Inspiring Interview | featuring Chasing Moments Photography

Our Inspiring Photographer Interview for this week features Chasing Moments Photography. Olga is one of our very own talented LSI Pro Members. You can follow more of her inspiring work on her blog and Facebook. Please meet Olga…

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A Few Words From Chasing Moments Photography

I am Olga, the owner and photographer behind Chasing Moments Photography, a boutique newborn, baby and children’s photography studio in Reston, Northern Virginia. I live in Reston with my husband of nearly 10 years and two boys who are turning 4 and 6 in the fall. I am a huge fan of landscape and nature photography, an avid tennis player and I love to read. As a family, we love exploring Northern Virginia and DC for fun, family-friendly activities.

If there was one thing you would want us to know about you, what would it be?

I am a perfectionist and a learner, which is an ironic combination. I always work to fine tune my photography and to develop my photographic style and I always push myself to do better. Even though I have been a full time newborn and baby photographer for nearly 5 years now, I always feel like there are always new things to learn and new horizons to explore. I keep my professional and photographic goals dynamic and long-term, which keeps me motivated to do my best as a photographer.

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Studio, on location or both?

Both. I have a studio in Reston where I do all my newborn sessions as well as many baby, cake smash and children’s session. Reston is convenient not only for clients from Northern Virginia, but I also have people driving in from DC (a short 30 minute drive) and Maryland. At studio I have three distinct staging areas ready for shooting (one of which is a dedicated newborn posing area) as well as a comfortable sitting area. I love the consistency and reliability of studio lighting and I love having access to all my props, blankets and gear at the studio. I also offer seasonal outdoor family sessions at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna and short / “mini” sessions in several awesome locations in Fairfax County.

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Natural light, studio light or both?

I shoot studio light at the studio, and I love the control and consistency of studio lighting for newborn and baby sessions. On-location, for outdoor sessions, I shoot natural light only.

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Share with us your all time favorite image and why.

Oh, there are so many! I literally feel like I have a new “all time favorite” image after every session. There are two images that definitely top the list though, for emotional reasons. They are newborn images of my own boys. I have these pictures as large canvases in my home and they are among my most treasured possessions as a parent. A huge part of why I love newborn photography is appreciating how truly priceless newborn photos are and how much more meaningful they become over time. I have my boys’ newborn, baby, toddler and current photos all displayed around living areas of our house and it is just breathtaking to see the progression of our life as a family and the transformation of our kids over time.

 

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What inspired you to be a photographer?

I do not feel like there was a turning point in my life when I “became” a photographer because photography has always been an important part of my life. I remember having an old-school manual film camera when I was little and using it every chance I got. I think a huge part of who I am is finding the memorable and the emotionally dear (not necessarily beautiful) in the world around me and wanting to preserve it. Photography is just a natural extension of that, allowing me to capture the world.

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Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

I am a paid professional and photography is currently my full-time career.

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What type of session do you look forward to the most vs what type of session you most often do?

I specialize in newborn photography because these are the types of sessions I love photographing the most. Naturally, most of my clients are newborns.

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On average, how many sessions do you have per month?

On average, depending on the season and what type of sessions I am booked for at any given moment, can be anywhere from 8-12.

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What has been your most memorable session and why?

Honestly, I remember all of my sessions vividly because I try to work with parents closely on their likes and priorities, and I try to personalize each session. This said, I love my repeat newborn clients: I get to see older siblings who I photographed as newborns with their new brothers or sisters, and it just makes my heart happy.

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What has been the best source of information along your photography journey (workshop, online forums, classroom, mentor, etc)?

I am 99% self-taught through forums, books, photography magazines and researching specific topics online. The LSI forum stands out as a great source of information and support.

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What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?

My clients are the source of continuous inspiration for me. I approach every session as unique and I always incorporate my clients’ likes and preferences into each session so it has a special and personal meaning to them. (Check out this scrubs image! Daddy is a surgeon!)

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Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

I am a Canon girl. I love my 35mm 1.4 lens for newborn and baby sessions!

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How would you define your post processing style?

I like clean, natural colors, without any filters or special effects. When I photograph and edit, I imagine these photos printed as large canvases and displayed in clients’ homes. So, I go for a clean, timeless look.

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What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

Practice, practice and practice! Running a photography business involves producing high quality photography for your clients consistently, so you have to get as good as you can possibly can and never stop practicing. Also, be prepared to get as good as you can at accounting, marketing, seo, blogging and client relations.

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What is your favorite and least favorite part of owning your own photography business?

I love being my own boss, setting my own hours (do not get me wrong, I still put in “full time” hours), producing beautiful images for my clients and, overall, doing what I love! Before starting a career in photography, taking pictures was what I did in my spare time. These days, I do photography for a living and even now I take pictures in my spare time when I am not working on my clients’ galleries. My least favorite part of owning my own business is book keeping and accounting!

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Who is the most inspirational photographer in your life?

There are several photographers whose work I admire. Interestingly, they are not newborn photographers and while I draw inspiration from their work there is no temptation to imitate. I love Meg Bitton’s posing and processing and style. I love the beautiful work of Julie Paisley. I love Jessica Svoboda’s documentary style.

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Please include a funny outtake or blooper image from a session.

I heart this one! (Do you see what I did there?) I photographed this sweet lady as a newborn, and then when she came in for her baby sister’s newborn session we had no problem reconnecting and having fun.

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And finally, please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

I like creating clean, natural, classic and timeless portraits and I view my style as a “modern+traditional” blend (think, a combination of classic looks, colors, styles, lighting with modern props, and relaxed, natural posing). My goal is to create images that clients will treasure and display as large wall art in their homes for generations.

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A Few Fun Questions:
Favorite TV show? I don’t really have one, right now I am planning to catch up on the Game of Thrones.
Favorite movie? Don’t have one. Really.
What is your favorite food? Cheese and ice cream are my weakness. Oh, and fruit – any fruit. And calamari.
What is your favorite beverage? Coffee! Oh, wait, wine! And beer. And water.
Your favorite item of clothing? I am a jeans and a t-shirt girl
Your go-to pair of shoes? Comfy flats.
What is one word you catch yourself saying too often? With two little kids around the house, I catch myself saying “no, no, no” quite a lot. I am trying to be more mellow though.