We are so excited to welcome the insanely talented Lindsay Williams to the Blog! Take a moment to learn more about her beautiful photography, and be sure to visit her website Lindsay Williams Photography. Thank you so much Lindsay for taking the time to share your work with us today!
Where did your inspiration for photography begin?
I can honestly say that I do not remember ever NOT taking photos. I have had a camera in my hand most of my life. My mom still has my first photographs, actually—snapshots I took of family members at a Christmas dinner when I was five years old! However, I really started taking more of an interest when I took a photography class my senior year in high school and studied the works of Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange. I learned how to shoot using an SLR and how to develop film myself in a dark room, which I thought was the coolest thing ever! I bought my first DSLR after owning several point-and-shoot cameras in 2009, and when I waited too late to try to book a photographer for my own fall family photos a few years ago, I decided it was time to get out of auto mode on my “big” camera and learn how to take my photography to a new level. I fell in love all over again!
How would you describe your photography style?
Emotional. Loving. Joyful. Fun. Above all else, I want the emotional connections people have and the unique personalities they possess to be obvious. For me, that’s what photography is really about. Any photo can show what people looked like during a certain time in their lives, but not just any photo can show who they really WERE during that time.
Did you study photography in school or are you self taught?
Other than the course I took in high school, I am self-taught. I started out by reading a few books about photography to learn more technical aspects of the craft and practicing on my own family. Rock the Shot was a HUGE asset during that time (and still is) because I learned a TON about shooting in manual, post-processing techniques, and working with clients from the posts and forum. I have also participated in a few online workshops and one awesome in-person workshop. I am still learning, so I read and practice as much as I can, and I want to attend more in-person workshops and conferences in the future.
What brand/model camera do you shoot, and what is your favorite lens?
I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III. My favorite lens is probably my Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. My Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 is a very close second, however.
Do you have any tips for photographers on how to find the light?
I used to be terrified of light unless it was “perfect,” because I didn’t have the know-how to deal with other types of lighting. Now I absolutely LOVE dramatic light! My advice is to learn how to spot meter, keep your eyes peeled for unique lighting situations, and practice. That’s how I discovered that I love silhouettes and reflections, which I never would have known if I had kept trying to play it safe!
What is your favorite thing to photograph?
I have two little boys who are my favorite subjects because there is no pressure when I photograph them. I can experiment with lighting and post-processing with their photos all I want while also documenting all the details of our lives together. Ultimately, their photos mean the most to me because they are the reasons I started studying photography more anyway. Gavin is four and is starting to take directions better, so I’m having a blast shooting fun little photo sessions with him that showcase his interests. Finley, who is almost three, was diagnosed with autism last year, and I absolutely love capturing his quirky little personality. I know he will do great things someday, and I am glad he will have photos that show him how fun, sweet, and unique he has always been.
As for clients, I adore shooting kids—especially in the 5-7 age range. They don’t have the self-consciousness that adults tend to have, so getting raw emotion out of kids is much easier for me. I’m also a pretty goofy gal, so I tend to operate more on their level anyway!
What is a good lesson you have learned this year in photography or in your business?
I learned how to say no, and it might have been the most valuable thing I have EVER learned. I am also a high school English teacher, and photography is meant to be a part-time gig for me. I let my schedule get a little out of control because I was afraid that turning down work would keep people from wanting to hire me later on and ruin my business, since I live in a tiny Kentucky town with several other photographers. I realized I was working just as many hours as a photographer as I was as a teacher, and my husband and family life was suffering as a result. I started sticking to the limits I put in place each month and very kindly declining work that I knew would cause me to go over those limits.
If you could encourage a new photographer in one area, what would it be?
I would encourage a new photographer to become as educated as possible about the technical side of photography. Connecting with clients and being able to capture emotion and personality in a photo as a result is a priceless skill. Being able to enhance photos through post-processing techniques is also super important, but if the photo itself is not technically solid, those other elements won’t be able to shine through.
What do you love most about being a photographer?
I love the feeling I get when a photo makes me cry. Looking at a photo and feeling like I can literally see the love…or joy…or even pain my subjects are feeling is indescribable for me. Knowing that I get to capture that for myself in photos of my children and for clients in the photos I take for them makes me truly believe that my passion for photography is one of the greatest gifts I was ever given.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself still teaching high school English, still drinking lots of coffee to help me get through late-night editing sessions, and still wishing I could freeze time in reality instead of just in photographs.
About the Artist: Lindsay Williams lives in south-central Kentucky with her husband, David, and two little boys, Gavin and Finley, where she runs Lindsay Williams Photography and teaches high school English. In addition to her loves for photography and teaching, she is also passionate about helping others, autism awareness, drinking coffee, laughing, good books, family and friends, animals, and sun flares.