As part of the Ready Steady Pro Q&A Series we ask photographers from all backgrounds, niches and skill levels to answer 5 questions for the blog. This week, we hear from Mary Angelini of Angelini Portraits.
Mary says of her work:
From a very early age my parents took us to local natural areas and let us run wild exploring and discovering the world around us which developed into a deep passion for the nature and natural world. As a result, my artistic inclination gravitates towards the earthy and natural. My work is about casual simplicity and the beauty of light in nature. I look for scenes that pair well with my subjects to give them a comfortable and easy look that speaks to their personality.
You can read more of Mary’s Bio over on her Bio Page
Here’s what Mary had to say when we her asked the 5 questions:
Question 1: What’s the one single thing that has had the largest positive impact on your photography so far?
For me the one thing that has had the biggest positive impact on my photography has been my relationship with Robin Rios, the owner of 4Art Gallery in Chicago where I am represented. Robin has welcomed me into the 4Art fold and not only provided me with an outlet to showcase my photography, but more importantly she has always been a source of unceasing encouragement which has helped me to believe in myself and my talent as a photographer.
Question 2: If you could start over again from scratch, what would be the one thing you would do differently?
I honestly don’t think I would do anything differently because the path I have followed, whether it has resulted in a positive or negative outcome, has brought me to where I am today and I have to believe that while some lessons have been hard, they have been necessary for my personal journey.
Question 3: Who is the most influential photographer to you, and why? (Or, Which photographer do you admire the most, and why?)
I would have to say the work of Brooke Shaden has been a huge, and admittedly recent, source of inspiration for me. Not only is her work amazingly creative, expressive and deep, but for me discovering her was like a hammer to the head telling me that there really are no rules. If you have an idea or vision, however offbeat or emotional or out of the norm, you should listen to that voice telling you that it is a valid path and follow it. Don’t worry about what others might think, make your art for you and not for anyone else and don’t worry about what the perceived rules are – it’s art, there are no rules!
Question 4: If you able to give just one piece of advice to someone just starting out in their photographic career, what would it be?
Don’t get hung up on gear! Better gear does not equal better images. Learn the gear you have inside out and backwards before you build on it. Picaso could make a masterpiece out of a child’s set of school paints and Gordon Ramsey could make a 5 star meal with what is in my refrigerator (which isn’t a lot!). Why? Because they know how to use whatever tools they’ve been given. They have taken the time to learn the all of basics, have built upon that solid foundation and have not subscribed to the misguided belief that the best paints or the best pots and pans will create the finished work. So save your money and take out all of the manuals for the gear you already have and memorize and practice them, they are the best gear you own.
Question 5: Paint a picture: What is the one thing / place / person you would love to photograph and why? It can be a person or a moment from history. As part of this answer also tell us about what gear you’d use, what lighting, what looks, wardrobes, poses and expressions you’d make use.
If time travel and unlimited resources were possible, I think I would love to be a photographer documenting the Lewis and Clark expedition across America. The places they traveled, the people they met and the conditions in which they did it were so primitive by today’s standards, yet they did do it and saw and documented amazing things along the way it would be life changing to experience it through them. I would also love to see this country as it was before it started being developed for industry, agriculture, farming and real estate. As for gear, probably a Nikon D4 (speaking of gear envy) with an assortment of lenses to include a 11-16mm, 18-200mm, 105mm Macro, super telephoto for shooting birds and wildlife and a 50mm for portraits. I think I would prefer natural light as it would be most suitable to the situation, though I would have a reflector and perhaps one off camera flash for those times when you just need it. I would definitely have a tripod and remote release for shooting the night sky as well as a computer to store and edit all of my images.
Well, thanks so much for taking part in the Q&A Mary. For more information about Mary and her work you can find her at all of the following places:
Facebook: Mary Angelini Photography
Have a question for Mary? Simply post in the comments section below, or join the fun over in the Ready Steady Pro Facebook Community
Would you like to take part in photography Q&A? Send us an email with your answers to the 5 questions and it could appear on this blog too! More details can be found on the Q&A Page