Inspiring Interview | featuring DelaLane Photography

Our Inspiring Photographer Interview for this week features DelaLane Photography. Amanda 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 Amanda…

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A Few Words From DelaLane Photography

I’m a family photographer based in Southern California, mostly shooting in and around Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree and Palm Springs. I photograph everything from expecting families to newborns to high school seniors, and specialize in photographing families with small children. I just love unpredictable toddlers, new babies, and sibling interactions. Sessions with small children are always surprising, always fun, and always incredibly rewarding!

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

My hope is in Jesus.

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Studio, on location or both? If you have a studio, please include an image of your space.

On location. Where I live in Southern California, here where the Mojave and Colorado deserts meet, we have an awesome mix of desert and oasis landscape, of rural desert and mid-century modern architecture. It’s beautiful and varied. I also love to shoot in and around my clients homes, special places, and vacation spots.

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Natural light, studio light or both? Preference?

Natural light. Most of my sessions are shot outdoors in the hour before sunset. Those that take place indoors utilize every available ounce of window light with an occasional reflector to balance things out. I am also a photographer of my own life and children, and when necessary requires, I will absolutely use ANY light I can find. Being a natural light photographer means making the best of what’s available, and I’m not afraid to improvise or bump up that ISO to make up for what is lacking to get the best results possible in any given situation. I believe that good light is paramount, but you should never miss a special moment because the light isn’t ideal. Take the picture and save the memory!

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Share with us your all time favorite image and why.

In this moment, I’ll choose a favorite photo (because really who has only one favorite?!) I recently had printed and now sits in a frame on my bedroom dresser. It’s a photo of me at about 9 years old with my Mima (my Grandma) on vacation at Cannon Beach. My mom snapped it with a point and shoot and I found it in an old ripped envelope of aging prints. I love it because it represents so many fond memories of my childhood and the power that photographs have to enable us to relive them. It represents my main aim in photographing my own children and my clients and their children. To preserve memories… of good times, of people, of special places, of relationships, of childhood, of life.

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What inspired you to be a photographer?

The family photo albums my mom put together when I was a small child inspired by love for photography. I used to take them out of the cabinet where they were stored almost weekly just to look through them. I was a hobbyist for a long time before I decided to take the plunge and go pro. My first pregnancy is what did me in. I wanted to get as good as I possibly could get at taking pictures because I was taking pictures of the most beautiful baby I’d ever seen. My daughter! Sharing that passion with other people was a natural progression of a long time love.

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Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

I am a paid professional when it comes to photographing families. I am a hobbyist when it comes to photographing food and landscapes, two other areas of photographic interest that overlap with my love for baking, cooking, eating, Disney, hiking and the outdoors.

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Is photography your full time career?

I consider myself a part-time photographer. I have 2 small children that are my full-time job.

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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 shoot a wide variety of family sessions. I love maternity sessions, especially those involving small children awaiting the arrival of a new baby. Bumps are my absolute favorite prop to include in a session. And if I get to photograph the bump as a baby and a big kid as well, even better! I offer {Year in the Life} plans that follow one child through bump to first birthday. Being able to anticipate the arrival of a baby with a family, photograph the before and after baby’s arrival, and capture the transition of a child from fresh newborn to their first birthday is the absolute most rewarding thing I get to do as a family photographer.

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

It depends on the time of year. I’d say around 6 per month is my average. I currently limit the number of days I am available to shoot sessions in order to preserve time for my family and other obligations. The calendar tends to book up 2-4 months in advance due to my limited availability, and I’m happy to refer clients out to other local photographers when my schedule gets to be more than I can handle.

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What has been your most memorable session and why?

One of my most memorable sessions was one I shot for a newly married couple living in military apartments on the 29 Palms Marine Base. They were young, in love, and just starting out their lives together. Their apartment had limited furnishings and lacked even a dining room table. We decided to shoot an in home lifestyle session, a “Date Night” at home in their apartment. They made spaghetti together in their tiny apartment kitchen and ate it by candlelight on the empty dining room floor. And I photographed it for them. It was simple, romantic, and such a powerful testament to the famous adage “All You Need is Love.” Love, spaghetti, and candlelight.

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

I would say the biggest source of information has been my fellow photographers, my friends who have journeyed with me from hobbyist to professional. Although there are also long-established professionals who have influenced and helped me greatly, the sounding boards and experience of my photographer friends have been the inspiration, comfort, have provided the confidence and and feedback that have most intimately guided me. Prayer. Some trial and error. And Google, haha!

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

I could try to be original here and come up with a less truthful answer, but in reality, the answer truly is my kids. And my clients kids too. Photographing kids never gets old for me. They give back in their own special way. They make you work for it and it is worth every bit of effort.

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Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

Nikon. It would seem like a betrayal not to say my Nikkor 50mm 1.4 is my favorite. The 50mm is the lens I built my business with (when I started out, I had only the 50mm 1.8). It’s the lens that showed me I could have creative control over my images and made me believe, if I worked hard, I could become a professional photographer. But if I could only have one lens for the rest of my life, I might have to say my Nikkor 35mm 1.4. It can do everything. It’s the most versatile. A fantastic, fantastic lens!

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How would you define your post processing style?

I’d describe my post processing style as clean, vibrant, fun, colorful.

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

Only look at the work of other photographers when it inspires you. If you feel yourself weighed down by feeling of inadequacy and comparison, stop looking for a while. Explore, get better, enjoy what you do. Find out who you are on your own. Inspiration is good. Negative pressure is not! Be free enough to let yourself be you.

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

My favorite part of being a photographer is the end result, the photographs, handing over those precious memories to my clients and knowing that they will get to cherish them for the rest of their lives, that I’m helping them remember something beautiful about the present point in their family history. My least favorite part is blogging. I am about 100 sessions behind right now. No joke.

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Who is the most inspirational photographer in your life?

Again, I’d have to say my photographer friends. Mandy of Amanda Kay Photography was my biggest inspiration when I first decided to Go Pro over 5 years ago. She was there at the very beginning inspiring me before I even knew there would ever be a DelaLane Photography, and she’s been a friend to me since. Angie of Angela Valerie Photography inspired me to shoot outside the box and find the beauty of everyday moments with my kids. Kim of Kimberly Ogden Photography has been my sounding board when it comes to many aspects of this business, especially the business side of the business. And others. Many, many, many photographers have inspired me in many different ways.

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

I have some clients who I’ve been photographing yearly since my first year in business. Overall I’ve shot something like a dozen sessions for them including new baby sessions and senior portrait sessions, first birthday sessions and everything in between. They currently have 7 kids in their home who were a part of our last family session together. Unbeknownst to me, near the end of our session, while I was busily posing this large group on a sandy shore, the baby of the bunch had fallen asleep and they had put her, sleeping, in the middle of a stack of coats and blankets that the family had brought along with them on this chilly evening (imagine something like the Princess and the Pea.) I saw a pile of coats and was about to move them when I was shown the sleeping baby in the middle. Rather than disturb the baby or re-pose the 6 or 7 people who were already seated and in position, I changed my angle and photo-shopped the baby-containing pile of coats and blankets out of the foreground of the rest of the family shots I took that evening. When have 7 kids, you learn to make anything work!

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

My photography style is fun and spontaneous, able to go with the flow. I strive for a healthy mix of traditional portraiture and free-spirited lifestyle photography, a combination of posed and unscripted moments. My goal is to create photographs that not only capture faces beautifully, but also preserve the memories of personalities and relationships in a way that will help my clients remember more than just what they used to look like.

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A Few Fun Questions:
Favorite TV show? I don’t watch much TV. Medical dramas would be a guilty pleasure. I also love to watch So You Think You Can Dance.
Favorite movie? The Princess Bride. I’ve had the entire movie memorized since my youth.
Favorite musician/band? Lecrae and Rend Collective are current favorites, among many others.
What is your favorite food? Cheeseburgers. Red Robin Blue Ribbon Burger being a top contender. And Chocolate. Right now, I’m digging the bags of Hershey Nuggets with the 4 assorted flavors. You know the one. So dangerous.
What is your favorite beverage? Sparkling water. I started drinking “frizzante” when we took a long trip through Italy a dozen years ago, and my passion for this bubbly nectar has never waned. So good. And coffee of course.
Your favorite item of clothing? I love a cute, short, summery dress. I have many. The great thing about California is summer clothes are good for all the year long.
Your go-to pair of shoes? Flip flops in the summer. Tall leather riding boots in the winter.
What is one word you catch yourself saying too often? Currently? Fantastic. And Fabulous. They are both fantastically fabulous words!