I had the pleasure recently of speaking with and interviewing photographer Sara Norris out of New Mexico. Sara has contacted me quite awhile ago, and amass the chaos of a newborn, I still had her bookmarked to check out.
Sara is an absolute sweetheart, I hope you enjoy our chat, and her amazing work!
DecorAddict: Hi Sara! The first question I have for you is this: how did you become a photographer?
Sara: I think was born to be an artist. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing, coloring, or doing some sort of craft. When I was a kid I would run around the house with my pink plastic camera taking pictures of anything that would hold still. I couldn't wait until I got the film developed to see what I had created. From then on I always had a camera in my hand.
I took photography classes during high school and spent countless hours in the darkroom. I was even a photographer for the yearbook. When I graduated I couldn't think of anything that would make me happier than to spend my life as a photographer and artist. I enrolled in school at Brooks Institute of Photography and graduated with a degree in Commercial and Advertising Photography. After an internship with a commercial photographer in Boston, I realized that my heart was in portrait and fine art photography.
I love what I do. Photography is my passion in life. Nothing makes me happier.
DecorAddict: I know exactly what you mean! I'm finally following my dream too, although I little bit late in life, but I'm happy to report that I'm finally doing what I love! Sara, do you have a favorite subject to photograph, or theme that you like to follow or use?
Sara: Congratulations on following your dream! Its never too late to start doing what you love.
I don't think that I consciously follow a theme, but looking at my work, I can definitely see that I am drawn to certain subjects. I find so much beauty in nature: flowers, trees, light and landscapes. I tend to photograph my surroundings and I have just recently started photographing vintage neon hotel signs. I live in Albuquerque and Route 66 runs right through the city so there are so many hotels and amazing old neon signs.
People also fascinate me. My approach to portraiture is very photojournalistic. The same old "Say Cheese" kind of picture is not really my style. I like to just watch people and capture those little moments that make them who they are.
DecorAddict: Yes, I agree with you 100%. Posed portraits are just not very appealing anymore are they? I know that you also author a blog, when did you start blogging, and what is it about?
Sara: I started my blog a little over a year ago. Its a great way for me to let my customers know when I'm working on new projects or when I've added new images or items to my Etsy shop. I just had my first ever giveaway on my blog and I plan to have more promotional offers in the future. I also post my favorite images from my portrait sessions as a little sneak peek for my clients. I look at blogs all the time for inspiration and to see what's new in art and design. So I hope, one day, to be able to expand my blog content to include the things that inspire me in my life too.
DecorAddict: If you could spend a day doing something you love, other than photography, what would it be, and why?
Sara: It would be great to go to the beach for the day. I used to live in California and I love everything about the ocean: the smells, the sounds, the sun, the sand in my toes. I would just lay in the sun and walk along the shore all day. I live in Albuquerque now so there is no ocean nearby and I really miss it.
DecorAddict: As you have followed your own dreams and passion's in life by pursuing your love of photography, do you have any advice for someone wanting or trying to do the same?
Sara: Following your dream is a scary endeavor, but I learned at a young age that life is too short not to do what you love. I work harder and more hours now than I ever have in my life. But this has been the most rewarding decision that I have ever made for myself. It can be stressful, but every day I wake up and feel so blessed that I am doing what I love. Someone gave me a card once that has an amazing quote. It is now on the bulletin board above my desk.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Unknown
My best advice is to do it, take the plunge, pursue your dream, but be prepared. Make sure that you have money put away to get yourself started and make a budget. You'll be glad you did. Also, have a plan and goals for your business. They can be short term or long term. Be organized. This will save you so much time. Having a mentor is a great idea. I worked with several successful photographers before I decided to set out on my own. This really helped me to see what it takes to run your own business. Lastly, don't get discouraged! There are always going to be ups and downs. Just stay positive. Remind yourself that this is what you love and don't give up.
Thank you so much Sara, it was great to talk with you!
If you would like to see more of Sara's work, you can visit her at any of the following locations online:
Website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, & MySpace