We are pleased to announce Loni Smith as August Photographer of the Month. See more of her amazing work on her Facebook!


What inspired you to use Woodland Albums? It was definitely the beauty of the Whimsical album. It fits right along with my brand, as if the album was made specifically for me. My photography has a whimsical, fairytale style and so I knew immediately that I had to carry the Whimsical and Legend albums in my studio. I love the look and feel of Woodland Albums, I feel like they’re so unique from anything else I’ve seen before.

 

What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of Woodland Albums? These words: natural, beautiful, earthy, fairytale, magical.

Share with us your favorite Woodland album and why. What materials/ options do you choose? My favorite is definitely the Whimsical album mainly because it’s so unique and when I hold, it feels how an heirloom product should feel. But the Legend album is a close second. The fact that it was styled after a leather journal is the best part about it!

What type of clients do you think will enjoy these albums? All of my clients! My clients hire me for magical photos. They want an album that matches the magic of my photos. Clients that like an organic feel definitely enjoy these albums.

Any suggestions for Woodland Albums? Your products are amazing, the production time is awesome, and I would only suggest to keep expanding in the same direction – unique albums that have a natural look.

 

How long have you been a photographer? I’ve been a photographer for almost five years.

How did you discover your passion for photography? When I was pregnant with my 4th child, I decided that I wanted to try to take some styled newborn photos of her. So I did what almost every one else does when they start – I set up a sheet as a backdrop, put my camera in auto and took pictures every day. The more I shot, the more I learned and when I finally moved from auto to manual mode, I knew I was hooked. By then, I was breathing, eating, drinking photography. For anyone that is just dipping their toes into the world of photography, don’t give up!  It’s so worth the wild ride to learn and fine tune your craft.

How do you define your style? Whimsical, fairytale, magical. I started out doing what everyone else was doing. It took me a few years to really figure out my own style. I was shooting mainly newborns and was buying all of the most popular props and backdrops. Then, I asked myself, when deciding between two newborn photographers, what about my work would make a client choose me over the other photographer? I then decided to step out of my comfort zone and learn composites. I thought about all of the themed pictures I would love to have of my children and started to offer these specialized sessions to my clients.

What would we find in your camera bag for a typical shoot? 5 lenses, gray card, reflector, bug spray,  toys and some boring stuff.

Your favorite lens? My favorites are my 50mm 1.4 for in the studio, and my 70-200 2.8 for outdoors.

Share with us your favorite image and why. My favorite image is a photo of my two youngest children on a unicorn. I love this photo because it’s of my babies, I love the colors, the expressions, the outfits, the little added detail with the butterfly and the all around magic of the photo. My baby didn’t want to sit on the horse’s back, but for one amazing moment, we got her to sit calmly. I had one chance to get this shot and I was tickled pink that I got it AND it was in focus.

When you are shooting—how much of it is instinctual versus planned? I’m a spur of the moment type of person and a horrible planner. I do plan out ideas before the session, but I’m the most creative when I get to just wing it. I’d say about 80% of my shooting is instinctual. I might come in with a loose plan, but I generally settle for going with the flow and taking cues from the children that I shoot.

What are some of your rules of thumb in photography? Emotional impact matters more than anything else. Take three images of the same pose before moving on the next pose. Always shoot with face swaps/composites in mind.

Whose work, photography or otherwise, are you inspired by and why? My friend and photographer, Kris Doman, is a huge inspiration to me. (krisdoman.com) I have worked along side her. Not only is she the kindest photographer I know, she’s also so creative and helpful. She has encouraged me so much and has always respected me and made me believe that I can be an amazing photographer.

What is it you like the most about being a photographer? I love being able to create my own worlds. I love capturing the innocence and joy of childhood. I love showing proud parents pictures of their precious babies. And most of all, I love being able to create something that people can appreicate for years to come.

If you weren’t a photographer what would you be? I was a stay at home mom before photography, I am still a stay at home mom, and if I wasn’t doing photography, that’s what I’d still be. Nothing is more important to me than being home with my five kids. I feel so blessed that I get to still be a stay at home mom and have this creative outlet as well.

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