Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sponsor Spotlight: June's Featured Sponsor - Mandy

Name: Mandy
Blog: A Sorta Fairytale
Twitter: MandyChiappini
Facebook: A Sorta Fairytale
Pinterest: mandychiappini
Other blogs/websites/social: Mandy Chiappini Photography { website | blog }
What is your blog about? My blog is a journal of my life experiences as a new mom. You'll also find lots of photography :)
A favorite blog post (or two) from your blog: A couple of my favorites are: Just us & I know who I am
A couple favorite photos:

Photography gear: Camera, fave lens(s), editing program, fave actions: 
I have a Canon 7D. My very favorite lens is my 50mm f/1.4, it pretty much never leaves my camera. I use Photoshop CS4 for all of my processing, and most commonly use Florabella Collection's action sets.
Other than blogging & photography what do you enjoy? Before you had little B what did you do?
Oh man, what else is there besides blogging and photography?? He he j/k! Well, I've always loved to travel...before Bennett I'd go on at least 2 vacations a year. I also really love going to baseball games, I am a very big fan of my local team, The Mariner's.
If you're going out on a date with your hubby where would you go/do? If you're going out for a girls night out where would you go/do? If you have a free night at home what would you typically be doing? Oooh a date night, we'd probably go to dinner and movie. And for a GNO, anywhere that isn't home is fine with me! And with my free time, I'm usually busy editing photos for my clients.
Tell me a little about your mentoring sessions - how does it work? What do you cover? Is there anything you do not cover? (i.e. photography technique, photography business etc.) Do I need a specific editing program to participate? Where can I go to get all the deets & register for a session?
My mentoring sessions are geared toward the beginning with an SLR camera. You must have a version of Photoshop to participate. We do briefly touch on shooting in manual mode, but the majority of the workshop is spent in Photoshop going over post-processing techniques. These sessions last approximately 90 minutes long, and it is all done LIVE via Skype's screen sharing software. It's a very unique, and personal experience. You can visit my information page to learn more about these sessions!
Do you have any links to blog posts your students have written about their experience with your classes? 
Here are just a couple of reviews of my class: 

Inspiration: books, music, movies: what are any of you current/all time faves? Hmm... that's a toughy. Books, I can't think of any off the top of my head. But my favorite movies tend to be action/adventure movies. Like The Bourne Trilogy & The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. And music, I have a love for a wide variety of genres. I love Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band, Natalie Merchant, Matchbox Twenty, Jazon Mraz... etc.
Inspiration: photographers who inspire you: Bloggers? Professionals? Communities?
I am inspired by so many!! Some photographers that really inspire me are Lisa Lucky PhotographyWildflowers PhotographyBobbi & Mike Photography And there are ton of communities that I love. But just to name a few: I Heart Faces and Clickin' Moms.
Anything you want to learn in the next couple years? Equipment/programs you want to get/learn?
Oh gosh, I am constantly trying to learn. I'd love to upgrade my camera to a Canon 5D mark II. And I'd love to get a tilt shift lens and a macro and learn to use them.  
How have you grown this year as a photographer? As a blogger? Any big "aha" moments this year?
My photography business has grown leaps & bounds in the last year. I have just recently opened my business up to weddings and have 6 booked in the next 12 months and am super excited to explore this new adventure. As a blogger, my personal blog, A Sorta Fairytale has also grown a great deal in the last year. I have been inspired by so many amazing bloggers and met some wonderful people as a result of my blog. I'm very thankful for this community!
Other than photographing your little man & your clients what do you enjoy photographing? 
I love taking pictures of the little details, though, I'm not very good at it yet! I need a macro lens. Ha ha. 
How did you get into photography?
Photography has always been a passion of mine. I have always been snap happy. 3 years ago, my husband bought me a DSLR for my birthday and from there I just practiced every day. I spent a great deal of time online reading tutorials and watching videos, and then I started my portfolio building sessions to get my business going.
What do you enjoy about blogging? What do you enjoy about photography? 
What don't I enjoy?? Like I said previously, blogging has opened up so many doors for me. I've developed some wonderful friendships and feel like there are so many people I can relate to. It's a great place to turn to when I need advise, or just some encouragement. And photography, I think the thing I enjoy most about it, is being able to capture moments that would otherwise be forgotten.
What do you like about your style as a photographer?
I often describe my style as timeless. And that's what I love about it. I don't go too crazy with extraordinary editing techniques, I try to keep it elegant and simple, so that in 20 years people can look back on their photos and feel like they aren't "dated." 
Briefly, what is yor typical workflow for processing a photoshoot?
First I run adjust the white balance & exposure in ACR (if need be) Noiseware Professional, then I sharpen the image to taste, and then I will finish up the photo with any color processing I choose to do.
Do you have any advice for someone starting out with their blog? Or who want to get into processional photography?
My advise is the same with blogging and photography. Take it slow and really discover your style. Stay true to who you are and stick to your morals and ethics. 
A little more advise with trying to break into professional photography is to really build up a good portfolio before you start charging clients. I can't emphasize enough, how important it is to set the right expectations with your clients. Make sure they know that you are just starting out and will be using their session to learn from. When you do start charging your clients, set your prices reasonably and work up from there... as your skill continues to grow and your style gets refined - raise your prices a little.

Thank you so much Mandy!! 

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