I have been privileged to know, online, the woman behind the fantastic website Stephanissima Creates for several years. She is a musician, writer, photographer, and a delightful person.
Me: Thank you, Stephanissima, for joining us today. I’ve been looking forward to this interview very much.
Stephanissima: Aw, thanks! I’ve been looking forward to it too. I’ve never been interviewed before. This should be fun!
Me: Could you tell us something of the way your life’s journey has brought you to using photography as an expression of your creativity?
Stephanissima: My foray into the photography world was quite by accident, really. I wasn’t interested in doing anything other than buying disposable cameras for vacation photos that would hopefully find their way into my scrapbook. My mom had been bitten by the photo bug and after her skill level surpassed what she could do with her Nikon Coolpix 4300, she got a new camera and gave me the Nikon. I experimented here and there and at some point, I got sucked in. (It has to be some undiagnosed addiction. Haha!) I’d get positive responses after posting photos, so I kept going. I think my music shots inspired me most of all. It was kind of a way of filling the void when I wasn’t in orchestra.
Me: Do you carry a camera with you everywhere?
Stephanissima: I try to. When I don’t have one, there’s usually something cool that I wish I could get a picture of. So it goes. Oh well, life isn’t all about capturing every single moment.
Me: I suspect your camera is much more sophisticated than my simple point-and-shoot digital. Do you have a variety of cameras, lenses, filters?
Stephanissima: I seem to have this knack of picking expensive hobbies: photography, climbing, orchestra, scrapbooking, etc. 🙂
I’m not at the point of getting cool lenses and filters yet. The Nikon was retired in 2010 (it had a good run–6 or 7 years!) after I wanted something with better zoom and more megapixels. Enter the Panasonic ZS5. Still a point and shoot, but I wasn’t looking for a big DSLR. I wanted something portable. The camera has done a great job. I got a second point and shoot back in December, the Panasonic LX5. It’s provided some new fun and challenges. I’m slowly working my way up. One day, I’d love to use a Canon 5D Mark II or something similar. That camera’s amazing.
Me: What sort of subjects attract you? Do you look for patterns, shapes, colors? How do you compose a shot? Are most of your photographs posed, or candid?
Stephanissima: I’m most attracted to music/musical instruments, landscapes, animals, food, and small stuff. That doesn’t mean other things don’t catch my eye! I don’t usually look for patterns, though some of them can be very intriguing. I suppose I look mostly at colors and shapes.
I’d say at least half of my shots are candid. The ones that aren’t usually involve instruments. The people shots are usually candid because I haven’t done enough posed shots to feel comfortable with that yet.
Me: I have been to your website, and have seen the creative things you do with your photographs. Do you do quite a bit of editing and adjusting after the photo is taken?
Stephanissima: The only time I really want to do a lot of adjusting is when I’m playing with Photoshop or GIMP. Otherwise, I try to take good shots so I can avoid editing later. It doesn’t always work out like that. I’ll say I don’t do much editing.
Me: I understand that you sell prints of your photographs through your website. I am very concerned about copyright online, and wonder if you could say a few words about how copyright issues impact your work?
Stephanissima: There’s a reason why my work has my name annoyingly in the middle of it. I wish people wouldn’t steal work. It makes everything more complicated. The following sentence needs to be drilled into everyone’s heads: Please ask if you want to use something from anyone. It’s good manners and a good habit to get into. Even if you get a no, go ask someone else. Someone will say yes.
Me: If someone is interested in your work, how may they contact you?
Stephanissima: They can head over to stephanissima.smugmug.com and click on the contact link. Also, I’m getting into web design. Just thought I’d throw that out there in case anyone wants to ask me for help. I’m still learning, but I might be able to steer you in the right direction.
Thanks for interviewing me today!
Thanks so much, Stephanissima, for doing this interview! I’ve learned things, and I’m sure my readers have. And now I’m going to go back to your website and look at your amazing photography again!