My "Pea of the Week" Interview (3/29/10)

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Posted 3/30/2010 by ~JustJulie~ in General Photography
 

~JustJulie~
Oh for the love of Peas

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Posted: 3/30/2010 1:43:03 AM
1. Who are you? Please include self portrait and links to other sites featuring you, like your blog, website, etc. Pimp yourself out!!

Confession... I haven't taken a self portrait in forever. Over a year. And this has been a super busy, crazy week for, me, so here's me (Julie Wolfe) from last year. I guess I haven't changed that much.



And a little more recent, Gus and me (OK, well maybe not THAT recent, it's from last June)



And most recent of me, from a great session with Chell (Chellshocked):



Who am I? First and foremost, I'm a wife and a mom. I'm very much a family person. I'm a do-it-yourselfer, wanna be interior designer, crafty, super organized, but always running around like a chicken with my head cut off kind of person. I have four fantastic kiddos... Emily is 9, Anna will be 6 next month, Molly recently turned 3, and Gus is 15 months.

Where can you find me? Probably in my minivan driving someone somewhere or cleaning up messes in my kitchen. But online... well, here mostly. I have a blog and I'm S.L.O.W.L.Y. working on creating a blogsite. Notice, I said very slowly. If you click on that link, there's pretty much nothing there. I'm just ready to ditch blogger and I hope that a new site will make it easier to find my templates (not that I've had time to create any new ones there, either.) OK, so I dream big. I'm just a little busy.



2. What inspired you to get into photography? And when?

Very simple, my kids. I started as a scrapbooker shortly after Emily was born and found this site (just check out my join date... I've been here a while). But in scrapbooking, I found myself always drawn to the layouts with big beautiful photos and never truly loved the pages I was making b/c I didn't love my photos. So scrapbooking was quickly dropped in favor of learning to take better photos, which has since turned into a rather obsessive hobby. I got my first dSLR in 2006 and I haven't stopped wanting to learn (and collect) more since.

3. What is your education? Degree? Self taught? Workshops?

Well, I have a degree in Sports Medicine, but that's not getting a lot of use right now. Everything I've learned about photography has been from the peas (and some google searches.) I kinda feel like one of those posters... "Everything I know I learned in Kindergarten." Seriously, this place is a wealth of information.

4. What kind of photographer would you describe yourself as?

I honestly can't describe myself as any "kind" of photographer. I'm just a mom who wants to take nice pictures of her kids. Of course, I've never said I was actually successful, but I can get some OK ones from time to time. My friends ask for photos here and there and I love to do them, and it's a nice change from always shooting my kids.

5. What kind of equipment do you use? Not every piece you own, but your favorites or use most often.

I'm a Canon girl. I have a Canon 30D which has been a GREAT camera for me (though I'm desperately dreaming of a 5D Mk II.) I have had a few different lenses, but now I only have Canon glass, and one L lens. Right now, I go back and forth between my 50mm and my 16-35. I really love the 16-35 indoors.

6. What did/do you struggle with the most?

Ummmm..... everything! I swear, I have a lot of days where I feel like I'm just NEVER going to get this whole photography thing. What I'm working on the most, right now, is getting good light, then nailing the focus and exposure. I'm tired of trashing photos that "would have been, could have been" had I nailed the focus better. And better exposure means less time in post. I'm headed back to basics.


7. What was your biggest a-ha moment? Can be something technical/camera-related, something personal as it relates to photography, or something you learned about yourself as a photographer.

Hmmm. Well, I've either had so many that they've become commonplace, or I've not had any really big ones, yet. But, I guess right now, since I'm working so hard to get my shots so much better SOOC, I'd have to say that a little light bulb has come on when it comes to recognizing the color of light. I just never really saw it before, you know? But it has made post processing so much easier.

8. Biggest lesson learned? Can be either about photography, the business, yourself, etc.

Photography, to me, feels much like a two steps forward, one step back kind of thing. The more I learn, the more I realize there is to learn. When I think I'm finally getting the hang of something, I find two more things that need improvement. So, despite the fact that my wonderful husband would like to see me making money doing something I love, and my friends who encourage it as well, I'm much more comfortable right where I am... learning. I don't have anywhere near the confidence in my abilities to produce consistent images and variety, and I guess I've learned from watching others who jump in too fast that my way is the right way for me.


9. What's your greatest triumph or achievement? Could just be opening your own business, awards, compliments.

Seriously, my kids. I'm so, so blessed to have them, and so thankful everyday that I can spend their childhood with them. But if I have to choose something photography related, then I'd have to say, in general, compliments mean a lot to me. I can be hard on myself, so when someone compliments of photo because it strikes an emotional chord with them, that makes me feel good. I know they aren't seeing the 2, 5, 15 things wrong with the photo, they just know they like it.

10. What is one of the most important mistakes you made that served as a basis for your progression?

Posing. I took some pictures for a friend once and it never occurred to me some of the little details in positioning that can make or break a photo. Most of the pictures I took sucked. It was an eye opening experience to me, not just because the posing was bad, but because it made me realize that it's not as simple as understanding the photographic triangle. There's so many things to be aware of when shooting. Which takes me back to my answer in #8.

11. What is it about photography that makes your heart sing and mind race with possibilities?

Emotion. I love to look at a photograph and feel completely immersed in it. I want a photograph to make me laugh, make me cry, to pull at my heart strings. And then I want to learn to be that photographer.


12. Which do you like better-taking the photo or processing it? Why?

Definitely taking. You either got it or you didn't. The focus and exposure are right or they're not. The photo "speaks" to me or it doesn't. Processing leaves so much open for interpretation. Don't get me wrong, I like to process a photo and take it from good to great, and I like to use processing to really bring out the feeling in a photo, but the good photo part has to come first.

13. What inspires you? Could be anything-other photographers, nature, art, music, people, etc.

These three little goofballs:



and this one (another Chell photo):



But I'm also inspired by other photographers. None specifically off the top of my head. I love to see if I can put my own twist on a photo I've seen elsewhere that really speaks to me.

14. What is something about you that we don't know? Could be something serious or silly-your choice.

My husband and I once were the "happy homeowners" for a home improvement TV show for HGTV. The episode was about how to tile a kitchen counter top. Unfortunately, it was a pilot episode and the show never made it on the air. But it was cool to be a part of.

Oh, and I can turn my arms around a full 360 degrees while keeping my hand flat on a table.

15. Can you share with us your loved ones? Especially if they have been featured in your work?

The whole gang. This was our Christmas card photo this year (I've shared it before), again, thanks to Chell for this one.



My pride and joy:



Emily (my busy little Irish dancer):



Anna (my little fashionista):



Molly (who just has to sneak in a photo, even when the set up isn't for her):



And my little Gus-man who's just growing up way to fast!



16. Can you share your top tip/technique with us?

That's a tough one. I really don't have any great techniques or tips that I can think of. If I had to pick something, I'd say to learn how to sharpen correctly for web. There's no one real, right way, but I like to start somewhere around 150-200|0.3|5 on a picture that's already been resized for the web. Nothing drives me more crazy than looking at pictures that are way over sharpened that they glow in the areas of highest contrast.


17. Who are you picking next and why?

This is even harder than the last question because there are so many peas that jump to mind. But ultimately, I choose Farrah b/c she's a great contributor to the board and she has such a great heart. I still can't thank her enough for sending me a replacement ballerina ornament for Anna when our tree fell over this past Christmas. Watching Anna's excitement when I gave her the new one was priceless.

18. Please share some of your favorite works with us!!

If you can believe it, lots more of my kids! They may not be technically perfect, but they speak to me for various reasons.















A macro I liked (I could definitely learn a lot from Lauren):



And a few random ones that I've taken for friends (and yes, I do have model releases):













jodar
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Posted: 3/30/2010 1:59:40 AM
Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself Julie. I really enjoyed your journey and lov to see any of your posts. You were one of the first peas to help me when I first showed up here and it has been so appreciated. I love that shot of you and Gus. I think that your images are lovely.
quote]But in scrapbooking, I found myself always drawn to the layouts with big beautiful photos and never truly loved the pages I was making b/c I didn't love my photos. So scrapbooking was quickly dropped in favor of learning to take better photos, which has since turned into a rather obsessive hobby. [/quote]
This really resonated with me as it made me realise - me too!
Thanks again for sharing your gorgeous famiy and story.


Jodie
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Meldan
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Posted: 3/30/2010 5:49:05 AM
Hey Julie...great read! I loved seeing your family, they're beautiful. It was great meeting you in PA and nice to read more about you. You're just as generous a pea as they come.


Melissa
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Posted: 3/30/2010 5:55:57 AM
Thank you for sharing!!



lbfritts
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Posted: 3/30/2010 6:24:46 AM
Great interview Julie! Love all your shots and info and insights.



bendedroad
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Posted: 3/30/2010 6:43:21 AM
Thank you for sharing. Always enjoy seeing photos of your lovely children and can relate to the 'love the photo' regardless of any photographic imperfections.


Nicki

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coolbeans
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Posted: 3/30/2010 6:45:08 AM
I was really looking forward to your share. You share so much on the board but this interview was so nice to get to know you and your family. Thank you for sharing you have a beautiful family. ~Jackie


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Molly C
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Posted: 3/30/2010 6:47:37 AM
I will always love you, Julie, because you encouraged me to start out with a 30D instead of the Rebel line.

Thanks for sharing!


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REBL
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Posted: 3/30/2010 7:20:21 AM
Thanks for the insight into your journey; learning can be such fun, and at the same time helping others. I find there is such joy in your pics of your kiddos; thier enjoyment coms across very well.Great captures!


Robert

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rachag03
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Posted: 3/30/2010 7:37:13 AM
Thanks for sharing, Julie! I've learned so much from you over the past couple years here.



paintedmoon
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Posted: 3/30/2010 7:40:55 AM
Julie, what a lovely interview...which is not surprising, because it came from such a lovely person! Your family shots are so wonderful (I also love the shot of you and Gus). And how cool is that your daughter does Irish dancing?!

One bad thing though....I've seen people do that "turn your arm around without picking up your hand" thing, and it is weird-looking! Ha!

Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Anne

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Posted: 3/30/2010 8:35:39 AM

Seriously, my kids. I'm so, so blessed to have them, and so thankful everyday that I can spend their childhood with them.


That gave me goosebumps! I love it and agree with you 110%, more and more daily. Thank you for that.

Thank you for sharing and taking time out of you busy life to share with us, you are awesome!!! Um... and looking that great after 4 kids? I could write a book on that one.



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Posted: 3/30/2010 8:39:08 AM
Loved reading about you...Great photos...I think you are too hard on yourself...you do lovely work!


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PaisleysMom
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Posted: 3/30/2010 8:39:19 AM
It was good to get to know you better Julie. Your kids are adorable. And I LOVE the name Gus.



Sugarmommy
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Posted: 3/30/2010 9:04:34 AM
You have FOUR kids, the 4th is only15 months?! You look AMAZING!

But besides that, loved reading about you. Your photo's and your family is beautiful! I love the picture where your daughters leg is peeking out of the door.
Thanks for sharing a bit of your self.


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Posted: 3/30/2010 9:15:08 AM
you are such a kind person, julie!! your family is just beautiful.


jodi

i feel like i'm taking crazy pills!


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karene
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Posted: 3/30/2010 9:24:39 AM
Thanks Julie! Your kids are so adorable, thanks for sharing them with us!



~ Karen


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Posted: 3/30/2010 10:56:12 AM
As a mom of four kids myself, this really spoke to me:


Seriously, my kids. I'm so, so blessed to have them, and so thankful everyday that I can spend their childhood with them.


You have a beautiful family and you look great.


Thanks for sharing a bit of your life and passion with us!


In Focus
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Posted: 3/30/2010 10:57:41 AM
Thanks for sharing your life with us! And girl, you do look amazing after 4 kids.

I have to tell you, that photo of your daughter's leg peeking from behind the door? It just speaks to me. Gorgeous.


Barbie


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myliesmom
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Posted: 3/30/2010 11:18:09 AM
Thanks for sharing about yourself Julie and your super cute kids!! Your pictures are all beautiful!


~Steph~

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Posted: 3/30/2010 12:05:23 PM
Thanks for sharing Julie, it was great. I love your work and appreciate the time you put in to cc. Thanks again.


~~ Corrie ~~

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Posted: 3/30/2010 12:36:15 PM
It was wonderful getting to know you better.


So, despite the fact that my wonderful husband would like to see me making money doing something I love, and my friends who encourage it as well, I'm much more comfortable right where I am... learning. I don't have anywhere near the confidence in my abilities to produce consistent images and variety,


Thanks so much for saying this. It's exactly where I am.

I love your images, especially the one of your daughter's foot peeking from behind the door. You and your family are beautiful.

Thanks for sharing!


Blessings, Rebecca





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Posted: 3/30/2010 2:43:07 PM
Loved learning your story and your humility is such an attribute.

hampton32
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Posted: 3/30/2010 3:12:02 PM
What a beautiful family and such a sweet interview!

I too especially loved the shot of the little leg behind the door.

TFS!


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Posted: 3/30/2010 4:23:34 PM
thanks for sharing...feel like I know you a little bit more now

Elizabeth


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darnold46
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Posted: 3/30/2010 4:36:16 PM
You have a beautiful family and a beautiful spirit!

Thank you for sharing yourself!!!


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Posted: 3/30/2010 4:36:22 PM
I wish I looked like that BEFORE I had kids let alone after having FOUR! You're amazing! One hot mama. TFS! Loved it! Can't wait to hear Farrah's interview.


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Posted: 3/30/2010 8:57:11 PM
I <3 you Julie! =) I ADORE your pics!

Umm...Yeah...I had the pleasure of meeting Julie last June and she really is even more beautiful in person! =)


I have to tell you, that photo of your daughter's leg peeking from behind the door? It just speaks to me. Gorgeous.


ditto this!


But ultimately, I choose Farrah b/c she's a great contributor to the board and she has such a great heart. I still can't thank her enough for sending me a replacement ballerina ornament for Anna when our tree fell over this past Christmas. Watching Anna's excitement when I gave her the new one was priceless.



awwwww.... I feel so honored!


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Chellshocked
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Posted: 3/30/2010 9:36:01 PM
Loved reading this. You are such a sweet heart and reading more about you is so fun. we need to get you on another HGTV show.. Would have loved to see you in the one that never made it to air!! I can't believe how fast Gus is growing!!


In my next life I want to be a photographer..
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traciegibbs
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Posted: 3/30/2010 10:23:27 PM
Awwww Julie, I loved reading your interview! You are such a sweet and special Pea You have a gorgeous family and I always love seeing your beautiful work


Tracie

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Skipper*J
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Posted: 3/31/2010 3:30:21 PM
JULES!! You're so cute! Yeah, what's this about having 4 kids and looking like a million dollars?! I'd love an ounce of your cuteness.

I really like your photography. You have great white balance, beautiful kids, and you capture their personalities so perfetctly.

I really enjoyed reading this! Sorry it's a couple days late, my MIL was in town, and I've not been on the board!

Cheers,
jewels



~JustJulie~
Oh for the love of Peas

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Posted: 4/2/2010 10:44:25 PM
I just wanted to get back to this and say a tremendous "Thank you!" for all of the compliments. I was so honored to be picked, so I especially thank Jewels for that. And the fact that she calls me "Jules" because usually only friends who *really* know me are comfortable enough to call me that. So I feel special, that even though I've never met you in person, you know me well enough to call me by a nickname.

I enjoyed reading everyone's comments, and loved writing up my interview as well. We travelled for spring break this week, so I had to get it done before we left, mixed in with all the cleaning and laundry and packing, and I think I finally finished up about close to 3:00am the morning I left. So, it was crazy, but fun. And since I've been gone all week, I've not had much time to check back in. But I also want to say that it's cool to hear that you like the photo of Molly's leg from behind the door. That was one of those split second 'I saw it and I snapped it' moments right before she disappeared behind the door and I'm SO glad it turned out b/c it's a moment that I could never repeat with the feeling I got when it happened. I'm going to work on that one and probably make it a canvas for their room, likely with a saying of some sort about dance, b/c it reminds me of a little ballroom dancer with the shoe and flow-y skirt. Princess something jumps to mind as well, but my little girls are going to outgrow princess at some point, and I want it to be more timeless.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and I look forward to reading Farrah's interview when I get back.



suzihastwo
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Loc: Washington

Posted: 4/2/2010 10:52:21 PM
You look fabulous for a mom of 4 kids. Beautiful family and photos. Thanks for sharing a little bit of yourself.
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