PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE MONTH | Kristen Marie Neufelder
CONGRATULATIONS! We are pleased to announce Kristen Marie Neufelder – kaemariephotography.com as May Photographer of the Month. Check her blog and don’t forget to follow on Facebook @kristenmarieneufelder
What inspired you to use Forbeyon?
I was searching for high quality albums to use for my wedding clients, stumbled onto Forbeyon, loved what I saw online and decided to order a sample album and the rest is history!
What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of Forbeyon?
Share with us your favorite Forbeyon album and why. What materials/ options do you choose?
I love both, the Flushmount and Linear albums. The Flushmount Panoramic for wedding albums because the quality is insane and you really feel like these albums will be family heirlooms that stand up to the test of time. I love the Linear albums for engagement albums because the quality is still outstanding. I tend to appreciate simple designs and cover options so I typically order a plain cover (my favorites being the G4 Cream and the G3 Gold options… basically any of the neutral covers are right down my alley) then I imprint the spine of my albums with the couples name.
What advice would you give to the first time buyers of Forbeyon albums?
Order samples, cover samples, find out what products you love so that when you have clients ordering albums from you, you can stand behind what products you give them.
Any suggestions for Forbeyon?
I love everything thus far, from the ease of ordering to the high quality end results!
What inspired you to be a photographer?
Growing up I was always painting and drawing wildlife and animals. I started off my undergraduate degree going for a degree in Fine Arts- Painting. I purchased my first “nice” camera to take high quality photos of my paintings and drawings that I could then use to make prints. It seemed like such a waste to not do more with this camera so I started dabbling in portraits and taking photos of my dogs. Within that experimentation I realized that there can really be a fine-art aspect to taking photographs and I was hooked. I photographed my first wedding at the end of 2012 and I realized then what I wanted to do with my life.
How long have you been a photographer?
This will be my second year as a full-time professional lifestyle + wedding photographer but I started actively dabbling in photography in early 2013.
Are you formally taught or self taught?
For the most part I’m self-taught but I am in school now getting my Masters of Fine Arts; it challenges me to take on my personal work and find my voice within my own personal photography projects. I’m currently working on a project called “Canis Sapiens” which chronicles the day in the life of scenarios of living with four dogs who are more like children.
How do you define your style?
I would define my style as natural light; fine-art meets documentary style photography with creative aspects. I like to experiment and try out different ideas and techniques like using prism lens filters to get interesting effects or shooting though tree branches to uniquely frame my subjects.
What would we find in your camera bag for a typical shoot?
I shoot with a Canon 5d Mark iii, Mark ii, and a selection of lenses with the Canon 50mm 1.2, 35mm 1.4, 100 mm 2.8 Macro, TS- E 45mm 2.8 Macro being my go-to lenses.
Your favorite lens?
Hands down my Canon 35 mm 1.4; I don’t know how I functioned without it!
Share with us your favorite image and why.
This was such a tough thing to do because I love so many different images for different reasons. This is my favorite image to date though because everything just came together perfectly. The motion of the veil floating in the corner, the lighting illuminating the brides face, the expressions of the bride and groom. It has motion; emotion, great natural lighting, and the pops of burgundy red in the groom’s boutonniere and the bride’s lipstick tie the color scheme together.
What is your most important objective when shooting?
My most important objective when shooting is to make my subjects feel comfortable because if they don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera, they’re going to read as uncomfortable in the photos. I don’t really like super staged and posed photos unless they look and feel authentic and natural so that’s always my goal.
When you are shooting—how much of it is instinctual versus planned?
I generally do a lot of planning in the sense of time of day, anticipated lighting, wardrobe, color schemes, locations and so on but once I’m at a shoot everything else is instinctual. I try a lot to play with the environment and feed off of the energy and comfort level of whoever I’m photographing.
Where do you get your ideas and inspiration?
I follow so many amazing photographers on social media who inspire me to push myself and not fall into a photography “rut” because they are always pushing the boundaries especially when it comes to wedding photography and I’m always up for trying to find a creative way to enhance my own work. I also look a lot at paintings and fine art works to get inspiration from other sources outside of photography.
What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?
The best advice I was given is to shoot and shoot a lot no matter what it is. I think this is crucial for finding out what you do enjoy shooting, finding your strengths and weaknesses, becoming comfortable with your gear, and being able to adapt to different lighting scenarios quickly. I spent two weeks in Europe when I was really just starting to get the hang of photography and the whole two weeks I was shooting every single day, all day, documenting my travels. There’s nothing better than being in a new place to really inspire you to want to take tons of photos. Hands down this was the best thing I did for my photography career. I came back confident in myself and my abilities as an artist and photographer. Even now, I try to take photos at least 3-4 times a week (my dogs are usually my best subjects hah.)
What’s the best part of being a photographer?
Even when I was really young, I knew I wanted to be my own boss. As I got older I worked a myriad of different jobs from a restaurant hostesses to a salon receptionist/salesperson. Working those jobs and never feeling like I received the recognition I needed when I worked really hard solidified that need. I’m the type of person that when I commit to doing something I put in 110%. In photography I pour my heart and soul into what I do and my clients recognize that. As an artist and as a businessperson that’s exactly what I need to keep growing, going above and beyond my clients’ expectations, and to continue to love what I do for a living.
If you weren’t a photographer what would you be?
If I weren’t a photographer I would be a dog handler for dog showing. In my spare time I show my two Siberian Huskies in AKC dog shows (like the National dog show they air on Thanksgiving.) We’ve traveled all across the Midwest going to shows; it’s a lot like gambling because you win just enough to stay hooked, and it’s a lot of hard work but so much fun.