1. How did you get started in photography and when did you start your business?
Like a lot of photographers I got started years ago thanks to the arrival of many nieces, nephews, and then 2 little boys of my own! I just couldn't stop taking pictures! I very quickly found myself obsessed with photography and not just taking photos, but I LOVED editing images and making them come to life. I officially started Angela Merchant Photography in November 2013.
2. Where are you located? Do you have a studio space or do you shoot on-location?
I am located in Wichita, Kansas! I have an in-home studio that I use for newborns, babies, and children.
3. What do you shoot with and what are your favorite lenses?
I shoot with a Canon 5d Mark III and my favorite lens inside my studio is the Canon 35 1.4L. For outdoor shots I love my Canon 70-200 2.8L II.
4. Why newborn photography? Do you photograph anything besides newborns?
I find newborn photography to be quite challenging and I love that! I feel it gives me the most reward and excitement and it keeps me striving to learn and improve! I also love being able to capture this very small and brief moment of time! It goes by so fast! In addition to photographing newborns, I also photograph babies, children, maternity, and families.
5. How would you describe your style and where do you find your inspiration?
My style is still evolving but I would have to say that I prefer simplicity. I use a lot of monochromatic color schemes and simple set ups. I feel safe with neutral color palettes but I also like to mix it up with some splashes of color. I would say my inspiration comes from many things! I am inspired by many of my fellow photographers and sometimes my inspiration can come from something I see in nature. Oftentimes for me though, it is just a feeling I get before a session and I just go with it!
6. Have you taken any photography workshops and/or training?
I have done an online maternity and newborn workshop with the amazing Ana Brandt! I have also taken newborn editing classes from Milk & Honey and Amy McDaniel from Dewdrops. My 2015 goal is to take at least one in-person workshop...maybe two if I am lucky.
7. Where do you like to shop for your props? Do you have favorite vendors?
I shop for my props all over the place! Antique stores are by far my favorite for unique props. I also shop at Target, Marshalls, & TJ Maxx for blankets, throws, and baskets.
Some of my favorite online vendors are TFJ Designs, Roses and Ruffles, HandmadeByYarnOver, Pearl Props, Sew Whimsey, and Just Hatched Designs.
8. Please share with us your top 5 favorite images! Why are they your favorites?
1) This was the first image out of my camera. She was so peaceful and relaxed all wrapped up!
2) I love the way the red wrap and headband compliments the dark floor in this one! One of my all time favorites.
3) Also another favorite, I love the basket, the headband, the pose! Everything!
4) I don't do a lot of black and white images but this one really speaks to me.
5) The back rolls! Need I say more!??
9. What are three things you wish someone would have told you when starting out?
1) Don't be afraid to reach out to other photographers for help or advice. We all started somewhere and most good photographers know that and remember that. Also, don't feel like you cannot be friends with other local photographers because they are your "competition".
2) Investing in expensive equipment is not enough...you must invest in your knowledge and I promise you, it will make all the difference.
3) Do not buy props until you have defined your style. I have wasted a lot of money buying props that don't suit my style or vision.
10. What is your photography site and NewbornPhotography.com url?
11. What are your favorite things about NewbornPhotography.com?
My favorite thing about the NewbornPhotography.com community is the critique board and the forum! The feedback you get is always so kind and helpful! There is not another community like this one! I have been a member for 6 months and I love it!
12. Lastly, tell us about YOU! Who are you, other than a photographer?
I am a wife of 8 years to my high school sweetheart, Andy. We have two rowdy little boys, Preston and Pierce. I am a graduate of the University of Kansas! My degree is in Psychology with an emphasis in Biology. I am a huge KU basketball fan - ROCK CHALK. I love Mexican food and chocolate - not together but I'd be willing to give it a try! I am pretty laid back and don't take things too seriously. I am the middle child but I don't think I have middle child syndrome. I love being outdoors but I am not a camping kind of girl. Lastly, I love to laugh and my kids make me laugh harder than I've ever laughed before.
Would you like to be our next Spotlight Photographer? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Spotlight Photographer.” We look forward to featuring you!