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.