SONYA LINGO - INTERVIEW
Tell us about yourself. What is your background, and how did you get into photography?
I worked in the healthcare field for 10 years, then I picked up a camera and realized I really enjoyed it. I had my second son and decided to leave healthcare, stay home with him, and continue my passion of photography. It was the best decision I ever made.
Please provide us with a list of the gear you use on a regular basis:
I use two canon 6d's, Canon 50mm 1.4, 85 1.8 and 28 1.8, occasionally I shoot with a sigma 24-70.
What are your favorite tools for capturing, editing, and enhancing your photographs?
I mostly edit in Raw, apply my go to preset, pull into photoshop and make adjustments if needed, cropping, etc. I don't use very many actions, if any.
I have a set of prompts that I use to bring out those real emotions, occasionally if clients are tense, I will play music, engage in conversation and get them to relax more.
There are times where things are just beyond your control, so I'm very thankful for actions in photoshop that help me remove unwanted colors in skin, clothing. That is by far one of my most used tools.
How has your photography style evolved over time?
I started in Lightroom and used free presets— they were a heavy matte. After about a year, I began to learn how to hand edit. I discovered that I wasn't a big fan of Lightroom and that Photoshop was easier for me, personally. As far as editing there was definitely a changing point in my work when I bought lxc. It absolutely made my work more consistent, and stand out.
What is your greatest piece of advice for emerging photographers?
Don't equate your experience with someone else's. Make things your own, care less about what other people think and more about the quality and the experience you're putting out.
What type of photography do you most enjoy?
Lifestyle definitely tugs at my heart. I like that it tells a story, shows emotion, it just gets me in the feels!
What are you discouraged about in your work/business? What encourages you?
I'm most discouraged that I feel like I haven't found my place— that I'm not consistent enough in my work. I'm constantly judging myself, never satisfied, but I feel like thats only helping me grow as a photographer.
Honestly, the photography community in my area is really amazing. Everyone is so helpful, and always willing to give advice. We have a great local group of photographers and I've always been able to post in there any questions I have. That's just extremely encouraging to know I have a safe place to reach out.
When was a time you thought you would/had failed? How did you overcome it?
I had what I thought was a pretty bad session. With Florida the weather can change in seconds, and it got so dark, so fast. I had to change settings, there was grain, light was an issue. I had to use areas I normally wouldn't, stressed for time. Editing the session, I was so worried that the clients would absolutely hate all of them. On edge, I delivered the gallery and she couldn't have been more thrilled. Just makes you realize, that what we see isn't always true and we have to realize they aren't looking at these with a photographer’s eye.
What defines success for you as a photographer? If you never achieve that, will you still be satisfied with what you do?
Success to me is defined by waking up every morning knowing that I am pursuing what I love, acknowledging my own creativity while being able to remain humble. If I'm still pushing my self, I'll be content, but I don't think one will ever truly be satisfied.
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