FAQ Friday! Cameras, lenses, dogs, babies, creativity and fear. Phew!

 It’s FAQ Friday again!  Quickly becoming my favorite day of the week, Fridays are when we connect with all of our friends in the photography world and share a little slice of the HHP life and studio.  Today, I decided to record my answer for the really big, really deep question of the week.  How can a girl simply put the secrets of the universe down on paper?  I needed to give you more.  So check out the video and then my answers to many of the other popular questions from the week below.  Two great options this week.  Because I love you.

The next question is getting answered first because of it’s sweet mention of my unicorn head.  Flattery gets you everywhere people.

Question:  I would like to know how you give each client a unique look that sets their photos apart from others you’ve done. I know every photographer has his/her own style, but how do you get creative with each shoot, beyond simply changing props or backdrops? What is your inspiration? Also, must add that I love your work and you and your unicorn head :))

(If you missed out on my unicorn head, you can find the epic video here.)

Heidi’s Answer:  This is a great question that so many photographers struggle with and we get asked it frequently.  Check out my post on Being Original When It has All Been Done Before, because I talk about this topic in depth!  We often photograph around 10 sessions a week in our busy portrait studio.  How do we keep things fresh and different for each client?  The answer is simple.  We make the session about the client, not about the props or background.  We get to know them through their pre-session consultation.  We ask lots of questions about who we are photographing and why they hired us.  We certainly love coming up with creative concepts, but when it comes time to actually get down on the ground and take the photos, it is ALL ABOUT the connection with the subject.  Nothing else matters.  Not the background, not the set, not the fancy props, not the one-of-a-kind concept.  Because whether you are shooting in a messy kitchen or a brilliantly designed set, if you do not connect with the subject, your work will be missing the “wow” factor.  We focus on capturing unique expression and personality.  We focus on capturing relationships and interaction.  We focus on the intangible.  Love.  No two people on this planet are exactly the same, so when you shoot with capturing that individuality at heart, you will always produce something as unique and beautiful as your client!  So I guess I would say my inspiration is people.  And love.  And that’s really all there is.  🙂


Question:  Are you a dog or cat person? You know it tells a lot about your personality. HA! 

Answer:  Neither!  I’m not sure what that says about me.   I’m allergic to dogs and my brother was allergic to cats so we never had pets in our home growing up.  I think animals smell my fear because they always try to jump all over me.  When people ask if I’m an animal person I say, “No.  I’m a baby person.”  No seriously.  Some people get all melty when they see a puppy.  That’s how I feel when I see a baby.  If it were socially acceptable to hold every baby I bumped into out in public, I totally would.  Hand them over to me and go get lunch.  Pick them up tomorrow.  If I didn’t work so much, I would probably just keep reproducing.


Question:  What is your favorite lens to shoot with? 

Answer:  I have a hard time picking favorites, but my most used lens at the studio is my 50mm 1.4 Nikkor.  I could shoot every studio session with just that lens and be a-okay!


Question:  What kind of camera do you suggest for a beginner (aka a mom from Georgia using a Nikon COOLPIX 16.0megapixel camera….who simply ADORES your work….) with a HUGE desire to become a photographer

Question:  I am wondering the same but not just a beginner camera but one that will still give a clear and professional looking pictures.

Answer:  This answer will change from season to season because camera models are always changing and being updated.  I suggest learning on an entry level DSLR which will allow you to start building a collection of great lenses that can still be used later on your better camera bodies as you upgrade.  Personally, I think the lens is even more important that the camera body for the quality of images at the beginner level.  I learned digital photography on a Canon Digital Rebel and my first PRO camera was the Nikon D700.  The entry level DSLR that is getting some really great reviews these days is the Nikon D5200.  People who know photography well can get amazing photos out of an Iphone or a point-and-shoot, so be sure to take your camera off auto mode and learn the ropes of exposure!  DSLR’s these days have so many amazing features that you are paying good money for, so read your manual from cover to cover and get the most out of whatever camera you choose.


Do you love our FAQ Friday posts?  Are you troubled by our funny faces?  We’d love to here from you below, so let us know what you think!  Keep an eye out on our Facebook Page for next week’s chance to get your questions in!