I had the joy of meeting Kara Mercer this evening. She is full of spirit and sweetness! After we met up for some pictures we enjoyed dinner at Manna with Shan Renee and Ashley Rodgers. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Thankyou for a wonderful evening, ladies!
Everyone, I am pleased to introduce to you: Kara Mercer of Vintage View Studio (her website is about to be revamped so be sure to keep an eye out for the new look!)
How would you describe your style? I think my style would best be described as passionate, bold, dramatic, romantic and a little on the urban/anthropologie side. I love the intimate moments that speak volumes and say more than any words can explain. These images become infinite in time because there is true emotion and depth!!
Who are your artistic heroes? Promise Tangeman! She is quite amazing at so many creative endeavors! I am excited to say she is the creator of my new website that will be coming in January:)
What is your favorite type of shoot? I absolutely love fashion shoots, engagements, and bridals. I love the styling and make-up and the glitz and glam!! It seems to be all great shoots there is passion behind someones eyes, whether a passion for life or a passion for their soon to be husband/wifeEither way the eyes say it all in these sessions!!
What is the #1 piece of advice you would give to beginning photographers? It takes time to establish who you are at the heart of your images. No one has the ability to photograph the exact same way YOU can! Really try to shape your opinion about photography based on your opinion solely and not on all the other photographers out there. Everyone was born with an innate, unique perspective, so invest time in developing YOUR vision and not a vision you had of an image that you saw on another blog.
Also, run after the images that get you “giddy”!! There are those moments where you are shooting and just absolutely cannot wait to get to your computer to start editing this one image you took. I remember when I started, I would shoot the image that I positioned in front of me and I was not crazy about it. Now, I force it to the limit and make it something I love. This also forces you to understand the technical side of your camera as well, because you will chase after the vision in your head!!
What is something interesting about you? I have the craziest schedule ever. I am a wound and skin care rep for a medical company and a full time photographer which =very little free time haha. I also dabble in making hairpieces and headbands for people and weddings!;)
What is photography about to you? To me photography is about creating a moment in time that becomes infinite. The image must speak to me and to all that look at it. I believe there is true inner movement in people either through music, paintings, or even just the day to day life. These things every person can relate to, which is why an image filled with love and expression is often revisited on some of the hardest days in life. On those days in peoples life, I want them to look at the image in front of them and know the happiness they felt or love they have for their spouse/significant other. In my mind, giving someone that reminder and memory just might be the glue to keep them together or mend a rough day.
What photography questions do you find yourself still asking? How can I manage the business, increase sessions, and still give the same valuable interaction and workflow to all I work with. This is one of the hardest things as a photographer.
What is your favorite type of lighting? I love all types of lighting! I love off camera light and natural light. My favorite lighting would have to be when the sun is going down and it is super golden and there are strokes of all different blues/purples/reds!
How would you describe yourself in three words? Passionate, Loving, Goofy yet driven
What has been the hardest thing to learn about photography/business? Of course the business part as well as getting things edited and back quickly. However, the huge difficulty for me is learning to balance your personal life with your passion for photography. The fact that your office is at home, you always feel you need to be working and tend to forget to document and enjoy your own life!
Do you use photoshop and if so, what can you not live without? For sure! I use photoshop to really pop my images
What is your most memorable photography moment? This last April, I went to the Jesh DeRox Life As An Artform! I spent a week in Seattle with some amazing photographers. Umm i love Seattle too fyi ;)! This workshop opened up my eyes to all the ways I could help people through my photography. We talked about personal growth, acceptance, and being a catalyst with our clients by facilitating an environment to open up and be free from judgment. I’ve seen first hand why even my couple sessions are filled with so many more intimate/real moments. I believe this can revolutionize relationships not only with others, but with ones self.
Do you blog-stalk anyone? For sure! My top three would be: Shan Renee, Our Labor of Love, and Kelly Moore. I think that its great to admire other photographers work and push them on as well!!
What is your favorite lens? I would have to say my 24-70mm 2.8. However, 16-35m gives amazing perspective to fashion/bridal images!
What is your story as a photographer (how long have you done it, what led you to start, etc.)? This is a rather fun story! When I was in school for speech pathology at Texas Tech, I went to Shan Renee to get some images taken for a gift to my parents. Upon meeting her, there was an instant connection and friendship!! I just knew that I wanted to be one of her best friends!! I admired her work so so much and truly was inspired by it! After this we went to dinner, coffee, and just hung out!! This led to getting to model for her in fun shoots and just push the envelope on fun things!! By doing this with her, I saw a side of photography I loved. I realized what photography could be and the endless options there are to style and truly make the images your own. I had expressed these things with Shan, and she offered to let me come along on a session and play with her 20D. Haha…… I was so nervous and had NO IDEA what I was doing on manual mode, but i felt a rush and an instant connection with photography. I find it funny how your stumble into things in life! I always loved taking pictures and documenting life, but never thought I would one day do photography. So it is pretty freaking cool that almost three years later I made a best friend and learned to do something I love!
Is there anything else you’d like us to know? As an photographer, you will always rip your work apart and have days when you just don’t feel good enough. Use these feelings to push you to be more/say more/do more with your photography. Never let them cripple the growth in you that is destined to be nothing but greatness!!