@catchiappaphotography was selcected as Share Six’s highlighted guest artist for the January {Wide} theme. The whimsical wide image was really magical and such fun.  I took some time to connect with Cat to learn more about her.  

 

Tell us a bit about yourself?  and  Are you a hobbyist or a pro?

 

I have been married for 13 years and am a mom of two young children aged 5 and 2. I work full time as the Manger of Public Programs at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and teach college classes on the side.  I have a Bachelor’s in Music w/ Theater and a Masters in Museum Education.  I love to travel and we dream of taking our kids abroad to travel the world and see all of the wonders it has to offer. I am an aspiring pro.  I started out taking pictures only when we went on vacation.  When I had my daughter five years ago I started taking more photos and when my son came two years ago I fell deeper down the photography rabbit hole and started learning Lightroom and taking classes.  I’ve started to take on clients and would love to get to a point where I can do some free lancing on the side.

 

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This is real life.  I vacillate between lifestyle and documentary.  Sometimes I’ll give my kids some direction but others I just take shots as they happen.  This image was definitely a documentary shot.  I took my camera into Target a few weeks ago and has fun snapping some shots.  This one happened right before we got into the car.  My son was sad because he wasn’t holding the hot dog buns.  I am obviously a horrible person…oh the trials of being two! 🙂

Tell us a bit about your photography gear.  What is the lens do you not have but you desire to have the most?

 

I just purchased my first full frame camera last year.  I am a Canon girl.  I have the Canon 6D Mark II.  My first real lens was the nifty fifty the Canon 50mm 1.8 that I purchased about three years ago.  Prior to that I had no idea that good glass could have such an impact on an image.  Now I use the Canon 24-70mm 2.8l, the Sigma 24mm 1.4, a Lensbaby Twist 60 and the Canon 100mm macro 2.8l.  My new favorite hands down is the Sigma 15mm 2.8 Diagonal Fisheye.  I have coveted a fisheye since before I got a full frame camera.  I love the images it can create.  As for a lens I don’t have I would say something that I will need to add as my kids get older is a zoom so possibly something up to 200 or 400.  I would also love the Sigma 14mm 1.8 Art.

 

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This image is my kids to a tee.  They are goofy and sweet and the best of friends.  I love the black and white conversion because I think it enhances the detail and helps to tell the story of their shenanigans.

What makes you pick up the camera when you don’t feel like it?

 

Documenting the lives of my children and pushing myself to learn.  I have learned so much in the past two years but there is still so much more that I don’t know.  I love photography because it captures moments both big and small and is such a simple thing that can bring so much joy.  If I’m really having trouble I try to find a new adventure even if it’s just a shopping trip.

 

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One of the best things about my new full frame is that way it handles low light.  This image of my son’s second birthday this fall always makes me smile.  I could never have snapped it before my Canon 6D Mark II.

Black and white or color? Lifestyle or traditional?

Digital.  I appreciate film, but digital lets me know right away how a shot is going to go, which is really helpful when you are learning.  I love both black and white and color, but there is something about a really good black and white shot that just captivates me.  My shooting style is more lifestyle or documentary. 

 

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New Angle is one of my favorite shots.  I find one of the best ways to keep things fresh is to bring your camera into an everyday place like a store.  This was a hardware store that was going out of business.  My kids love to look at paint samples and I caught my son at just the right time.

What personal projects are you working?

 

I really want to take some images of my daughter in my wedding dress and I’d love to create a children’s book for my kids with them as the characters.  We call them NatureGirl and the Squirm.  I also want to try making family films this year and learn how to do composites.  Photoshop is a mountain I’ve been wanting to climb for some time, but it is really intimidating so I’ve been working up the courage to get started with it.  There’s so much to learn and try and so little time!

 

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This is one of the first times I really felt I got panning right.  My daughter was watching the carousel at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  I also entered this picture into the county fair for the first time and won first place in the black and white juried category which was a complete shock and a very pleasant surprise.

Most important thing you learned about editing.

 

Don’t be afraid to step away and come back to an image if you can’t get it right.  Editing is really tough and I think as photographers we are all constantly learning and refining our style.  It’s ok to try new things and find what works best for you. It’s also OK if your style doesn’t match in every image.  Push the boundaries and be bold! 

 

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Yosemite16 is the first time I rented a Fisheye.  We took the kids to Yosemite for the first time this fall and just let them run wild.  I bought my daughter this Red Ridinghood cape and not only did she love it, but it also looked wonderful in pictures.  When in doubt, get a cape! 🙂

Thank you Cat for sharing more about yourself with us, we really loved learning about you.  Your images are stunning.

Don’t forget that we will be changing our theme in a few days.  Check out the Facebook page and Instagram page for the new theme.