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@alimobo was selected as our Featured Artist for the theme {Autumnal} and we wanted to learn more about Alison and her photography journey.

Tell us a bit about yourself?  And, are you a hobbyist or a pro?

Hi! I am a wife and Mom and I love photography (of course), music, and stretchy pants (ha)! I would like to say that I am both. I have been a professional photographer for seven years and I just moved 500 miles away a few months ago and just started my business back up. As a professional photographer in the Charlotte area I specialize in lifestyle photos of families, newborns, branding and more. I also do a lot of personal projects.  I am currently working on my fourth Project 365 (taking a photo every day for a year) as well as trying to do at least one self portrait a week for the year. My daily photo is often of one of my kids, but it can be nature, a self portrait, still life, etc. I keep it very open as a way to give myself lots of freedom. 

This is a self portrait from January after I was just published for the first time! 

What inspired you to pick up your camera initially? 

My Dad had a nice camera when I was little, which I thought was very cool. I had always enjoyed taking photos, but I didn’t learn more about photography until I was in high school. My high school had a dark room where we could develop our own images, which was so neat. I used film then as well and my Dad’s camera of course. They only offered two photography courses, however, my senior year I ended up doing a third as an independent study. I loved it! I used to take photos with lots of juxtaposition. I had a friend wear a fancy prom dress, but stand or sit in front of a falling down barn. I still had a lot to learn, but that was my start. Later, my husband gifted me my first DSLR and I got into the Click Community. I learned a lot that way and really enjoyed the community as well. 

Here is one of the self portraits I did this year – one with my children too! They are getting to be too big to take baths together, but they still love it. I didn’t think I had any images of me giving them baths so I knew I had to set up the tripod to get some before it was too late. I was so glad I was able to get the movement of the water because most parents know when you give a bath you don’t walk away dry. I am very thankful for images with me and my children so that we (them and I both) have those in the future as well. 

How do you improve your technique?

I know I mentioned these things before, but the Click Community really helped me learn a lot as they offer a lot of courses as well as Breakouts and other information. I think my 365 Projects helped me the most though. When you are taking photos every single day you are learning so much. And each day is different. One day you may learn something about light that you never knew or start to notice shadows in a new way. Using your camera often is so important to growing. 

This is my daughter after she got her haircut (I know, it’s still very long). Anyway, the stylist curled it and she felt so beautiful and confident and I just loved that so I had to get her showing it off in front of my camera. I chose my Lensbaby Edge 35 for this shot because I wanted a really special flare. I love how it almost frames her as well as the movement and colors in this one.

Most important thing you have learned about editing?

I do enjoy editing, especially seeing the before become the after. I think the most important thing I have learned is to just keep trying new things. I used to edit in a completely different way when I started my business as well as when I did my first 365. But the more I took photos and the more I edited, the more I found my voice. The editing is just as important in your style as the photos you’re taking. I have also watched videos of others edit to learn a lot of trips and tricks in Lightroom – many from the Click Community and Click Photo School. 

This shot was completely candid. I did not tell them to sit there or next to each other or to cuddle up with a blanket. I found them this way and had to grab my camera. I love it in black and white as I think it keeps the focus on them rather than distracting with any colors. I just love this moment that they were in together and that I was able to capture it.

Secret weapon. Or piece of advice that’s helped you?

Something that I have found to be really important with growing as a photographer or doing a Project 365 is to have your camera out. Keep it somewhere safe, but have it out where you can grab it. I actually have all of my lenses on a shelf so I can quickly change them out if need be and my camera lives on my desk ready to be used. That way when inspiration strikes you are ready to go! The other secret weapon is COMMUNITY!!! I can’t tell you how many friends I have made through photography. Find a community – any community! In 2020 I applied to become a Click Pro Elite and was accepted. The world wide community they offer is HUGE! But even if it’s a few other people in your neighborhood or city. You will learn so much by talking about photography, teaching each other, asking questions, and encouraging each other!! I can’t say enough about the importance of having a photography community!! 

I am doing a neat project where you take a photo in the same spot once a month for the whole year. This photo shows my spot from January. It’s right on Lake Norman and it actually snowed (which seems to be rare for this area). My kids were LOVING it. I love the scale of this to show the tree, the water, and the pretty sky, but that you can still tell me kids are running around and playing.

Why photographs? Why not painting? Or poems? Or, for that matter, statutes or taxes?

I think photography has always been it for me (not just because I’m not as strong of a drawer or painter), but because it freezes a real moment. Do you know what my Dad often does when we go visit my family? He pulls out the photo books. I am a very nostalgic person and will always find the importance of photographs. They live on, they tell stories, they move people, and they are real. They make you FEEL. And you can’t get those moments back, but you can have photographs to take you back to them. I have always described photographs as time machines and I am so grateful that I have so many but that I also get to give others that gift as my job. 

I chose this image because I love the light and shadows in it. We moved a few months ago and these plants are still sitting in their boxes from then. I love the storytelling of it and that I will know this is February because we put homemade hearts upon our windows.

Thank you Ali for sharing your story and your beautiful images. Congratulations on being published in the Click Pro magazine.

We look forward to seeing your images on our Facebook page and our Instagram Page.  The theme this month is {Revive} for so tag us with #sharesix_revive for another 2 weeks. The theme will change on April 6, 2022.