SARAH CHING - INTERVIEW
Tell us about yourself. What is your background, and how did you get into photography?
I am actually a full time graphic designer during the week and a photographer on the weekend! More specifically, I am a natural light portrait photographer. I started photography in middle school, taking creative self-portraits during the Flickr days! As embarrassing as they are, that's really where my photography career began. In high school I started photographing proms, events, graduating seniors, and it has grown from there!
Please provide us with a list of the gear you use on a regular basis:
My go to set up is my Canon 6D + Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 or Canon 50mm 1.2!
What does your post-production process look like?
After years of much trial and error, I have now reached a place that I think works for me: I bring the raws into Lightroom and click through Summit, LXC, or my own presets as a base. Generally, I bring a lot of color back into the presets, that doesn’t necessarily mean the overall saturation. I like to bring back individual colors like greens and blues, balanced with increasing the warmth. I then turn down the contrast, and brighten the overall image. Just generally speaking!
How has your photography style evolved over time?
I used to shoot with shallower depth of field, slightly closer in when it comes to portraits, but over time have moved towards wider shots that set up more of a scene or story. I also have grown to appreciate shooting in mid-day harsh light. I used to try to only shoot during golden hour but lately have loved the look of direct light. Editing for harsh light is definitely different from the soft golden hour light, but personally have learned to enjoy!
What is your greatest piece of advice for emerging photographers?
As great as it is to be inspired but all the other talented photographers, doing your own thing is really the best part. I love my clients, I really do, and they are what allows me to keep photographing, but personal projects are really what keeps me inspired as an artist.
What type of photography do you most enjoy?
My favorite type of photography would be portraiture, more specifically fashion!
What are you discouraged about in your work/business? What encourages you?
To be honest, numbers on social media can be discouraging. I have to remind myself daily that it's not always about the response (or lack of) you get on Instagram, but about the work I put out and whether I am proud of it. On the flip side, I am encouraged by work I am proud of. Even if most people don't like it, if I dig it, I dig it. And of course, when other people, especially those I admire or am friends with notice what I am putting out—it seriously means so much when people take the time to just appreciate what I am doing.
When was a time you thought you would/had failed? How did you overcome it?
Once I had arranged to meet up with a client for a shoot, drove over haf an hour, paid the entrance fee into the park, waited about 45 minutes, but they never showed up and completely ghosted me, even blocked me on instagram. I had no idea why—the last we had communicated over email was that we agreed to meet at the location at the specific time. I didn't collect a deposit that time because the details were finalized so last minute, so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I hadn't had anyone stand me up before, so didn't think of the possibility that they wouldn't show up. TBH, I ranted about it on my private social media and moved on with my life, used it as a lesson to always collect a deposit no matter what.
What defines success for you as a photographer? If you never achieve that, will you still be satisfied with what you do?
Success for me could be so many things—short term success would be satisfying clients and sharing work I am excited about. Long term success would be meeting goals I have for myself as a photographer, such as working with certain brands I love and more importantly becoming a full-time photographer. I would love to move towards being a fashion photographer and be able to fully support myself doing what I love.
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