Thursday, May 26, 2011

Photogapher Interview: Sheye Rosemeyer

Do you know why I started doing interviews? 

I had so many questions 
about photography.
About business.
About the business of photography.
I thought maybe others had questions too.
I have fallen in love with these interviews 
over this past year.
I have learned so much.
When I sent an email to Sheye, 
I did not think she would respond.
She has a booming business, 
a thriving family, 
and a schedule that could make one weep.
Yet, her response was almost instantaneous.
She would love to help.
And help she has.
You will love her answers.
You will love her pictures.
You will love her.
When you go to her blog, 
be prepared to stay a while. 
Take some tissues. 
Go with an open heart.
She is one of my very favorite photographers.
Welcome Sheye Rosemeyer.
How did your Mom pick your name?  
My mother heard the name 
on the radio and loved it. 
It is pretty and very unique!
 Did you like it when you were growing up?
I can't say I loved it - as a child I desperately wanted to be Michelle and Tracy to fit in at school. As I get older though,  I appreciated it being unique. 

Are you glad you use it as your business name? 

I do generally recommend using your own name.  My personal view is that anything other than your own name can be restrictive and you may find that what you enjoy shooting now is not what you'll love in five years. 

How did you decide what to call your business when you were first starting out?
  When I registered my business seven years ago, I really wanted to call it Babycakes Photography for no other reason than I loved the word and figured I'd be shooting young children so it made sense.

My husband talked me out of it and I'm so glad for it!  Now that I've found my feet with photography, I rarely photograph babies at all and my name would be totally confusing to clients inquiring.  
In saying this, if you have a name that is personal to you and you feel passionate about, it may still be a good alternative...just try not to have it tie strongly to a particular market.

 How would your best friend describe you?
Creative. Flighty. Fussy. Spontaneous. Giving. Unorganized. Motivated. Diehard shopper. Lazy cook.  Perfectionist to a fault.
Describe a perfect weekend day. 
Tell us all the details!
Ooh, a dream weekend day?  
Early morning cuddles with Ivy after a full nights sleep.  Meeting friends for a simple organic breakfast, strolling the vintage stores and finding great trinkets while stopping for soy lattes.  Lunch with my Mama and calling in at the markets to pick up treats for Crayton and the kids.  
Snatching ten minutes in the late afternoon sun with my babies and a camera. More cuddles to end the day :)
Can you tell me a favourite song you are listening to right now so I could add the video?
Oh I have too many!!  
How sweet is this? 

I could sit all day watching this gorgeous Dad and Daughter duo.  
Makes me smile :)
What made you decide to market your actions? 
For a long time, I was asked if I would sell actions.  I had worked hard at refining my editing style and none of the actions I'd bought myself gave me the look I wanted so I decided to make my own. 
The BeautyFull Set came out in Feb 2009.  It was, and still is, such a buzz to see them used on other peoples images!  

The Vintage Roadtrip Collection is my brand new collection which came out this month. I'm very excited to have launched them.  I now use a combination of actions from each set on my own editing and they compliment one another really well.  
Have you ever seen one used in a publication? 
I've seen the actions used in lots of different ways - from print magazines to online magazines like Delish and Maeve.  I love to see the different outcomes people create :)
What made you start the business of sharing and teaching others? 

Thank you for asking. I love teaching so I'm really happy to talk about workshops! 
I had started a Q&A series on the blog just for fun and a lot of the questions were photography related.  I preferred to keep the blog more about family and other personal topics but I didn't want to just dismiss those questions so I thought I'd offer an online workshop and just see what the response was.  

It was honestly a huge surprise to me to have hundreds of people express interest.  My first workshop, Explore, was in August 2008 and Evolve followed not long after. I enjoyed both of them so much that I decided to continue them for as long as people wanted to do them.

  The workshops now run back to back and at times, we've had 800 people on waitlist which is just crazy to think about!  I have an administrative assistant and co-facilitator Fran, who helps me keep everything running smoothly.  

We're constantly working on refining them and have introduced a lot of new features over the years.  

Because there's such a vast array of workshops available now, I want to offer something really worthwhile and I'm so proud of what we've achieved.  I keep in touch with so many of the students and feel like we're one big Eye Candy family :)

Were you nervous to undertake 
the business part of photography?

Truthfully, I really was.  I'm not one for pretending I was born knowing photography or implying that starting business was a piece of cake. It wasn't.  

Like almost everyone out there, I was worried about the standard of my work and nervous to put a price on it.  I'm not sure I ever would have fully comfortable seeing myself as a 'proper photographer'  - I was always held back by self doubt but losing my daughter, Ava in 2007 changed my perception a lot.  

Having to face my worst nightmare and come through the other side gave me a new measure of what being afraid was and I also got to find out that I really was capable of anything.   
Surviving the loss of a child makes nerves about business matters look so minor. From then on,  I stopped worrying about what anyone else thought.  I just shot for me, in the style that I genuinely loved.  

It's a blessing that people seem to like what I do and I've been able to establish a successful business but more than anything, I'm happy that I've been able to realize my personal dreams for photography.  If I have days where I'm feeling nerves creep in, I push ahead anyhow...not for me, but for Ava.  She doesn't have the chance to pursue her own dreams so I feel like I'm doing this for both of us. 
 Could you share a mistake you made with your business? How did you learn and grow from that? 
I've made many mistakes in business but I don't regret them as I think they're essential in helping you refine and evolve.  My own experience has shown me this:
- Find out what you love and become brilliant at it.  Don't waste time and energy trying to figure out someone else' style. You will only be aspiring to replicate well and will miss out on the opportunity to do something amazing, and unique.

- When you get overwhelmed, get help.  Your dream job can easily become a nightmare unless you manage your workload very carefully.  Learn to say "No" sometimes and invest your energies wisely.   I'm a huge believer in outsourcing where possible but ensure those you employ have the same standard of quality as yourself - these people will represent your business.  
- Get it in writing.  In every instance, when you enter into an agreement with a client or supplier, have the terms and conditions in print, and signed where appropriate.  Don't be complacent or it will only be matter before you find yourself in a stressful, and potentially costly, scenario.  I have learned the hard way just how important this is.
With the mistakes I've made myself, I always vow to do it differently going forward - and I do.  

Finding the lessons in adverse situations makes them so much more bearable, and even valuable.  

Tell me about your perfect dinner. Would you go out? Would you have a chef come in for it? What would you dine on? Who would be eating with you?
My perfect dinner would be a family dinner, either out or at home where everyone is relaxed and happy (and behaving!).  I've been vegetarian for ten years so anything sans meat will win me over :)  Decadent dessert would be warmly welcomed.
 Do you take a picture every day?
 Oh I wish!  I dream of having low key days where I have the time to shoot whenever I want but I rarely do.  My life is exceptionally busy and shooting for myself is a luxury lately.  

I'm working on getting better at 'happy snaps' of my  children though - I'd hate to look back in ten years and only have the perfectly planned shoots to represent their childhood.  I want to remember the real too.   
 Do you ever take your camera somewhere and start shooting and just feel like something is off?
 Yes.  Sometimes the light is flat or the subject finds it hard to relax.  It just means I have to work harder to create my vision.  Usually a change of scenery with some good conversation along the way helps a lot.  It's hard when Dads are not at all interested in the session but luckily the nature of modern day family photography means that there isn't a whole lot of posing required. 

Can you recount such a story?
No! What if the wrong person reads this! In all honesty, I rarely leave a shoot not having really enjoyed myself. I love meeting people and I love capturing connections. 

Luckily, I really can't recall any disastrous shoots and I've also never postponed a shoot until just last month. The sky turned from blue to dark gray literally as the client arrived and I knew that pretty, golden light was high on their list of priorities. 
In that scenario, I encouraged the family to postpone because the last thing I want is disappointment with their images. 
We waited 24 hours and shot the next day in glorious sunshine. 
While I think it's important to be able to think on your feet and be adaptable, I also think it's fine to make last minute changes in location or timing if you think it's necessary. 
Your clients are wanting the best possible outcome and they're looking to you to provide that.

What is your signature scent?

I love Lollia Wish but I only wear the body cream.  I also  love the smell ofLavender Oil, it reminds me of going to the Spa!  

I actually don't like the strong smell of perfumes in general as many give me a headache.  
How long does it take to do your makeup in the morning?  

Many days I'm not wearing makeup at all but every now and again I'll make a full effort with liquid eyeliner and false eyelashes...all that can take quite some time!    

Working from home is a mixed blessing because it can be easy to not bother and then you end up feeling a bit drab some days.  Even without wearing it a lot, I am still a makeup junkie and love to purchase pretty gloss and anything with fancy packaging.  The Benefit counter lures me every time.   I think it's just a reflection of my all or nothing personality. On any given day it's either trackpants and Havanas, or frocks with petticoats and heels.
Do you get emails straight to your phone?

I do.  I'm still not convinced it's a good idea though and it takes discipline to resist checking mail all the time.  If I'm with people I try very hard not to as I find it rude when someone else does it.  Call me old school but I can't think of too many things that are so important they cannot wait.   

Does your husband like being in your pictures?

Absolutely not!  He is probably the most anti-photography person I know.  That's okay though, I'm the most anti-gym person he knows so we're even. 

If you weren't a photographer, 
what would you want to be?
I think I'd likely be a midwife.  I absolutely love anything to do with birth and after having my second child naturally after a c-section, I was so inspired to study midwifery that I actually volunteered at the local hospital for some time.  It was only when I realized that midwifery is probably more about paperwork than birthing these days that I reconsidered.  

There are still lots of ways to be involved in the birth process though and I'm sure I would have found something to satisfy that desire!

Do you have your photography 
hung in every room of your house? 
I'm working on it! I have a lot printed and after renovating last year have lots of nice new walls waiting. 
What rooms have it?

Being a pedantic Virgo, I struggle to find the perfect location for things but I'm getting there :)  I also love illustrations and paintings so I have quite a mix of artwork around.  In my office, I have an 'inspiration string' hanging which holds a lot of the little things I find and love. 

If you have an hour of free time what do you do? 
Ideally, I'd visit the spa but one hour would never be enough!  My relaxation is often some shopping with my Mum.  She loves the vintage stores as much as I do and she's a great sounding board along the way.  
There is something about browsing vintage items that totally transports me.  I love to imagine where things came from and the tales they might tell...old petticoats, velvet sofas, pretty hatboxes. They all make me swoon.  
For me, the little trips my mind takes, the momentary departure from the here and now, is true relaxation.
What is your greatest wish for your children’s future? 
Like many, I just wish for the simplest of things for my children.
- To be content (happiness is fleeting so I'd prefer a more constant state of being!)
- To find their passions
- To treat themselves and others with respect and compassion, without judgement
- To live long and healthy lives
Are there ever days when you feel like you don't enjoy certain aspects of your business?
The only time I have challenging days with photography is when I've taken on too much and I feel like my creativity is impacted.  I am used to the ebbs and flows now though, I know it is not possible to think up amazing concepts every single day but creativity does return in time.  
I've also learned over the years to not absorb what else is going on in the industry, to remain strongly focused on what my own goals are and stay true to what inspires me. Those who greatly succeed in any industry are rarely worried about what the person next door is doing.

I loved her pictures so much, I didn't want the post to ever end.


Lisa said...

Okay, I know I say this like every week...BUT! I love this post! I think it's my favorite. WOW! Her pictures are just breathtaking! I'm in AWE!!! I'll have to come back like 10 times today to read this again and go to her links. But for now, I have to get my kids to school.

Did I tell you I just love this post!!!


angie seven clown circus said...

I am literally. Quite literally blown away by her talent. Amazing, amazing photos.

Buckeroomama said...

I've read of other photographers naming her as someone whose work they admire... and now I see why! I don't want to use 'beautiful' and 'gorgeous' --although they are that, --but her work is ...special. Just special.

Rebecca said...

Love how she uses the sunlight. So beautiful.

Jessica Deane said...

One of my favorites photographers.. she just has something not many people have. Sheye's work is special!

Donna Boucher said...

You are remarkable. I love your images!
Use your eye candy actions nearly every time I sit down to edit.
My style is very different from yours and I wish I could be more like you...but thank you for saying we should be ourselves...and not replicate. That encourages me to just be happy to be me.
Love you! Thank you.
Donna Boucher

Wonderful, interesting questions Becky!!!

Farmgirl Paints said...

oh my goodness! her work is breathtaking...wowza. i love the soft affect of her photos. great interview once again becky. you know i LOVE these!

Karen O'Donnell said...

Her photography is truly a window into her beautiful soul!

Allison Hoffman said...

beautiful, beautiful - I just added her to my reader list last week - soo exciting to "get to know her" through your interview - thanks!

Anita Johnson said...

Wonderful. Thanks for sharing her beautiful photos with us.

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

Wow, wow, wow...such joy-filled captures! And, I love her processing.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Becky, I'm so glad you did this interview. You reminded me that I've been wanting to check back about her workshops (I missed the registration for the last one.) Her photos have such a happy, dreamy quality. I love that! And her list of wishes for her children totally resonates with me. LOVE her!

Skeller said...

Becky - as always, thank you. I know you put oodles of time and love into these interviews and they never fail to inform and inspire me.

Sheye's photography is full of SOUL, passion, love, life and authenticity.

lifebythecreek said...

I've perused Sheye's Eye Candy actions before but never her work and her life. I "like" the Eye Candy FB page and have ooohed and ahhhed over the images posted there, but I've not gone deeper to find out who Sheye really is. I'm so glad that YOU did, Becky; I had to scroll up and down the post several times just to take in the beautiful images. Not just the processing, but the vision, the creativity, and the heart and soul that is in them. Sheye, you are beautifully gifted. And I feel sure that super princess Ava would be so very proud of her mama....

Sarah said...

I adore her and her work!! Great interview :)

Caroline said...

What gorgeous dreamy photos...Love the one with the feet coming out of the old tub. Terrific interview Becky!!!

Love Letters To China said...

You've succeeded once again Becky. Love this interview. Lots of great information about an amazing photographer.

Thank you!!!

Krystyn said...

Beautiful pictures! And, I love her business advice and perspective.

Caseybumpinalong said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful photos! I can only imagine how much time it must take to put these interviews together, and I know they must be a great help to those starting new businesses. But know that they are also great inspiration to people like me, an amateur photographer who never plans to have a business, but who loves to capture moments, and learns SO MUCH about new and creative ways to do that through your interviews. Thank you! Now, I'm going to back and read this again and soak in all those gorgeous photos!

deb duty said...

Wow!! Amazing photography. Becky, you do a great job of interviewing. You ask great questions and they are always interesting and enjoyable. Thanks for sharing all this great info with us!

Beth said...

At the end of the day or when my children have grown up the imagery that Sheye captures is what is truely a treasure to a mother's heart. I love the life in everyone of your photos. Thank you Sheye for your candidness and sharing your light on a special topic, photography.

the monkeys' mama said...

so dreamy and amazing and breathtaking. WOW.

Sharon said...

Sheye is my ALL TIME FAVORITE photographer EVER! I just finished up her Evolve Workshop and OH MY! She is amazing in every way possible. Her photos are breathtaking and magical. I seriously could stare at her magic all day long. She is definitely unique and special. LOVE this post! I was so excited when I got your email and saw her name!

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

SO love this interview Becky! I love how she described how her friend would describe her! :) Her photos are amazing and her actions are so creative and beautiful. I love the laguna beach photo. The wishes for her children are so sweet. What a special heart she has. I can see that throughout the interview and her work. Beautiful!

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

He is probably the most anti-photography person I know. That's okay though, I'm the most anti-gym person he knows so we're even.

Bahahaha! I love Sheye's work. She is truly talented and funny...

I've also learned over the years to not absorb what else is going on in the industry, to remain strongly focused on what my own goals are and stay true to what inspires me. Those who greatly succeed in any industry are rarely worried about what the person next door is doing.

... and WISE!

I am so glad you are doing these interviews, Rebeckah. They are such a highlight for me!

Sarah said...

amazing, inspirational work! AND words. :)

love! and thanks Becky!

Catherine said...

Becky - Amazing interview! You were right... I LOVE HER!

Sheye - Your photos make me feel, your story and your words make me cry and laugh all at the same time. I am a true fan. Your photography is in it's own amazing category.

I absolutely adore how raw and emotional you and your photography are. Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us!

momphotographer said...

those pictures are stunning!!! Love the all, every single one!!!
Thank you for introducing Sheye to us.

Maddy said...

Wow, wow, wow!!! I don't know what to say except that her photos are remarkable! Completely different from anything else I've seen out there. Full of life, color and a special "magic". Becky - thanks for introducing me to another fabulous photographer! I will definitely be checking out her blog right this instant!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Wow Im speechless....most amazing pictures! I love them to visit her blog!

Danyelle said...

Another wonderful interview Becky. She has the most beautiful pictures and light captured.

jlo said...

I think she is my favorite! Where does she live that she has natural surroundings like that?

Karen Deborah said...

Amazing. You are creating one of the most fabulous collections of interviews with wonderful photographers!
Your making a book you know? This is beautiful and when I get some time I'm going over to her blog and read the whole thing.
I am just yearning for a good camera. What I love the most in this interview is what she says about herself and staying true to yourself. I don't even KNOW about the "industry" but I have such a compulsion to take pictures! I can't paint but I "see" moments that I want to capture. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't but I am out there shooting. Thank God for digital! What if we were still bound by film!
You are finding real jewels and this interview was an amazing blessing. Thank you again.

Casey Freeland said...

Pixies in the forest. So many of those pictures are like a dream. Just gorgeous work. Thank you for sharing this. And the way you've fallen for these interviews as have the rest of us.



Becky said...

Fabulous photos and great interview!! :) I really enjoyed it!

Thanks for coming by my blog the other day, too!

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Unbelievable. She is incredible. Inspiring and real. I love this. Thanks for sharing it, Becky.

Elaine A. said...

Amazing, amazing, AMAZING!!!

Oh and inspiring and gorgeous and lovely!!

shawna [of styleberryBLOG] said...

love your last quote, Sheye! Couldn't agree more! Stunning work!

angie {the arthur clan} said...

Sheye - you were one of the first photography blogs I came across when I first began falling in love with photography...and I've loved you ever since. You are such an inspiration to me! ♥

-Angie Arthur

Sarah said...

Oh my goodness. Just wow! I want to take photos like this when I grow up. AMAZING!!!

Heart n Soul said...

A feast for the eyes...truly sensational.

marc said...

What a fantastic interview! The advice is so perfect—especially about putting your fears into a broader context to overcome them and about going after your own vision. Poignant words and gorgeous images!

Privet and Holly said...

Yowzer, this was
simply amazing! I
need a kick in the
pants to get back
to snapping lots
and lots of pics...
Thanks for this
inspiring interview!
xx Suzanne

kelly said...

I love her! I can't wait to go check out the other links. Thanks for sharing.

scrappysue said...

wow, her work is amazing! great questions too - it must have taken u FOREVER to upload this post!

the Lola Letters said...

Holy Shamoly!

Her use/manipulation/embrace of light is nothing short of positively inspiring!

Wow times a million.

photowannabe said...

Delightful and touching interview. Sheye seems so comfortable in her own skin.

traci said...

what a great interview. thanks so much for stopping by my blog. otherwise i would have not found yours. have a great day!!!

Anika said...

Such thoughtful and soulful portraits...just lovely. Thanks for my introduction!

Aron said...

Those really are wonderful. I love the first ones of with the bubbles!
Its always inspiring to see great kid photos.
My wife and I have one on the way so I know I am going to get tons of practice with kids--but I think they are one of the hardest, and easist subjects, at the same time!


Brooke said...

Wow! She has an amazing talent!! And, like, the cutest kids ever! Thanks for introducing me!

Tavia said...

Oh geez I love this girl!!

Crystal said...

I love Sheye. I came across her name a while ago as she was mentioned in a photography magazine I was reading. One of the photos that someone else took was dedicated to her daughter, I looked her up and came across her website and fell in love with her photos. She is an inspiration for sure!

Crystal said...

I left the comment above, but I was signed into the wrong account:) Oops:)

malia said...

such a wonderful interview. i always love to hear what sheye has to say, and the way you incorporated the images are just lovely. thank you for taking the's very nice to meet you, too ;) xo

KimberlyAnne said...

I didn't want the post to end either! Haha. Thank you so much for this! I am lovin' the whole idea of interviewing photographers, you can learn so much. I am going to read them all!! :)

Sheye Rosemeyer said...

Thank you so much to everyone for the lovely comments..I truly appreciate them :)
Love Sheye xx

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love her name and her wok.

Tabiboo said...

Totally gorgeous.

Kylie said...

What an awesome interview, I have been following Sheye for several years now and it was lovely to hear some new and inspiring questions about her life, so thank you!

Thank you for your lovely comment on my tiny blog that I don't use half as much as I would like, I think I am one of the worlds biggest time wasters sometimes, always filling my life with lists of unimportant things to do!

I love your blog, I am sure to be a follower as it is certainly one of my favourite things reading all these beautiful inspiring blogs!

Have a gorgeous day Kylie xx

Teachinfourth said...

Wow, she has some beautiful images!

Tracy P. said...

Oh my word. So much beauty. I love the guitar shots a lot. And now I am wishing I had a bathroom with a window! But alas, there are no rubber duckies left at my house. Fun getting to know you Sheye! I wish you more luxurious time to shoot for yourself.

Mrs4444 said...

Pretty incredible. I can see why she's one of your favorites. I won't pick a favorite, but I will say I truly love the little painter in heels photos. so sweet.

Heather Erson said...

Beautiful pictures of children by Sheye Rosemeyer. Thank you for interviewing her.