LSI Pro Q&A | featuring DeAnna McCasland Photography

**DeAnna’s answers added at the end of the page**

I have yet another awesome LSI Pro to introduce to you all!  Not only is she one of our amazing Pro members, but she is also the instructor of one of our most popular workshops, Everyday Storytelling.  Please meet DeAnna McCasland Photography!  Now is your chance to get to know her a bit better, ask any questions you might have regarding her work or anything else that might interest you!  Please remember that our pros  are not required to answer ALL questions, as some may be too personal, uncomfortable to answer or simply not something they feel is in the best interest of their business to respond to.  Please keep your questions respectful and within reason.  All questions should be asked in the comment area of this post.  Questions will remain open until Sunday, August 11th.  We will post DeAnna’s responses within this original post once they are available…of course we will let you all know when they are ready!  Thanks to all who participate and most importantly, thank you to DeAnna for taking part in this awesome feature!  Be sure to check out more of DeAnna’s inspirational work on Facebook!

With that said, we would like to introduce you to our LSI Pro DeAnna McCasland, based out of Virgina.

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A few words from DeAnna:  I am DeAnna behind DeAnna McCasland Photography. I am a homeschooling mama of 2, coffee addict, thrifting junkie and we are working on building our homestead in the mountains of West Virginia. My main focus is documentary, lifestyle photography.

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You can see more of DeAnna’s gorgeous work here:

DeAnna McCasland Photography

DeAnna McCasland Photography on Facebook

 

DeAnna’s Response:

 

When did you feel it was time to switch from posing newborn and family sessions to only lifestyle?

I went into photography thinking that since I loved newborns I would love photographing them.  I of course gravitated towards the posed images with all the cutesy props and what not.  It was fun for the first 2 years, but then I could feel my excitement dwindle down with each session.  I could feel my patience slipping when a session went over 2 hours or when I would actually dread going to a shoot and it started to feel more like a job than something I enjoyed.  This wasn’t fair to my clients, myself, or my family so I knew I needed to change things up.

 

when starting, did you have times you did not book anything? how did you get past that?

Of course!  It was nothing but crickets at first.  I took it as a blessing in disguise and took that time to really focus on myself as an artist and caught up on much needed time with my family.  It was just like a small vacation.  I kept my blog fresh with images of my children and what we were doing.  I kept my Facebook updated so my images popped up in other’s feeds.  I did run a special to get bookings rolling in and then after that it just picked up. Its no where as busy as I use to be, but its  at a speed where Im content and happy.  And the clients I have now are those who really value me as a artist, not just someone getting the best deal in town.  I rather have 5 of those clients than 20 of the other kind any day.

 

I am a big fan! And was wondering, how did you find your style and do you have any advice on finding mine? My work is very inconsistent from image to image!

When I was finding my style I realized I was first letting my clients dictate how I shot.  When I knew I needed to change things up I took a step back to evaluate my life in a sense.  Who’s work was I most inspired by, what processing was I drawn to the most, what blogs could I just get lost in looking at?  Who was I as a person?  How did I live my life, how did I dress, etc…all of this can boil down to your shooting style.  It will of course get better over time, but having the idea of what you want to create and having a goal of what you want your images to look like is a good starting point.  I think we are always growing as artists.  Its good to nail down a consistency, but down let that burden you either.  Find a constant, but leave room for growth.

 

As far as photography, where do you see yourself in the next five years and how do you keep motivated and inspired?

In the next 5 years I hope to have my first gallery up somewhere.  I would love to still be shooting my family like I do now.  I would also like to adventure into weddings between now and then. 

I try to stay motivated by living a good story.  If you live a good story, a story people will want to see and read about, not only will your life be richer with love and happiness, but your work will reflect that.  Also, since my greatest muse is my children and Im always around them its like a constant flow of inspiration at all times.  I try to let photography guide me through motherhood and is my therapy in a sense.  I can be the crazy, ‘Im going to flip out if I see another crumb on the floor mom’ and than grab my camera and Im laid back and suddenly each crumb is a beautiful piece of art.  Its all about perspective.  Not just in photography, but how you live your life.

 

What did you do before becoming a photographer full time and how did you make the transition? Over how long?

I have had a sewing machine since I was 14 so I started making children’s clothes when I had my daughter (5.5 years ago). I played with photography then to help promote my clothing and online store.  I then worked at a military alterations shop.  After that, I became a stay at home mom and decided to start playing in photography a little more seriously.  My business took off before I was ready and I was that mom that did everything the wrong way. I seem to do everything in life head first with out much thought.  A business was one of those things.  I was technically in business 3 years ago, but I feel like the past year or so has been my REAL first year doing it the right way.  I hope that makes sense.