We are pleased to announce Liz Beisell / Inspirations By Liz Photography
as our June Photographer of the Month.
12×12 Dark Brown Leather Legend Album
Fine Art Watercolor Paper
What inspired you to use Woodland Albums? I’m obsessed with the gorgeous raw leather cover paired with the watercolor paper. It’s unique and something all my clients have expressed a lot of interest in.
What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of Woodland Albums? Well, I always think of the Legend Album immediately. It’s a really unique piece that makes me think of vintage pieces from a magical, whimsical world.
Share with us your favorite Woodland album and why. What materials/ options do you choose? Definitely the Legend Album. I can’t wait to explore some of the other albums, but I’m so in love with the Legend album, I almost don’t even want to offer my clients anything else, it’s already so perfect! I LOVE the dark leather with the watercolor paper. The images are vibrant and look SO luxurious and high end. I love how thick the pages are and the raw leather is just to die for. I haven’t tried the Whimsical Album yet, but it’s definitely one I’m looking forward to being JUST as gorgeous and I know my clients are eager to see a sample of it, too!
What type of clients do you think will enjoy these albums? All. Of. Them. Everyone who has had a chance to look through my latest one has expressed how much they want one and how stunning it is. From couples to families to newborns, these are perfect for all kinds of portrait photography!
Any suggestions for Woodland Albums? The albums are so gorgeous, it’s hard to wait the 2-4 weeks to get them! I found myself literally marking down the days on my photography schedule just until I could get my last order in! I’d love to see a faster shipping time! Though I know: good things are worth the wait!
How long have you been a photographer? I’m pretty convinced I was born a photographer. My dad took landscape and nature photography and I’ve adored looking at his images my whole life. I’d take photos on any camera I could get my hands on for as long as I can remember. I started seriously pursuing portrait photography about 7 years ago, though.
How did you discover your passion for photography? My grandpa had a hallway of my dad’s prints hung in his house. Every time we visited, I remember walking down that hall and just staring at all those gorgeous pieces. Sometimes Dad would tell me some of the stories about them, like how he was almost washed away by a giant wave while trying to capture the water crashing into the rocks, or how he had to shoot upside down to get a macro shot of a praying mantis. When I was 12 he took me out and taught me about the exposure triangle and we took photos of tomatoes and chamomile on our little 35mm Minoltas for a county fair. We printed, matted, and submitted them. Honestly, I wasn’t very good. Neither of my images even won a participation award! But I remember being SO proud to see MY work. I tried here and there to find some creative expression and when my second daughter was born, I couldn’t stop. Portrait photography spoke to me louder than any other type of photography I’d tried before then. In a way, my dad and my daughter discovered my passion for photography before I did.
How do you define your style? Sweet, whimsical, and emotional.
What would we find in your camera bag for a typical shoot? My Nikon D750 (his name is Norris the Nikon!). If I’m shooting in studio, I usually use my Nikon 50mm 1.8 or Tamron’s 24-70mm 2.8. If I’m shooting outdoors, I’m in love with Tamron’s 70-200mm 2.8!
Your favorite lens? The 70-200mm 2.8. There’s a reason it’s so popular! That being said, the 50mm has been a workhorse for me and definitely the most versatile lens I own.
Share with us your favorite image and why. This is such a hard question, my favorite image changes almost weekly! But I chose this one because it was for a bereavement session I recently did. The couple lost two twin boys and I was able to capture their birth. The story in the emotion the father is expressing is one that can’t be recreated, faked, or planned. Not all baby bassinets are filled and loss touches dads too. It’s a raw side of people that we all try too hard to hide and it was a bittersweet honor to be there to capture it for these guys. It reminds me that photography isn’t always about feeling great, it’s about telling people’s stories. I hope to tell the story of their rainbow baby next.
When you are shooting—how much of it is instinctual versus planned? Oh I go to EVERY shoot with a detailed game plan. I used to have a little notebook and handwrite PAGES of flow poses and prompts and composition. If I’m shooting in studio, I plan out which backdrops are going to be paired with what kind of lighting and which to do first. And then I get there and it all goes out the window! Sometimes I’ll glance at a shot list so I can make sure I’ve got all the poses the client is hoping for, but everyone moves differently, interacts with each other differently, and has different idiosyncrasies. I try to plan, but most of it is instinctual and really based off of my clients. But I like to FEEL prepared beforehand!
What are some of your rules of thumb in photography? It’s less about perfection and more about emotion, once you set an intention for your shoot everything else falls into place, and to check your headspace before each session. What you create is a reflection of what’s inside.
Whose work, photography or otherwise, are you inspired by and why? Sue Bryce and Meg Bitton for SURE! Sue Bryce is such an inspiration for me because her story isn’t “I am an amazing photographer and make lots of money.” She had to fight for her confidence and find herself before she could find success, and in doing so, she perfected shooting with very minimal equipment and encourages and builds other photographers. Meg Bitton’s work is STUNNING. But I LOVE how she is passionate about the success of other photographers. She’s vulnerable and tough. Both of these women genuinely LOVE what they do and it carries over into how they treat their fan base and clients. And I’m so inspired by my kids. Every mom is, right? But those 4 little humans create works of art literally every day, and they aren’t burdened by insecurities that keeps all their creativity locked up. My older two pretend to take photos every time we are out ANYWHERE and if that isn’t an inspiration to me, nothing is.
What is it you like the most about being a photographer? Feeling like a Time Lord. Just kidding. I know it’s cheesy, but I really feel like I’m making a difference. When a kid sees a photo of themselves as a large wall piece that is hung in their homes, not only does it create a talking piece between child and parent (what kid doesn’t like talking about how great they look?), but it builds confidence. That kid sees that they have been invested in and they are their parent’s greatest works of art just as they are. I also like how I feel after I’ve been shooting. I’m happiest when I’m creating things and photography allows me to be a better wife, teacher, mother, and person in general.
If you weren’t a photographer what would you be? Probably a lonely, depressed, crazy lady with way too many cats and no social life. For real though, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Photography has brought me out of my lowest times and I don’t think there’s anything else that calls to me like photography does.