Inspired, A Very Special Project | Molly Flanagan Photography
I have a special treat today!! Molly is one of the most inspiration lifestyle photographers I know and I am besides myself getting to show her off today. Molly is all heart. Its apparent not only in her images but her gorgeous ability to capture life. The light, the natural setting, her amazing connection with her subjects just leave me in awe. She is just amazing!! Let’s get right to it!
And because Molly is amazing she provided one of her first images for us!
“This was one of my first practice sessions with a friend on her daughter’s first birthday in 2009. I brought lots of props including balloons, tutus, a cool chair, necklaces, and tons of other stuff. Edited with probably several layers of textures and I am sure some Pioneer Woman action!”
Lets get to know you! How would you describe yourself in three sentences?
I have a southern accent and am addicted to sweet tea. I love Jesus, my husband of 10 years, and my 3 beautiful kids. I really like to take pictures.
What sparked your passion for Photography?
For my high school graduation present, my dad gave me a Nikon SLR. I didn’t think much of it until I went to Western China a couple of years later. I saw so many incredible things and it was so different from anything I had ever experienced. I wanted to capture every sight, sound and smell. After that trip I carried my camera with me everywhere I went. I fell in love with the idea of documenting life, but I never thought I was bright enough to learn to shoot in manual. I eventually got a digital point-and-shoot camera and when my first son was learning to crawl, I was so frustrated by the shutter lag between attempting to take the picture and the picture actually taking. I had dozens of pictures of the back of his head! So I had a little part-time job and saved up for an entry level dSLR. I wanted to be able to use it without the pop up flash, so I never did turn the camera to “auto”. I found a tutorial online and just kept working at it until it clicked. That was about 6 years ago. And it has been a daily mission to challenge myself to learn more.
Whats in your camera bag?
5d mark II, 35mm f/1.4L, 24mm f/1.4L, 50mm f/1.4
What Camera/Equipment did you start out with?
Canon Rebel, 50mm f/1.8
If you could only use one lens an entire session which one would you choose and why?
Absolutely the 35mm. It is wide enough for good storytelling compositions but not so wide that the corners distort much. I would never use a different lens for working with families.
What advice would you give to someone just beginning in photography and hoping to have a business of their own?
I wish I would have waited longer to start my business. I see a lot of people (myself included) that are tempted to jump into having a business before they are really confident in who they are as an artist. On the other hand, all of the photographic experience I have gone through over the last few years have helped me find my voice, and I am thankful for that. No matter if/when you start, I think if you shoot from your heart, shoot for yourself, and don’t pay too much attention to what your peers are doing, you will find your voice and have something worth sharing.
What was your first official Photographer crush if you had one?
Lets see, well I’d have to say my very first photographer crush was William Wegman. I was in middle school and I was obsessed with his pictures of weimaraners. 🙂
What kind of photos do you like to take for just yourself when not working with clients?
My kids, of course! I like to take photographs that truly capture what it feels like to live with them.
If you could photograph absolutely anyone who would it be dead or alive?
I would have like to have photographed my dad’s parents before they passed away. My mom’s parents are still living, but live on the West coast. I would love to photograph them in their home.
Describe your style in 3 words.
real, honest, descriptive
Most embarrassing moment on a session would be?
I can’t think of one during one of MY sessions. But when I was pregnant with my 3rd baby, my friend took pictures of me with my two kids. My then 2 year old threw a small rock at my friend’s 24-70mm lens and scratched the glass! I was mortified.
Any challenges you have had to overcome to be where you are today?
I guess finding my own voice has been a challenge. I tried lots of different things and sort of weeded out what I didn’t enjoy. I actually wanted to do posed newborn photography at the beginning. Every day I have become more and more confident in what I like and what I want to say.
Favorite time of day to shoot is?
First thing in the morning when the light is shining through the windows. I love the feeling of a new day… before I have had a chance to screw anything up! Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).
If you had to stop taking photos right now, what would you do instead?
Probably clean my house more.
Have you attended college or had any formal education in Photography?
Nope, no formal training.
What do you do to get your clients to relax with you?
I try to have very little expectations for anyone I am photographing. I don’t want to pose or manipulate, but I do want them to be comfortable just being themselves. I approach my time with clients as an opportunity to hang out and meet new people. I try not to think about the end product. Just spending time with someone that God created and loves deeply.
What are your photography related goals for 2012?
I have put my business on the back burner this year and am only taking on projects that really inspire me… stories that I really want to tell.
How do you push yourself to keep growing and learning? Any Big Aha! Moments?
I think anytime you start to feel like you are in a rut or are feeling uninspired it means you are ready for the next level. So when I start to feel discouraged, I try to remember that if I press on and keep digging, I will unearth something amazing. To me, it isn’t so much about the photographs, it is about the process.
Biggest Photography related insecurity?
I have no formal training, most of the time I just shoot how I want and don’t think about what photographic “rules” I should be following. Yet, sometimes my mind wanders and I wonder if maybe I have it all wrong? Like, what if I met with some big-wig art critic? He would tear me apart, I think.
How do you set yourself apart from other local photographers?
I don’t think there are many photographers in my area that shoot the way I do. Storytelling really is a niche style and I don’t ever expect to be overwhelmed with people wanting me to shoot their story. But I am at the point where the people that do ask me to shoot for them are 100% into my style and it is usually a great experience because they know they can trust me and I can trust that they will be as open and honest as possible.
What do you think your next photography related investment will be?
If money were no object I would like a laptop. Also, I did get to play with a 5d mark III recently and it was really nice. The shutter click is like butter. Oh, and I would like a 135L. And while we are at it, let’s throw in some new memory cards.
If you had to recommend ONE thing that a photographer needs in their camera bag what would that be?
What would you say inspires you most about Photography?
I love that you are capturing something tangible– something that is really happening– and making it subjective. I don’t think there is a way to make a truly objective photograph. The artists personality and beliefs always plays a role in the final product, and I think that is really amazing.
Favorite Color: Light Tan
Favorite Season: Fall
Biggest Guilty Pleasure: Homemade mac&cheese
Pet Peeve: When my kids say, “huh?”
Favorite Pandora Station: I am glad you asked this question. I am a huge Grooveshark fan. Why don’t more people listen to Grooveshark? You can make your own playlists, and I love it. But, if I don’t want to think for myself, I have a Mumford & Sons playlist and a Matt Redman playlist that have been good to me lately.
Studio or On location: In people’s homes
What did you want to be when you grew up? An art teacher
One thing no one knows about you is: I have one blue eye and one green eye
Pc or Mac: PC
Lightroom Or Photoshop: Lightroom
Film or Digital: Digital
Props or No Props: No props
If you could travel anywhere it would be: South Africa and India
Glass Half Empty or Half Full: Half Full
Favorite photo ever taken:
This picture of my kids 2010 is one of my favorite images that I have taken. It was towards the end of a month long picture-a-day project. I love how it captures a typical moment during this season of our life. I love that I can see the details of their rooms and what they liked to play with. Since taking this picture I have rearranged furniture, switched rooms around, and added another child to our family. This picture is full of tiny details that mean so much to me.
Raw or Jpeg: RAW
Favorite Music to Edit to: I usually edit in silence. My days are loud, I enjoy the quiet.
Favorite Quote: “Take one step at a time, every step under Divine warrant and direction. Ever plan for yourself in simple dependence on God. It is nothing less than self-idolatry to conceive that we can carry on even the ordinary matters of the day without his counsel. He loves to be consulted.” – Charles Bridges
Processing Style: As natural as possible. Film like.
Coffee or Tea: coffee in the morning, sweet tea in the afternoon.
If you could photograph a Celebrity who would it be? I’d like to do a storytelling session with the cast of “Growing Pains” circa 1987.
What kind of Camera bag do you rock? Ketti Bag. I love-love-love my Ketti Bag.