Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Photographer Interview: Katie Lloyd

Interview with the amazing Katie Lloyd. 

I loved her pictures the moment I first met her.
Whimsical and fun.
Colorful and bright.
She touches a part of humanity that many people miss.
Have fun getting to know her this week.

Take one:
Katie, you recently developed an app. An app that is like the iphone's instagram. That is so much fun. How long did it take you to come up with that? 

An app. I like the sound of that! I've just been calling it a frame/action thingie... 

For about a year now I've been tortured with other people's amazing shots using the instagram app. 

I don't have an iphone. {In fact, I'm pretty sure my cell phone is the same model as the cave men used.} And finally I'd had enough of not being in the instagram circle, so I set out to make something similar for photo editing software. 

I'm usually not very techie when it comes to this kind of stuff, but thanks to fabulous tutorials and classes such as Kim Klassen's Skinny-Mini eCourse, I had enough of the skill sets needed to make this app. 

Actually making it, start to finish, took about 2 hours. 

You sell prints on Etsy, right? What made you decide to do that? Have you had great success with it? 

Yep, I sure do! The idea to sell my prints to strangers came from one lovely commenter on my blog who said "You should sell those!" And I figured if one person thought that, surely other people would too. And four of them have. I's more than four. This summer has been a really great time for my shop. June was a blockbuster month of sales for me, I've already been on Etsy's front page twice during the Summer, and who know what's in store for the Fall.

Tell me when you got bit by the photography bug. 

Well, my mom will tell you I was a prodigy with a camera at two years of age. She'll also tell you I spoke in full sentences at 6 months. 

But, the first big bite came in college. I started out as an art student and took a photography course as an elective. It was the first time I'd ever used a slr camera...and yes the d is missing. It was a black and white film class. We learned how to develop our own film and process our own prints. It's one of the coolest things I learned in college! 

The second bite came shortly after I had our son, Breck. I had just started blogging and by sheer coincidence I stumbled on a Mommytography blog that hosted a 365 Project. I dove in with my Sony Cybershot p&s and never looked back! 

What kind of camera do you shoot with and what is your go to lens?

I shoot with a Nikon D3000. I use my 18-55mm kit lens and a 70-300mm macro. But my favorite lens is my 50mm that does not autofocus with the D3000 body. Not having this convenience has really pushed me and helped me grow in developing my own style.

 While many people strive for crisp focus, I am drawn to soft out of focus shots. There's something really magical and mysterious about them. For me it's more like creating art in which the viewer can make up their own story. 

What is your favorite thing about motherhood?

I absolutely love watching my children grow and develop their own personalities. I can barely fathom that they were formed from one egg and one lucky sperm and then grew into a person! A real human person! 

Our 5 year old, Breck, loves animals, he is the pickiest eater I've ever seen, and can have a major meltdown if you give him a wrong look. But he's also very accepting and loving to everyone, super creative, and lately he has been very adventurous...he tried corn off the cob. It was a big step for him.

 Rowan, our 3 year old daughter, is so insanely stubborn and strong willed...I don't know where she gets it. {ahem.} 

She's a huge tomboy and loves to wrestle with Daddy, but she also loves her baby dolls and mothers them a lot. 

Thankfully, she is also creative. I have zero athletic ability, so I wouldn't know what to do with a sporty child.

Tell us about your tattoo.

Which one? Three are butterflies and one's a fairy. I thought the fairy would be sexy,'s not. I got them all while in college and now that I'm older - which also means wiser, right? - I wish I'd have given more thought to what was being permanently inked into my body than a quick glance over the flash art boards.

 The last one I got was actually designed for me by the tattoo artist and it's my favorite. It's a swirly butterfly in black ink. Simple and feminine. 

I also had my eyebrow pierced around that same time, but I took that out years's a long story, but the moral is: Choose a roommate wisely, because she/he could be crazy.

You are a great participator in weekly memes. 
Do you have a favorite?

Hi. My name is Katie and I am addicted to photo memes. It is indeed an obsession of mine. My husband has gone to bed alone many nights because I was up late working on the next day's photo challenge blog post. 

Surprisingly, this year I took March, April and May off from all of them except the one I host, Scripture & a Snapshot. It was a rough Spring. 

My favorite has got to be Ashley Sisk's Scavenger Hunt Sunday. For those not familiar, she gives you five prompts for the week and then you come back on Sunday and share your photographic interpretations. These are not easy prompts: Tangled, Crossing Thresholds, and Seeing Double are just a few of the recent brain benders. 

If you don't want to rip out your hair, throw your camera across the room and generally give up by week's end then you're probably not following the prompts.

If you could only pick one pack of textures and ONE action to use for a whole week, what would you pick?

I use exclusive textures by Kim Klassen that are reserved for her closest friends. ...Ok, that's not entirely true. I, along with thousands of others, signed up for the Texture Lovin' List and get her beautiful textures delivered to my inbox....for free. Does that count as a pack of textures? 

Those who know me well can tell you the one action I could live on is Jubilee by Paint the Moon. I love it beyond words. 

If someone came up to you and said, I want to take pictures like you, what kind of camera do you have? Would you smile sweetly and tell them or would you be annoyed that they assumed the camera does all the work.

Honestly, I would be so thrilled that they know who I am I probably wouldn't even hear the bit about the camera. But I certainly would not take offense to it! Especially since I have the "amateur's" dslr. 

I'd gladly tell them that they don't have to go into debt or spend a fortune on fancy equipment to take beautiful pictures! 
Rock whatcha got!!

Does your camera do all the work Katie?


Can you share your favorite song with us right now?

That's a toughy. I'm one of those people who changes their favorite song almost every day! Right now it's 'Beautiful, Beautiful' by Francesca Battistelli. Plus her name is fun to say. Francesca. Battistelli. It makes me feel like I'm speaking a foreign language.

How about sharing a yummy recipe?

Mmm, I love food. Just the other night I threw together some pretty yummy, very easy, and not at all low fat garlic mashed potatoes! The more I ate them, the more I loved them, the more I ate them. You have been warned.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Prep Time: 15 minutes  |  Cooking/Mashing Time: 35 minutes  |  Eating Time: 30 seconds

Approx. 3-5 lbs potatoes
1-2 cups butter or margarine {told ya}
1/3 container of Philadelphia Cooking Cream - Savory Garlic {beware: this stuff is strong!}
1-2 cups milk {I add a little at a time until they've reached desired creaminess.}
salt and pepper to taste

Peel, wash and cube potatoes {or you can leave skins on. that's good too.}. Throw into a giant pot of water and boil until you feel like getting around to them. Or about 30 minutes. {this is what I love about mashed's not like you can overcook them. What, they're gonna get mushy? Awesome. Less work for me.} Strain and then add remaining ingredients. Mash a whole bunch. {I like to use a hand masher to burn extra calories. I figure that cancels out any calories I'll be consuming. ;)}

If you woke up tomorrow and there was an email (from a zillionaire that discovered you) that said you could go on any trip you could imagine as long as you brought back 5 images to hang in their living room, where would you want to go. What would you shoot?

I'd go everywhere and shoot everything and I would be on vacation for the rest of my life. But if I had to narrow it down to one country, I'd pick New Zealand. Ever since Lord of the Rings, I've wanted to go. I'd obviously shoot the gorgeous landscape, but also all the details of the quaint, small towns I'm sure are there! 

Do you lay down often when you are shooting flowers?

I do. There was one time when I got down and dirty to get a shot and didn't realize until hours later that I had leaves in my hair. Thankfully I wasn't out to impress anyone that day. 

Do the kids get tired of you shooting all the time?

It depends on the day and what we're doing. If I'm holding them up - like when we go places - then they get annoyed with me. But if we're just at home they often want to be the stars of the shoot! 

You believe in Jesus. Every week you do a meme where you ask participants to pair scripture with a picture. Why do you believe in Him? 

That's a million dollar question right there! If I can't explain why I believe in Him, then others probably won't want to. 
I'm going to give a brief overview of why I believe in Jesus, otherwise this could become a very lengthy discussion! And if anyone wants to know more about why I believe, they are free to contact me.

1. Based on empirical evidence I believe that Jesus was a real man who lived. But most people believe this, Christian or not.

2. I believe that the Bible is accurate and contains truth, not merely opinion. I am especially convinced that the gospels {the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John} contain truths due to the short time span between the actual events and the dates in which each book was written. 
Because of the documented miracles of Jesus within the gospels, I am compelled to believe that He is the Son of God, that He died a brutal death as payment for my sins {talk about love!}, and that if I so choose to believe these things I will spend a beautiful eternity with Him!

3. But what has me completely convinced are my own experiences of Christ in my life: feeling His loving presence during lonely or dark times, burdens being lifted after prayer, events occurring at the exact times and in perfect order for us to be blessed and taken care of, etc. 

What is your favorite book of all time?

I have read a lot of really good books. But my favorite has got to be Left Behind by Time LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins...I love the whole series in fact...all sixteen books. I read them when Breck was a baby. He'd nurse, I'd read. It was bliss! 

Where do you get ideas for your car series or your fruit series? Where do you find inspiration?

The car series was definitely inspired by my son. He has a gazzilion Hot Wheels cars and plays with them daily. I thought he'd like to have pictures of them up in his room, so I took a few shots. After I finished editing those I realized they would look even better as a set of nine! So I went back and re-shot the series. The fruit series came to me in an even simpler way: shopping at the grocery store!

I find inspiration all over the place! Lots of ideas come from magazines and other photographers. Some ideas come from nature and things I see while out and about. I recently found Pinterest and am loving it! Talk about idea central! {if you care to see my pins and style, I'm here.}

You did a shoot for your cousin's 1 year old. Did you enjoy that? Do you think you would like to start a business and shoot children on a regular basis? If you did so, how would you decide upon pricing? 

That particular shoot was actually a lot of fun. They are exceptionally sweet people with an adorable and easy going child. It certainly helped that we'd already established a family-level of comfort, which made the shoot go that much more smoothly.
While I currently have no plans to become a child or portrait photographer, I am keeping that door open. I think it would be both challenging and rewarding! But for now I'm happy being my family's go-to photographer. If their people want to contact my people, I'm all for it!

Determining pricing is really difficult! I've thought about this before and decided that I'd do some research, find comparable-level photographers in my area and peek at their pricing models. I certainly would not copy and paste their pricing model, but I would use it as a starting point. 

Which fruit is your favorite to photograph? Which fruit is your favorite to eat?

I love photographing red raspberries! They have such a beautiful color and texture to them. And they don't roll around, which makes it much easier to set up a shot! Although raspberries are my favorite to shoot, they're not my favorite to eat. I absolutely love muskmelon, cantaloupe, whatever you want to call it. 
My grandma always has it in her fridge during the summer months, so it brings many fond memories with it. I like it super ripe and sliced into wedges. Yum. 

Do you prefer shooting inanimate objects to people?

Yes, hands down! They can't run away or talk back, and they don't have their own ideas on how the shot should look.


lifebythecreek said...

Oh dear. I don't do memes any more, but I might have to do yours, Katie. There's so much of God in nature, and so much of nature in God, and pairing the two through photography and Scripture is perfection. Wow. I love all of Becky's interviews, but I think I love this one most of all. I keep pushing myself to do portrait photography when what I REALLY want to do is just capture life. You do that beautifully, and you share Jesus while you do it. I am in awe.

Team Lando said...

I always learn from these posts. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Team Lando said...

PS. And as an avid/dorky scrabble fan, that Oh, Hello shot is my favorite. I may buy it. I may shoot my own version for my equally dorky best friend.

SarahinSC said...

Thanks Becky for interviewing Katie! Awesome interview ladies! Katie, I learned a lot about you. I like to rock my d3000 too!

Farmgirl Paints said...

uh LOVE her! awesome interview. wish she lived in richmond...we'd be buds!!! off to introduce myself;) thanks becky.

Skeller said...

I do so love hearing different photographer's photo-journeys. Katie's work is so light, airy, sweet, colorful and whimsical. Becky, thanks for introducing me to another wonderful photographer :-)

Tracy P. said...

Aw, I love this. Katie is a favorite of mine. I have learned much from her soft focus shots, and I love the fact that she uses pretty basic equipment like mine. She makes stunning doable.

And now Becky, would you please introduce me to that zillionaire? What a great question! You rock the question asking world!

Kristin said...

What a great interview!! I just love Katie and her work is truly inspirational!! She takes so many wonderful and beautiful shots!! I just love the questions you ask!! Such an amazing interview!!!

Buckeroomama said...

I was secretly hoping that you'd do an interview with her. I'd always LOVED her images! :)

Becca said...

Oh I LOVE her pictures!! they are so beautiful and I so enjoyed this interview!

Ashley Sisk said...

By far one of my favorite interviews...I guess because I already love Katie so I felt like I could hear her voice...but also because she gave me a huge shout out. This was really great. Katie rocks!

He & Me + 3 said...

Awesome post. I love all the pictures. Just beautiful & she loves Jesus. That makes this interview & her photography that much better. Thank you for sending me the email. I truly was inspired by this post.

Kelly said...

I loved this interview, and a large part of it was the great questions, Becks. Brava!

Katie's work is amazing! I loved them all, but there was one particular one that stole my breath. It was the bamboo fishing pole. Wowzers!

My Photographic Eye by Irela said...

Loved this post. I really enjoyed reading/learning about her. I found Katie Lloyd on Ashley's Scavenger Hunt and love her work. Great job Becky and a big thanks to Katie for sharing!

Tara said...

Yay, what a great interview!! I love Katie and her photos are beyond gorgeous!!

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

I love reading these!!! I think it's cause I'm nosey. It's fun to see the beauty of her work and know that it's not from a top-of-the-line camera. So inspiring! Also loved the Jesus answer. And the garlic mash.

Sue said...

What a wonderful, thorough interview.

I love her photos, especially the raspberries!


lifebythecreek said...

Can I leave a second comment? Because I've been chewing on this interview in my mind all morning long. Becky, you know I suffer from a lack of confidence in my work and have been down lately. I made the choice to do portrait photography, right at a time when other issues (like stupid menopause) have changed my body, my mind, and my soul. And I feel like I lost who I was as a photographer; reading what all the "experts" said about how to shoot, how to edit, how to price, how to make money. But not how to be happy or to be true to yourself. Katie, one word has been running through my head when I think about you and this interview: "Redeemer". Shots that the rest of us would give up on and delete, you find a way to make beautiful. That just blows me away; just as there are no bad shots for you, there are none for God, either. He can use anything given over to Him and make beauty come from it. I went for a 2 hour walk with my camera after reading this, and I shot over 200 shots. I can see again, the way HE wants me to see. Instead of shooting to try and win someone else's approval, I simply want to see through His eyes. And when I couldn't get the shot lined up, I had to move (I used my 50mm, on purpose). I had to move. If things aren't lined up in my life, then I need to move. I also worked some shots in with bright sun; He was showing me that light is powerful, and you have to read and study and practice, and then you can use His Light to show His beauty to others. It's been a morning of revelation and redemption; thanks to both of your for your obedience to His call and for sharing His beauty through your talents.

Charlotte @ Cowgirl Clippings said...

That was a great interview. I really like that you weren't afraid to ask personal questions (about favorite things and her faith). Beautiful photos, Katie.

georgia b. said...

i love katie's work! and now i can see why. we are similar in many ways! i also love soft blurry images. i am also a christian. i also have a cave man cell phone {have wanted the iPhone forever!... which is why i am excited about her app, and hope to be able to use it}, i am drawn to the same type of subjects she likes to photograph, and so much more!

wonderful interview, katie... loved all your answers. and the photos... just wow!

Katie said...

Becky - thanks so much for this interview!!!! (and I'm very glad you asked personal forced me to be genuine with my answers and to let my true personality break through!)

To everyone who has left a comment - Y'all are so very sweet and have absolutely made my day! Thank you for all the love! :)

Karli said...

Katie!!! I luuuuuv ya! ;-) Beautiful pictures, beautiful words... love it all! ♥♥

Sarah said...

I love Katies blog and photos. Gorgeous!!! She is so sweet. Wonderful interview.

Francesca said...

Ha ha, my name is Francesca and I love Francesca Batistelli!

Casey said...

Gorgeous images!! My favorite is the carousel lights.. so lovely.

Busy Bee Suz said...

A fabulous interview and gorgeous photos!!! I want some garlic mashed 'taters tonight!!!!

Kristal said...

What a great interview Katie!

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

I have long admired Katie's talent for capturing the details and the everyday. That is where true beauty lies... and when you look closely, you always see God's handprint.

Charmaine Poulin said...

I've been following Katie basically since I started blogging myself....thank you for sharing more about her!!!!

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

Whimsical and fun, indeed! I always LOVE her processing, too. Perfect on every shot.

Great interview, B!

Karen O'Donnell said...

Well Becky, I'm just so glad that you're back to interviewing ask just the right questions! Thank you!
And Katie, what gorgeous photos and what a gorgeous soul you have. I too have been struggling with who I am as a photographer....I always seem to love the pictures that don't follow the rules...soft focus, unusual composition...but in trying to follow the rules I've lost the love of capturing the moment. Thanks for inspiring me to be true to myself.
And one final thing...I also use Kim Klassen textures....she's so generous with her sharing!

Chasing Dreams Photography said...

what a fun and awesome interview!!! Katie is so funny and so inspiring!!! And the photography...OMW gorgeous!!!!!! Another awesome interview!!!!Keep going I love them!!!

Susan said...

I love Katie and such a great interview again! And I love your new blog look.

Sharon @ Hiking Toward Home said...

Something weird must have happened because there were no words or interview, just photos. that is it. and some strange gray vertical lines behind some of the photos.
I was really looking forward to this interview too. :-( will check again later or tomorrow and hope it comes up differently. I use safari if that has anything to do with it.
Gorgeous photos as usual Katie!!

Misty said...

Loved this. I didn't think I would read the whole thing but once I started I couldn't stop. I love Katie's blog. I've been following her for a while. Great questions by the way.

Teachinfourth said...

Eye candy...nothing shot of.

Rachel said...

Okay... you know there are lots of great photographers out there (this blog's author for one, and several more among the commenters above), but guess what? I actually have Miss Katie Lloyd's picture hanging on my wall. I mean... a picture she took.

That's how quickly she convinced me. I took one look at her Etsy shop and couldn't figure out which print I liked best.

So the one I finally picked... is hanging next to one that Dana Suggs took - which is a huge compliment to both of them :)

Thanks for doing this interview... I follow Katie, so this felt like sitting down for coffee with y'all!

Mrs4444 said...

She's brilliant. Who knew that the underbellies of flowers can be every bit as beautiful as their faces?:)

~Holly said...

What an interesting article! Katie is new to me and I really enjoyed reading her answers to your excellent questions. And her photos definitely have beauty and truth in them. Great work, both of you!

Leesha said...

I love Katie's work! So glad you chose her to interview. :)

She Writes said...

These pictures are soooo beautiful I love these guests posts you do.

heather said...

Beautiful photography!

Just Trying Not to Blink .... said...

Thank you for introducing us to this talented photographer. I love her pictures and the way she sees the world. And you rock as an interviewer!

Lynda said...

Katie's photography is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing such a thoughtful interview ... and thanks so much for your visit to my blog!

Christina (fivewalkers) said...

Oh my!! I want that raspberry picture, and I LOVE the Scrabble letters so much!!

Laura D said...

So excited that the interviews are always, I enjoyed reading your interview and getting to know another new (to me) and inspiring photographer. I love her pictures of the flowers, esp the pink flower with all the water droplets..very cool. Great article, great pictures.