel about you upgrading? IMG_2869
I’m pretty sure that Adam is the most supportive husband ever when it comes to my hobbies. In fact, when I was way into scrapbooking, he would come and charm all the ladies at the scrapbook store by helping me cut pictures and glue things and generally make a large mess. But that’s beside the point. The way it worked out, I literally ended up only paying like $100 to upgrade. IMG_3272
You have done a couple of weddings this year. Tell me about that.
I have always thought I would shy away from wedding photography because, hello, you can’t exactly ask the couple to re-do their first dance if you miss it or forget to change your camera settings. That said, I’ve really surprised myself with how much I love being a part of people’s weddings. I think it’s because there is so many opportunities to capture candid moments that are full of emotion and love. There’s not as much posing and directing, which is NOT my strong suit. IMG_3273 copy
Do you love shooting weddings? IMG_4728
I do and I don’t. I LOVE shooting them. But I REALLY need to work on editing aLL those pictures so it doesn’t take me 9 years. Because that’s the part I think might be starting to bug Adam, all those late nights spent editing because during the day I am chasing a rambunctious 2-yr-old, doing web design for my “real” job, and trying to fit in our ministry time too. IMG_7979
If you had to pick just one type of photography to focus on, what do you think it would be? IMG_7859
You know what? I’m just not sure. I kind of like switching it up right now. It’s fun to capture all sorts of different things. Which I totally realize is completely contrary to everything “they” (whoever they are) say you should do – which is focus and define your target market, type etc . . . I’ve never been one to follow the rules though. Or not, I’m actually a total rule-follower! IMG_7959
Do your kids from the city love your pictures? IMG_8094 copy
They do love them. Actually, they love my camera and are constantly begging me to use it. It’s funny because I usually do let them. After a few careful instructions (namely to put the strap around their neck and dear sweet heavens please don’t drop it), I like to demonstrate my trust and let them try something new. IMG_6329 copyWho knows, maybe one of them will be the next Ansel Adams. Have you seen Born into Brothels? Such a good documentary about the power of photography and letting kids from difficult backgrounds use art to express themselves. img 1I am constantly tucking pictures into little cards to give the mommas of their kiddos. I’m telling you, so much of what we do is about helping these kids (and their families) recognize their intrinsic worth and beauty! IMG_8271
When you give people beautiful pictures of themselves and see their eyes light up what does it make you feel inside?
It makes me feel like I’m doing exactly exactly exactly what God intended me to. I KNOW that art has this power to heal and move people, and I don’t really understand that power but I am blessed to be able to experience and be a part of it. IMG_9073 copy
Do you have any special hopes for ways you wish for God to use this passion in your city ministry? IMG_9547 copy
Oh I have SO many hopes and dreams and ideas of how God could marry my two passions. But first and foremost, I want to use my photography to help change people’s ideas about the kiddos and families in the inner-city. IMG_6602Maybe that is the families themselves realizing how precious and important their family really is, or the people in the suburbs to recognize that these are REAL and beautiful people who are living in poverty in their back-yard. IMG_6057I’m still figuring it all out, but I am certain that the Lord has built me specifically this way for this ministry and I’m excited to see where He takes that. IMG_0724 copy
Do your parents like to be in pictures? IMG_2425_edit
I don’t really think so, but now that I think about it, I’m not really sure! My dad seems indifferent, and my mom usually says she looks old. Ha. img 10
Do you like to be in pictures? IMG_6014 copy
Um, not in the least. Actually that’s not true, I really do like being in pictures in theory. I just don’t really love how I LOOK in pictures. But that’s a whole other issue involving my own insecurities and learning to accept my own message of intrinsic beauty and worth simply because of who Christ has made me to be! IMG_6703 copy
What is your favorite lens to use right now?   
IMG_6034 copy     
Considering I literally only own one lens, I’d have to say it’s my 50mm 1.4 – but I am forever cutting off hands and limbs etc, so I’m thinking I might need to get me a wider lens at some point. IMG_4337 coppop
If you could go anywhere in the world for a dream shoot, where would you want to go? IMG_3336 copy
Oh I’m dying to go to Africa on a mission trip to take pictures. I have big dreams about that, unfortunately we already ask people for money to live off of, so it’s hard to ask people for more so we can go to Africa! Ha. But I LOVE those kiddos and would love to take their pictures and teach them about photography too. IMG_3326 copy 2
I know you are a voracious reader. Have you read any books about photography that got you excited? IMG_4336 copy 2
The book that totally made things “click” for me was Understanding Exposure (I know, I know, everyone says that!) But now that I think about it, I haven’t read a book that really made me excited about photography, it’s mostly been technical books about how to be a better photographer. IMG_3149 copyThat’s it: my new mission is to find a book about photography that makes me more passionate and less technical.
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Do you have any special photographers you enjoy that you would like to share?IMG_5124 copy
Oh I could go on and on and on about all the talented photographers I LOVE and who inspire me.
IMG_6699 copy 2 Our friends the Altmixes took our family pictures after Jayci was born, and helped me realize how really beautiful pictures can be a POWERFUL gift! img 6I also ADORE Christine Pobke I think she is the most talented photographer ever, and her blog is simply a delight. img 7    
Why did you go to UGA for college when you were a Canada girl? Do you miss living in Canada? IMG_0396 copyHaha, my family moved to Georgia when I was in 8th grade, and I met my husband in high school. Since we were dating when I went to college, I didn’t want to go TOO far away. img 4There are definitely things I miss about living in Canada (umm SNOW for one and Tim Hortons for another), but it’s hard for me to compare the two places because I was at such different points in my life living in Canada vs Georgia (and yes I realize one is a country and the other is a state). I was in Canada for elementary and middle school (gag, I hated middle school) and in Georgia for high school and college (and now for ‘being a grown-up’ too). img 8So they were incredibly different places to live, but I’m not sure how much of that is the place and how much of it is simply me being different and changing and growing etc. Plus, now that I work in downtown Atlanta (and will soon live there too), I’m so enamored with my city that I don’t think I’d ever be able to leave. Except I shouldn’t have just said that because God likes to throw my ideas about that kind of stuff out the window. However, I would not be opposed to somehow receiving large quantities of candy from Canada on a regular basis. Canada has so much better candy: Smarties, Aero bars, Coffee Crisp . . . sigh.

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altmix photography | wedding photojournalism | atlanta wedding photography

www.altmixphotography.comimg 5

Atlanta wedding photographers Matt & Kate Altmix are now booking weddings for 2011! Altmix Photography is a boutique, service-oriented photography studio based in Atlanta specializing in clever wedding photojournalism.

img 3 Becca’s Blog: The Stanley Clan

Becca’s Photography Blog

Becca’s facebook page

Becca’s twitter: Becca1612

Becca. Becca. Becca!    

70 comments:

keli @ kidnapped by suburbia said...

oh!!!!! becca is one of my most favorite people. i love her love for inner city kids in atlanta and her love for God. and her photography is amazing, as well. she is just all-around wonderful!! so glad you let us sneak a few more peeks into her life.

Stephanie Faris said...

What beautiful pictures!!! I have such an admiration for talented photographers. I've never had an eye for that sort of thing.

Jill said...

Becca - what a fun interview and great photos!

Thanks for sharing it with us!

Blessings and love,
Jill

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I so wish I lived in Atlanta because I would love to go on a photoshoot with you. The pictures express so much joy and realness. I could look at your beautiful pictures all day!

Becca said...

Oh it so made my day when I came over here and saw this! :-) you're the best ever!!

Mrs.D said...

magnificent shots....love them all!

thanks for dropping by!

lifebythecreek said...

Yay! You interviewed one of my favorite photog/bloggy people ever! Wait... she's actually one of my favorite people PERIOD! And I got to have lunch with her and the oh so adorable Jayci; no lie. We ate at an Italian restaurant, because that's Becca's very favorite thing, and she drank a large Sprite. *crickets*
Hahahaha.... NOT! Of course we ate Mexican, of COURSE we had cheese dip, and OF COURSE she had Diet Coke! :<)
Love, love Becca's photography, but love even more the fact that she allows God to direct her path and use her talents in so many wonderful ways. (((hugs))) to Becca, and of course to my OTHER favorite person, Becky! (wait. Becca, Becky. Bec. Beck. Hmmmm. Must be something in the name.....)

Betsy AKA world's best sister :)-we've got a lot of the world's best in our family! said...

She is awesome...her spirit shines through her work! Love it!!!

Jimi Ann said...

These photos capture the moments so well! We took a few photos of the children we see in an inner-city ministry (on my blog), and they LOVE to be in front of the camera -- and they always beg for copies! Using photography as a ministry seems ideal! Magnificent! Thanks for sharing them!

Alyson and Ford said...

Wow! What a wonderful post, loved reading it (and you get the award for the longest post too!). The pictures are breath taking and such a variety.

Alyzabeth's Mommy

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

How wonderful to 'meet' Becca! Fantastic interview. Her heart just shines through her words and her photos. I love hearing how she is following God's path for her!!

photowannabe said...

Terrific interview. You really capture the soul of people.
I know the Lord will bless your ministry and wed it to your photography.

nessa said...

I loved this! Thank you for introducing me to such a beautiful soul.

septembermom said...

Becca is amazing!! Her photographs speak volumes to the viewer. I felt joy looking at so many of these wonderful photos. Thank you for bringing Becca to all of us. She clearly has a vocation in her approach to photography and life. Really interesting post.

Lori said...

Amazing photo's! I think what I like the most is your ability to capture the eye's. They say the eye's are the window to one's soul. I love, love, love the one's of the girl with the jewelery on her head...a bride perhaps?...very beautiful. I love how you capture the fun and the spirit of each person.

I am really touched by how you are trying to combine your love for the Lord with this love for photography. Using your passions together is powerful stuff. This reminds of a missions trip I took some youth on to Mississippi some years ago. We went to a very poor small community that was still divided between white and black. We stayed with the black. These people were extremely poor so they appreciated everything we did yet I think when it came down to it, it was them that taught us the most.

Anyways, they loved having their pictures taken and they loved when we let them use our camera's to take the pictures. We went into a bigger town and got the pictures developed for them and it was like we gave them a million dollars. Such smiles were captured and still to this day their smiles are etched into my soul.

I really really enjoyed meeting you and your handiwork. May God bless you and your husband as you seek to serve him. I hope you never give up on your passions...especially your passion to visit Africa. I believe that right now you are exactly where you are suppose to be. XX

Lori said...

PS I just stopped over at your personal blog and seen the pictures of you and your husband and daughter...I suspected that some of these photo's might be of your family and I guessed right. What a beautiful family!

Caseybumpinalong said...

Another wonderful interview! I'm always inspired!

rachel said...

gorgeous! the photos, and the woman!

Busy Bee Suz said...

What a great interview...gotta go see her blog now.
Thanks!

My Photographic Eye by Irela said...

This was so inspirational. What an amazing woman and her work is amazing. God Bless.

Casey Freeland said...

Oh, my. I'm overwhelmed. The joy and motion you've captured in so many of these takes my breath away.

Can I have a favorite? Is that OK?

The little girl with the buggy and the three balloons. The angle, light and moment you captured... phew.

And the dark profile is so intense, so full of emotion.

Wait that's two. I could go on, but I should stop.



Thank you for sharing this talent with us. Always a treat to see who you find!!!

Cheers,

Casey

Kim said...

Beautiful post, beautiful photography and beautiful Becca - I love the reason she does what she does and I hope she can get to Africa because I have a feeling that is somewhere that she is meant to go.

Sarah said...

absolutely going to check out that documentary; sounds so good!

And I love the way ministry and photography have intertwined for you Becca! You are using your gifts to advance the kingdom, reminding the world of "the least of these"... it's inspirational! keep at it... :)

Housewife on Fire said...

What an amazing talent! I loved every minute of this post!

Wanda said...

Wonderful interview. So inspirational and uplifting. And gorgeous pictures - what a lovely style.

Thanks for sharing. You do an awesome job, sweet girl!

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

I am constantly tucking pictures into little cards to give the mommas of their kiddos. I’m telling you, so much of what we do is about helping these kids (and their families) recognize their intrinsic worth and beauty!

Oh Becca!!! That is ME TOO! I know that I can email a pic or tag one on facebook, but there is something about holding that picture of your child in your hand. Some parents aren't very good about printing pictures or even getting a snapshot of their child.

I want every child to know that they are beautiful in God's eyes... and in my eyes too. That RIGHT NOW they are beautiful, not when they are older, stronger, taller, thinner, without braces, or whatever! RIGHT NOW. Special and unique and wonderful and created in His image.

Your photos are gorgeous and I can't wait to learn more about you!

Aunt Snow said...

Wow.These are some of the most beautiful photos ever.

Rachel said...

You just made my day! I feel like I knew Becca "before she got famous". And I was delighted to see her pictures and her sweet face here!

I adore her - and I thoroughly enjoyed the interview - fantastic!

Caroline said...

WOW...such a great interview. Becca inspires! What incredible photos. Thanks for hosting her today!

Just Bits and Pieces said...

Oh my.....the photos are amazing & it's so wonderful to see that photography can be used to better lives....I'd love to get to a place where I can help people through mine. Oh....and ps.....I've got some connections to the "good" candy (right around my corner here in Canada!). Tell her if she needs a care package of candy....I could help her out!

Tracy P. said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous photos, and an equally beautiful heart. Thanks for sharing her, Becky. I think my favorite is the one with the pigtails sticking out through the hat. That Jayci is adorable!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Wow, that was awesome. So many incredible photos and gorgeous faces. Thanks for sharing Becca's work with us and to both of you for the wonderful interview.
Cheers, jj

Angela said...

Love!

Skeller said...

gosh, I love Becca's vision, heart & passion. I can't help but think that God will do mighty things thru her beautiful photography ...

Buckeroomama said...

I've always loved Becca's photos... I just never knew her 'story.' How amazing and so very inspiring!

I was scrolling down the photos and I kept going back up to the one of the little girl with the balloons. I'm SO, SO in love with that photo.

Raymonde said...

Oh boy she is good. And the most warming thought, she is my sister in Christ. So I will get to meet her one day.

Thanks so much Becky for finding and sharing your treasures. Lot of love. xxx

Marilyn said...

Wonderful pictures. SHe has such a talent for capturing the sweetness in children.

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

Wow...she's my neighbor! LOVE that ATL skyline capture. So, so cool.

Maggie May said...

It would be impossible to pick out a favourite. It really would. They are all so unique and wonderful.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Becca said...

oh my word y'all. This couldn't have made my day any better - you guys are the sweetest, nicest EVER!

A Little McD said...

What a great interview! Love that girl and everything she does for the kingdom. And her photography? No words! :)

Mighty M said...

What beautiful work - she is so talented!

Maddy said...

What beautiful photos!! Her style remind me of another wonderful photography I know....Becky!! The way she captures people, love, happiness in these very real moments is very much like you! Thanks for sharing another wondeful talent in the photography/blogger world :)

Brooke said...

that's what it means to be truly blessed...to be able to reach out to others, in the name of the Lord, by doing your heart's passion. great interview!!

RR Mama said...

Great interview!! Love the pictures. Amzaing!!!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Love this interview, first of all she is so talented and what an amazing person also. Becca we have Tim Hortons here and people go crazy for it.....I'm not sure I get it! It's just donuts right!!

American Mum said...

She's a special lady! Love her!

Artemis Clover: The real L.A. love story. said...

she is very good at capturing the light in people's eyes. i love how well-exposed all her pics are and how clean everything is. she def knows what she is doing! i like candy from canada too but the tomato chips are the best!!

CherylK said...

Such a nice interview and the photographs are amazing! Photography is such a wonderful craft for capturing fleeting moments so it's great when there's a real talent behind the camera.

Thank you very much for stopping by my blog. So nice to "meet" you :-)

April said...

Wow...I really have enjoyed seeing the different styles of all these photographers. Such GORGEOUS photography! I really must learn more about what my camera can do! INSPIRATIONAL to the nth degree!

Melinda said...

Becca is my hero!

Sarah said...

Love this!! I follow her blog, but didn't know what her first name was - ha! SHe sounds like the neatest person and I would love to meet her one day since we are in the same town. I love how God is using her through her photography!

Farmgirl Paints said...

I love these interviews Becky. I'm getting ready to buy my first "real" camera. I'm getting the Rebel and I'm beyond excited. Since I know squat I'm actually signed up to take a class too. YAY! Maybe someday you will be interviewing ME...ha!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Hey Becky...I saw your comment on Becca's blog and I agree with your friend. I definitely think your style is just like hers. You do a wonderful job capturing the human spirit. So be blessed!

ourlifeinaclick.blogspot.com said...

Another great interview Becky!!! Love Becca's style and photos!!

gretchen said...

Great interview. She sounds like a beautiful person. Blessings on your continued work and ministry!

Karen Deborah said...

TALENT GALORE!!!

Colleen said...

I'm just blown away, these pictures are beautiful and from the words of your friend, I can tell she is a beautiful person too! What a gift and what an amazing way to use it! I was really moved by the evident faith she shows...so inspiring.

I have to laugh though...all Canadians who live away from home long for Tim Hortons!!!:) I do too.:)

Cecily R said...

Becca seems a lot like her pictures...vibrant and full of life and color.

Dot O said...

Tim Hortons... did she say Tim Hortons!!! Love their coffee and lived off it while driving all around Nova Scotia!!

Becca's style and composition are inspirational - I'm sure everyone would be clambering for her to take a picture of their child. They'll get such a treasure!!

Becky, a wonderful interview yet again!!!

Seizing My Day said...

Such an amazing interview and post!! Blessing to read!! At some points I felt like I was listening to her talk!! My hubby is Canadian... and my babies are 1/2 & 1/2!! I hope to own a better camera one day... esp. now that I broke mine!! I had a lovely slr before digital came out.. and now it is painful to use it... but also painful to invest again!! haah! I want to photograph babies, families and seniors one day!! =)

Seizing My Day said...

Such an amazing interview and post!! Blessing to read!! At some points I felt like I was listening to her talk!! My hubby is Canadian... and my babies are 1/2 & 1/2!! I hope to own a better camera one day... esp. now that I broke mine!! I had a lovely slr before digital came out.. and now it is painful to use it... but also painful to invest again!! haah! I want to photograph babies, families and seniors one day!! =)

Mrs.Mayhem said...

Beautiful photos! Love them!

LindaFaye said...

great pics. i wish wish wish i had time and brain space to make such beautiful photos. thanks for sharing!

Grace said...

those are really awesome pictures. thanks for sharing this! and thanks for your comment on my blog. :)

Chelsey - The Paper Mama said...

Wow. That was a pretty amazing interview! I have to go check out her blog, I LOVE her photos!

jennykate77 said...

Her photography is STUNNING! Absolutely stunning! I really just love each and every photograph. They are breath-taking.

God's Favorite Shoes! said...

These pics are so full of life! I love pics that capture real life not just people posing:)

Mrs4444 said...

Becca has a gift. I'm so glad she's sharing it :)

Drew said...

Becca,

When did you sneak in an interview, and how did I totally miss it? Becca is one of my favorite bloggers ever. She has the right mix...a heart for others, kindness, humor, and a touch of sarcasm (which I love). I'm so excited to continue to follow her journey both with photography and in her mission to inner-city youth.