We are so excited to welcome the fabulously talented Courtney Bowlden to the Blog! Take a moment to learn more about her beautiful portrait and wedding photography, and be sure to visit her website Courtney Bowlden Photography. Thanks so much Courtney for sharing your work with us today!
Where did your inspiration for photography begin?
Growing up I always had a camera with me, but it wasn’t to take amazing pictures or create any kind of art. I simply wanted to capture moments and create memories that I could remember with the prints. I had no intention on ever being a photographer when I was younger, but when my second baby was born, I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to get the pictures of him that I had envisioned in my head. I got my first DSLR camera (Nikon D60) and had some friends who were professional photographers teach me what I needed to know. The funny thing now is that my kids wont ever let me take pictures of them.
How would you describe your photography style?
Bright, fun, colorful, warm, and timeless. I specialize in photojournalism.
Did you study photography in school or are you self taught?
I was taught by some friends of mine who had gone to school, but for me I wouldn’t have lasted in a classroom. I am a hands on kind of person and prefer learning on my own.
What brand/model camera do you shoot, and what is your favorite lens?
I started with the Nikon, but switched to Canon because I loved their colors and skin tones better. I use only prime lenses because I feel they get the best color and sharpness. I recently upgraded to a 5D Mark3. My favorite lens has to be the Canon 85mm 1.2. The color and depth of field is outstanding. Its sharp and easy to focus. I don’t always use that lens, though. When I shoot weddings, I usually use the Canon 35mm 1.2 or the Canon 50mm 1.2 and have my assistant on the 85.
Do you have any tips for photographers on how to find the light?
I don’t use flash unless I have to, and I also like to use a lot of backlight from the sun. When my clients book with me, I tell them either morning or late afternoon sessions are best for lighting. When I am shooting a wedding, I try and show up a little earlier to scout out any places with good lighting (or shade if its in the middle of the day). I also try to look for natural reflectors, like cement or walls that bounce light back up to my clients faces.
What is your favorite subject to photograph?
This is a hard one. I really love Seniors and I love weddings. It would have to be a tie.
What is a good lesson you have learned this year in photography or in your business?
Take time off. Last year I over worked myself and never gave myself days off or vacations. This year I forced myself to take at least one or two days off a week and spend time with my family. It’s helped me to not get stressed out. The other lesson I have learned this year is to not rely on your external hard drive for backup. Backup your images to the Cloud (I use Backblaze). Hard drives can fail, and that was something I have never had happen to me in all my years of business. It was painful and so scary, but a lesson that I had to learn.
If you could encourage a new photographer in one area, what would it be?
Find your niche. When I first started, I did everything. But I didn’t always enjoy doing it all. I got to the point where I don’t accept just any job, but the ones I am confident in and ones that I enjoy. I think it’s great to specialize in something, not just for clients, but for yourself.
What do you love most about being a photographer?
The people I meet and the opportunities I get. Next year, I will be able to live out my longest dream of shooting a wedding in Paris, France.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I have no idea! I believe that God blessed me with this gift and He has provided me with all of these opportunities. I am leaving it up to Him.
About the Artist: Wife, mother of 2 and lover all of things art. I am passionate about music, making friends, watching good movies and going to concerts, traveling and love to sing. My family is the most important thing in my life.