Mindy is the girl next door.
She is friendly and helpful and very, very sweet.
She captures fleeting moments with ease.
Come visit with Mindy Watson this week.
You are in for a treat!
What made you first pick up a camera?
There was no one defining moment. I have always liked taking pictures, but most of them (prior to kids) were of friends partying, just hanging out, and typically inappropriate. After I had kids, I just got sick of going to portrait studios. Its in my nature to try to do things on my own, so I figured I could teach myself and get more satisfaction out of the images I was getting of my kids.
When did you decide you needed a 'real' camera?
May 2008. I was having a bad week at work and was pigging out on Dove mini bars. They have little sayings on the inside of the wrappers, and one that I opened said “Find Your Passion”. I kept the wrapper on my desk for about a week and thought about it a lot during that time. I eventually wrote out my ‘plan’ to find my passion, which included getting serious about learning photography, along with 4 other areas in my life that I wanted to focus on. I wrote my little plan on a post-it note and attached the wrapper to the back and I keep it in my wallet so it goes wherever I go.
How do you think you have progressed over this past year?
I think I have become much more comfortable behind the lens. I love the view of the world through my camera and have had a great time learning the technical aspects of photography. My biggest accomplishment within the year has been going from shooting from auto to manual, which I’m still working on mastering, but am pretty satisfied with where I am in the process.
Tell me about starting a business.
In all honesty, I initially started the business just to keep things with Uncle Sam on the up and up. I haven’t strayed too much from my original plan, which is focusing on children and family portraits, but over the past year, have been opening to trying pretty much anything that came my way. Its been a fun year and I have met a lot of talented photographers and worked with great clients.
What was hardest? Coming up with a name? Coming up with a price list? Knowing how many pictures to edit?
Freckles and Dimples was not my original choice for a name. The name I really wanted was already taken by another photographer in my state, so I couldn’t go with that. The name actually fell into my lap, and most of the credit goes to my best friend, who was visiting and commented on how much my daughter had grown and just impulsively said “and look at all of those freckles!!” Currently, my biggest struggle is figuring out how much I can realistically handle given that this is a part-time job. I need to really take a look at pricing and printing options, and that’s my next project to tackle.
Do you shoot pictures every day?
I try. I usually have my camera with me every day, but sometimes its in the trunk of my car, or somewhere not accessible, when I want to take a photo. In the process of learning to shoot manual, taking pictures regularly has been priceless for me…even if its just of a little dust bunny on my kitchen floor, it has helped tremendously in getting comfortable with my camera settings.
Is it hard to have a full time job outside of the home, as well as Mommy as well as pour energy into your start up business?
Yes…but, I know there are a lot of other people who balance the same things I do. I am grateful for all of the things I get to balance.
Does your husband support your hobby? Is he overwhelmed when you tell him how much lenses and such are?
Sometimes. : ) Yes, he is supportive, although I know going out and doing shoots, taking classes/workshops, and my time editing can wear on him. And, no, he’s not overwhelmed with how much equipment costs, but only because I don’t tell him! Early in the process, we made a deal that funding my photography business would not come out of our personal costs, so anything I make goes into buying equipment. I like it that way, because it really makes me think about what I need based on what I am learning, instead of just going out and buying everything & not knowing what to do with it.
If you could shoot any person alive on the planet right now, who would you want to shoot?
This is an awesome question!!! I think shooting any average Joe walking down Main Street in Anytown, USA would be a fun way to get to know someone. Wouldn’t it be great if someone walked up to you with a camera and said, tell me your story while I document it with photos?
But, if I had to pick I think it would be cool to shoot my favorite band at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. Or, maybe Will Ferrell. I think he’d be fun to hang with for a little bit, and maybe take pictures on stage at Radio City. Maybe he’s done that before…I just thought of that one off the top of my head.
Have you enjoyed learning photo shop?
Any special photoshop tips you want to share?
Yes, I have enjoyed learning PS. There is so much to learn, but it’s a great tool. The best tip I can give to anyone starting out is to learn actions! I love actions and learning how to make them has made my life a lot easier.
Any advice for everyone out there who is too nervous to start a business like you?
Have goals. My one goal was to be open to shooting anything that came my way to see what kinds of shoots I liked to do. I did that over the past year, and lo and behold, I don’t like shooting weddings! There is too much pressure.
My other goal has been to ‘keep calm and carry on’. It takes time to build a business and I have always tried to keep the perspective of learn, practice, and then learn some more. This also goes for all of the things ‘out there’ that there are to buy, join, participate in. Its like parenting, pick the important battles first so you have a foundation, and then go from there (well, that’s at least how I’d like to think of my parenting skills…)
Who is a photographer you are inspired by. (Several years ago, I got hooked on Karen Walrond’s blog Chookoloonks. She shoots beautiful images, some of which have taken my breath away when I first see them. She actually just posted a close up photo of a dragonfly that is forever etched in my brain because the detail is amazing.
But, I’m not just inspired by her photography, she also seems to be such a peaceful and genuine person, that if I’m even a tad agitated and I read a post, it calms me down. She writes beautifully and has such a pure perspective on the issues that she writes about. I mean, a photobomb to send a message of peace???? Brilliant!!
We live in the same state and have the chance to interact twice this year. It has been fun exploring photography with her.
Freckles and Dimples Blog