I was able to catch up with Jen Rinaldi recently and twisted her arm into taking a few minutes to share her thoughts on the CB Thursday Thoughts. Jen really has some cool work and a super positive energy that is just infectious! Make sure you visit her blog and website and share your thoughts with her. In the meantime, here’s what Jen had to say:
Q: Everyone always wants to know some of the basics, so letâ€™s get a few things out of the way at once hereâ€¦ 1. How long have you been a photographer?
A: Iâ€™ve been â€œintoâ€ photography since I was 6 years old when my parents gave me this old brown boxy camera to use and then eventually I graduated to my very own 110 which I still own! Iâ€™ve been â€œseriousâ€ about photography as a hobby since January of 2007 and turned it into a side business Oct/Nov of 2007
Q: Old boxy brown camera eh? What about now? What are you shooting with… Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax or some other brand?
Q: Argh…a Nikonian in my midst again. Maybe I can get lucky with computer affiliation? Mac, PC, or Linux?
A: Iâ€™m a PC girl all the way!
Q: Yay! (ALthough I do work cross-platform so that was a winher either way! Off the beaten path now: Chocolate, Vanilla, or Strawberry?
A: Ohhh, I like when they have all 3 together! But if I had to choose today Iâ€™d go for Strawberry!
Q: Hmmm…that does sound like a good combination. I should try mixing flavors more often! Anyway, back on topic… photographers often enjoy hearing helpful and constructive critiques of their work, as we are aware of how much we can grow from it. However, weâ€™ve also all had the â€œnice shotâ€ and â€œcoolâ€ comments when weâ€™ve shared our work. With that backdrop set, what would you say was the singular most useful critique or comment youâ€™ve ever had on work youâ€™ve shared publicly?
A: Thatâ€™s a tough one as well. Iâ€™ll answer it by saying that I canâ€™t recall ONE specific critique but I wonâ€™t leave you with just that. I was a moderator for a photography forum for over a year and sharing my work there is the one thing that tremendously improved my photography skills. I learned anything from photography basics to advanced techniques all through this forum. They honest feedback and criticism received is what helped me to learn. On top of that formed some permanent bonds with many of the members who constantly help me by sharing new techniques, giving me feedback on my work, and answering my off the wall photography questions!
Q; Well, my next question is normally “Who said it?”, but that doesn’t really apply now…or is it a specific group of people that helped?
A: Most of the regulars on the forum because my critiquing audience and gave honest feedback on how to improve my work with each and every post to the site.
Q: Cool! I’ve done forum work too. It can be challenging balancing forum administration and photography stuff though – especially when it comes to critiquing. If someone was asking you for an honest critique of their work, what 3 factors would you look at most (excluding friendships or family relatives, weâ€™re talking professional or fellow photographer-types here)?
A: Uniqueness, composition, and post Processing
Q: Got any war stories from field shoots or outings that you can or would be willing to share?
A: Nothing I can think ofâ€¦
Q:. Ahh…well, give it time, you’ll have some eventually! Well, moving right along, I’ve set the stage with others by noting the advances in software to the point where you can almost create stunning images without ever leaving the computer. So, if you had to choose between the gear or the software as the only way to create, which would it be and why?
A: Wow, now that is one is a tough one for me. I love to be creative with the gear and the lenses but I think that coming from an art background (drawing, painting, graphic design) I tend to make my vision come to light through software after the shoot is over. I try to start with the gear and shoot it just right and then add my personal touch afterwards with the software to make my artistic vision come light.
Q: So, it sounds like you really do use both to achieve your visions. Very cool! If you had to pick three pictures out of your entire portfolio to represent your approach to photography, or your artistic vision, which ones would you pick?
A: Jason, youâ€™re making this VERY hard on me! 🙂 Itâ€™s so hard to pick 3 out of tens of thousands of images that youâ€™ve poured you heart into. If I had to pick one genre of photography to shoot over and over again it would be HDR. I have always held this photo as my top ranking HDR photo. I took this photo on the day I attempted HDR photography for the first time and it still holds the number one ranking for me no matter how many more I shoot:
This is THE first HDR I ever shot on the same day as the photo above:
And because Iâ€™m a portrait photographer this one is a top favorite of mine (but itâ€™s very hard to pick because I have one favorite photo from every portrait shoot I do!). I love this one because he is one of my oldest friendâ€™s son, you canâ€™t beat those gorgeous blue eyes, I love the DOF, and how could anyone not love the little fish lips heâ€™s making?
Q: Wow! These are amazing shots – and those baby blues just make your heart melt! Wonderful shots here Jen! Any final thoughts youâ€™d like to share about the state of photography or any catch phrases that you keep in mind when shooting?
A: Mike Palmer mentioned this in his interview, as well, and Iâ€™m going to elaborate on what he said by mentioning that if youâ€™re breaking into the photography world and want to learn more – join a forum! If youâ€™re not into the forums then create your own Photography blog and get out there and join the blogging community we have going! The forums changed my life photography-wise and I can hardly go a day without posting a writing a new blog post visiting my â€œblogging friendâ€™sâ€ blogs! Itâ€™s everyoneâ€™s encouragement that keeps me going!
Great ideas here Jen – forums, blogging, and collaboration are the learning tools I enjoy most too! Hey, thanks for taking the time to sit down and share your thoughts with the reading audience. We’ll be back next week with a new edition of Thursday Thoughts and another photographer! In the meantime, Happy Shooting! Hope all your shots are good ones and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow!