Pea of the week interview- Finally

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Posted 9/27/2010 by Chellshocked in General Photography
 

Chellshocked
I don't pea as much as I used to.

PeaNut 357,522
January 2008
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Loc: PA

Posted: 9/27/2010 7:16:42 AM
Thanks for picking me Susan!

1.Who are you? Please include self portrait and any links to other sites featuring you, like your blog, website, etc. Pimp yourself out!!
So as I sit to write this up I am afraid I will bore you all to tears so if you want to go grab some tissues for those tears please feel free to do so before reading on. My name is Michelle Leighton but most of my friends call me Chell. I'm 37 yrs old, Single, never been married and no kids. So That right there makes me a bit of an anomaly on this board and I do not have any built in subjects, which just means my collection of practice shots on dolls and stuffed animals is larger than some.

General Store

Blog

I work for an investment company in the technology side of things. I work on deployment of servers, day to day support, installations, and troubleshooting. Its about as boring as it sounds. However it does keep me challenged which is a good thing for me, I hate being bored which is probably why I used to switch jobs every couple of years till I started where I am now.

As for my self portrait I have to extend an IOU. My poor eyes are red and swollen due to allergies, as soon as they clear up I will take a new self portrait.


2. What inspired you to get into photography? And when?
I had always liked using a camera and taking pictures but it was High School where I really fell in love with Photography. When I was a sophomore in High School I dropped out of school and ran away from home. I ended up moving in with some friends and when I went back to school I needed some easier classes to round out my packed schedule. Everyone suggested photography because it was considered a "bird course" You fly right through it. I thought it sounded like fun and needed a few easy classes. So I borrowed a camera and that is when the real love affair with Photography began. I had an amazing teacher. Once I took all the classes available my teacher created a way for me to stay involved. I became a teachers Aide for my senior year and also shot stuff for the yearbook, and Senior slide show.


3. What is your education? Degree? Self-taught? Workshops?
Other than my high school classes (20 years ago) and one class at a local community college where I really just took it so I could spend time in the darkroom. I am mostly self taught from a combination books, online, you tube etc..


4. What kind of photographer would you describe yourself as?
I am set up as a legal business but thinking about closing up and going back to being a hobbyiest. I love what I do but hate the paperwork involved for a business. I went into business because I was doing a ton of corporate events but now with the economy being what it is and people not hiring for those events anymore I am in a position to go back to doing this as a hobby. I guess I am just your average general purpose photographer that is part of the over-saturation happening in the market right now.

5. What kind of equipment do you use? Not every piece you own, but your favorites or use most often.
I have a Canon 5D MKII and use my 40D as my backup. My 70-200 2.8 IS is my favorite lens just because it is so sharp. but I use my 24-70 the most and love my fisheye and Macro for certain things.

6. What did/do you struggle with the most?
other than the paperwork for being a business I would say post processing. I just have not had the time I need to dedicate to really learning photoshop and post processing in general.

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.
When I realized that for me personally it is okay that it doesn't have to be about how many sessions I can book, or how much money I can make but that its okay for me to set out to learn and grow just for myself, and take pictures because I enjoy it and it makes me happy. Oh and learning how to use a light meter was pretty eye opening..

8. Biggest lesson learned? Can be either about photography, the business, yourself, etc.
I learned this a long time ago and it is that being a successful photography business is more about what kind of business person you are then how good of a photographer you are. There are a lot of GREAT photographers out there that are barely making it because they are poor business people and there are mediocre photographers that are doing fantastic because they are good business people and know how to market themselves.

9. What's your greatest triumph or achievement? Could be just opening your own business, to awards, to a compliment. Honestly for me the thing that stuck with me was winning "photo of the week" 3 weeks in a row in HS when I first started, then I stopped entering. I had finally found something that I could do well at in a time of my life where everything sucked!


10. What is one of the most important mistakes you made that served as a basis for your progression? What I can only choose one. I have made so many over the years all I have grown from. One of the more recent is forgetting that friends can be the worst customers, wanting deals, and not paying on time etc...


11. What is it about photography that makes your heart sing and your mind race with possibilities?
The chance to capture that moment in time. One of the many times in peoples live they want to remember.

12. Which do you like better - taking the photo or processing it? Why?
Taking the pictures and trying to create things sooc that I love. Processing pictures is great too but I love taking the pictures.

13. What inspires you? Could be anything - other photographers, nature, art, music, people, etc.
Honestly I am inspired by so much, pretty much everyday I come in contact with something that inspires me. It could be music, blog stalking, an advertisement in a magazine, a movie, or TV show, other photographers, a field I drive by on my way to work, etc.. Other people's creativity is inspiring.

14. What is something about you that we don't know? Could be something serious or silly- your choice.
1. When I was 4 I was diagnosed with Kawasaki syndrome (Now commonly known as Kawasaki disease.) Back in the 70's when I had it there was no treatment, it was hard to diagnose, most children died from it and those that didn't were left with major side effects normally heart issues. I consider myself lucky to be alive and not have many long lasting side effects.

2. When I was a kid I wanted to be a race car driver, that could explain the lead foot I have..

3. I foster cats even though I am highly allergic.



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

Being Single, not having kids and having my mom and grandmother forbid me from taking pictures of them, I really don't have a whole lot to share. Here are a few that I can share though.


This was a little over a year ago It is my mom, grandmother, aunt cousin and her little girl.


This one is My 1/2 sister Susie, my dad, step mom, Sister-in-law Kristine and 1/2 brother Josh.



My half sister Susie and her DH Mitch









16. Can you share your top tip/technique with us?
Wow this is tough because so may things have been shared. I think the tip I would like to share is to Enjoy what you are doing. No matter what stage you are in on your photographic journey make sure to have fun. I think we put too much pressure on ourselves and it can suck the fun out of it. You can keep growing and improving while having fun.

17. Who are you picking next and why?
I'm picking jellymummy. I had a hard time picking so many great peas to hear from!!

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

My favorites tend not to be the ones that are technically great, what make them my favorites is the stories behind them, or the reasons they were taken. So here are a few randomly chosen favorites.


























THE END!


In my next life I want to be a photographer..
Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 40D, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8 macro, 15mm 2.8 Fisheye, 24-70 2.8L, 70-200 IS 2.8L, 28-135mm IS 3.5 -5.6, Tamron 28-300 3.5-6.3 XR Di IF, My Blog POTD | The General Store | The General Store facebook fan page | My website | My Facebook Fan Page | Zobbie's Photo tips

REBL
PeaFixture

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March 2009
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Posted: 9/27/2010 7:31:53 AM
Yeah Chell
Thanks for the glimpse of you and your photography; glad you stuck it out; It's so enjoyable not having pressure and being able to go at your own pace.


Robert

Building my Arsenal

5D MK III
Canon 800mm FD
Canon 8-15 4.0L Fisheye Zoom
Canon EF 200mm f/2.0L IS USM
Canon EF 400mm f5.6L USM
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM, Canon 500D Close-up Lens,RRS Focusing Rail
Canon MT-24EX Macro flash
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM
Canon EF TS-E17 4.0L
Canon 24-105~4.0L IS USM
Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L
Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM
Canon EF 2X II, Canon EF 2X III, Canon EF 1.4X III,Canon FD 2X-XAextender
Pro media Katana Gimbal Head;Pro media Flash bracket;
2 Alien Bees Einstiens;1 AB 400; CyberCommander 2 CVCSX; CST; CSR+; ST-E2 Tramsmitter,PW Flex TT5;PW Mini TT1;2 PW Multimax; 2 PW MC2's;2-48"Octaboxes;3HD Air cushioned stands
Sekonic 758 Meter; Spyder Cube; RRS CLAMPS,L bracket, pano head,430EX,580 EX II, Gitzo 2220 Tripod, 1127 carbon fiber tripod,1227 carbon fiber tripod, Manfrotto 410 geared tripod head, RRS BH40 and clamp;Gitzo Systematic Ball Head,Acratech Leveling base & Clamp, Hoodman Hoodloupe
Cotton Carrier, Manfrotto Autopole Background Kit, spare LE6 Battery, Jobo GPS
Wacom Cintiq 24HD; Genius 9x12 Tablet, LensAlign Pro, Gary Fong WhaleTail Studio Kit
PS7;CS4,Microtek i700 scanner

bendedroad
Nicki

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Posted: 9/27/2010 7:34:06 AM
Oh, I knew it would be worth the wait. Chell, thank you for sharing with us. Leaving home as a Sophomore in High School - that's a big one. I hope things are better between you and your family.


There are a lot of GREAT photographers out there that are barely making it because they are poor business people and there are mediocre photographers that are doing fantastic because they are good business people and know how to market themselves.


true! true! true! I have been waiting a long time for someone to say these words out loud in response to the many posts about 'why isn't my business working.yada yada yada...

Thank you.


Nicki

Nikon stuff!

The more I know, the more I realize how much I don't know!

Blogging at ---> bended road photos





jodar
mama to 3 now!

PeaNut 305,846
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Posted: 9/27/2010 7:47:49 AM


that being a successful photography business is more about what kind of business person you are then how good of a photographer you are. There are a lot of GREAT photographers out there that are barely making it because they are poor business people and there are mediocre photographers that are doing fantastic because they are good business people and know how to market themselves.

this really hit me as I have been thinking about this very thing this week. There is so much more associated with business that I am still figuring out as I go.
thanks for great interview Chell.


Jodie
my blog JLB photography FB fan page
In my bag: Canon 50D, Tamron 28-75mm f2.8, 50mm f1.8, 430exII;
On my computer: CS4, LR3
Feel free to hhcc me anytime!

WVButterfly
Ok, I have 5000 posts...now what?

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Posted: 9/27/2010 8:32:39 AM

I hope things are better between you and your family.


Huge ditto!

Chell, I really enjoyed your interview! It's so neat getting to know the peas better


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Carla
Sony A200 DSLR
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro
Sony 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 (kit lens)
Sony 50mm f/1.4
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Telephoto/Macro
Sony 75-300 f/4.5-5.6 Telephoto (it was on sale for $69.00...I couldn't resist!)
Sony HVL-F20AM flash

Jennifer G
BucketHead

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Posted: 9/27/2010 9:53:31 AM
Great interview Chell! It was nice getting to know yah a little better!


Jennifer G.

Pentax K200D,
Tamron AF 28-75 F2.8
Kit Lens Pentax 18-55mm F3.5-5.6,
Pentax 55-300mm F4.0-5.8,
Pentax 50mm F1.4,
Photoshop CS3

Molly C
PhotograPea Enabler

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Posted: 9/27/2010 10:14:56 AM
Yay for Chell! Thanks so much for your interview.


Molly

Nikon D700
Nikon lenses & flash, AB400 and softbox

Dewey06
Drink lots...PEA pale!

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Posted: 9/27/2010 10:39:51 AM
I love the fact you wanted a blow-off class and ended up falling in love!!! That rocks.

So glad to see you back again


Heather-Feather!

Canon5DMkII
24-70 2.8L
100 2.8L IS macro
135 2.0L
85 1.2L II
Fisheye 15mm
Tamron 70-200 2.8
Lensbaby Composer

CS4 on a calibrated Mac

My blog
Photography website
Woolywishes Etsy shop
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Dewey06
Drink lots...PEA pale!

PeaNut 276,190
September 2006
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Loc: Colorado

Posted: 9/27/2010 10:39:52 AM
I love the fact you wanted a blow-off class and ended up falling in love!!! That rocks.

So glad to see you back again


Heather-Feather!

Canon5DMkII
24-70 2.8L
100 2.8L IS macro
135 2.0L
85 1.2L II
Fisheye 15mm
Tamron 70-200 2.8
Lensbaby Composer

CS4 on a calibrated Mac

My blog
Photography website
Woolywishes Etsy shop
[error_in_url=http://www.facebook.com/pages/Woolywishes/193307734022795[/url]

Dewey06
Drink lots...PEA pale!

PeaNut 276,190
September 2006
Posts: 22,615
Layouts: 717
Loc: Colorado

Posted: 9/27/2010 10:40:02 AM
I love the fact you wanted a blow-off class and ended up falling in love!!! That rocks.

So glad to see you back again


Heather-Feather!

Canon5DMkII
24-70 2.8L
100 2.8L IS macro
135 2.0L
85 1.2L II
Fisheye 15mm
Tamron 70-200 2.8
Lensbaby Composer

CS4 on a calibrated Mac

My blog
Photography website
Woolywishes Etsy shop
[error_in_url=http://www.facebook.com/pages/Woolywishes/193307734022795[/url]

Chellshocked
I don't pea as much as I used to.

PeaNut 357,522
January 2008
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Posted: 9/27/2010 10:53:04 AM

I hope things are better between you and your family.


Yes things are better now, not great but better and it took years to get there. Oddly Photography is one of the things that helped me survive during that time. I always credit God with knowing what I needed to help get me through those dark times.


In my next life I want to be a photographer..
Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 40D, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8 macro, 15mm 2.8 Fisheye, 24-70 2.8L, 70-200 IS 2.8L, 28-135mm IS 3.5 -5.6, Tamron 28-300 3.5-6.3 XR Di IF, My Blog POTD | The General Store | The General Store facebook fan page | My website | My Facebook Fan Page | Zobbie's Photo tips

jellymummy
PeaAddict

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Posted: 9/27/2010 10:55:36 AM
Chell, thank you for taking the time to write out your interview. You are a very interesting lady! And thank you so much for picking me next, I don't know if I can be that interesting, but I'll try!

Kawasaki disease, seriously? Really glad you made it through as a child, hope it doesn't cause you too much difficulty now.


~Julie S~

"As I have practiced it, photography produces pleasure by simplicity. I see something special and show it to the camera. A picture is produced. The moment is held until someone sees it. Then it is theirs." - Sam Abell

Nikon D700; 35mm f/2; 50mm f/1.4; 18-200 VR; 105mm VR macro; 15mm fisheye; SB-900 flash

My photo Facebook
My website ~ Julie Anne Images


karene
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 9/27/2010 11:00:50 AM
Thanks Chell! I loved reading about you!


~ Karen


karene
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 9/27/2010 11:00:51 AM
Thanks Chell! I loved reading about you!


~ Karen


TREZmom
Lost and Found in Pea-land

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Posted: 9/27/2010 12:08:08 PM
Great interview and you've definitely lead an interesting life. TFS!



TREZmom
Lost and Found in Pea-land

PeaNut 138,098
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Posted: 9/27/2010 12:08:09 PM
Great interview and you've definitely lead an interesting life. TFS!



TREZmom
Lost and Found in Pea-land

PeaNut 138,098
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Posted: 9/27/2010 12:08:46 PM
Great interview and you've definitely lead an interesting life. TFS!



TREZmom
Lost and Found in Pea-land

PeaNut 138,098
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Loc: NC but wishing I was somewhere else

Posted: 9/27/2010 12:08:47 PM
Great interview and you've definitely lead an interesting life. TFS!



TREZmom
Lost and Found in Pea-land

PeaNut 138,098
March 2004
Posts: 6,558
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Loc: NC but wishing I was somewhere else

Posted: 9/27/2010 12:09:05 PM
Great interview and you've definitely lead an interesting life. TFS!



TREZmom
Lost and Found in Pea-land

PeaNut 138,098
March 2004
Posts: 6,558
Layouts: 2
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Posted: 9/27/2010 12:09:07 PM
Great interview and you've definitely lead an interesting life. TFS!



TREZmom
Lost and Found in Pea-land

PeaNut 138,098
March 2004
Posts: 6,558
Layouts: 2
Loc: NC but wishing I was somewhere else

Posted: 9/27/2010 12:19:51 PM
Great interview and you've definitely lead an interesting life. TFS!



TREZmom
Lost and Found in Pea-land

PeaNut 138,098
March 2004
Posts: 6,558
Layouts: 2
Loc: NC but wishing I was somewhere else

Posted: 9/27/2010 12:24:41 PM
Great interview and you've definitely lead an interesting life. TFS!



TREZmom
Lost and Found in Pea-land

PeaNut 138,098
March 2004
Posts: 6,558
Layouts: 2
Loc: NC but wishing I was somewhere else

Posted: 9/27/2010 12:24:42 PM
Great interview and you've definitely lead an interesting life. TFS!



shantel7
To pea or not to pea that is the question.

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Posted: 9/27/2010 12:31:19 PM


Shantel
Nikon D90
Nikon D50
50 mm 1.8
Nikon fisheye 10.5
Nikon 85 mm/1.8
Tamron 17-50 mm/2.8
18-55 mm
70-300 mm
SB800
My blog: Whatever
My Etsy: My Etsy

shantel7
To pea or not to pea that is the question.

PeaNut 355,331
January 2008
Posts: 11,548
Layouts: 89
Loc: utah

Posted: 9/27/2010 12:31:20 PM


Shantel
Nikon D90
Nikon D50
50 mm 1.8
Nikon fisheye 10.5
Nikon 85 mm/1.8
Tamron 17-50 mm/2.8
18-55 mm
70-300 mm
SB800
My blog: Whatever
My Etsy: My Etsy

suzihastwo
Going Up

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April 2007
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Loc: Washington

Posted: 9/30/2010 2:01:48 AM
Hi Chell, it's so great to know you a little better. Wow, Kawasaki disease, I've heard of that before, and glad you don't have any long-term symptoms.

Love your close-up shots too, just beautiful!

I can't wait to read about Julie next!

squaek
AncestralPea

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Posted: 9/30/2010 6:23:04 AM
Chell, great interview, it was worth the wait. It's so nice to learn more about you! I am glad that things have gotten better for you and your family, and am also glad to hear that your health hasn't hindered you too much. I love your pics, esp. no 4. Thanks so much for sharing!


Shauna P.G.
Geologists rock!

My Stuff:
Sony a900, VG-C90AM Grip, HVL-F36AM Flash, HVL-RLAM Ring Light, 70-400G
Minolta AF 16/2.8 Fisheye, 20/2.8, 24-50/4, 28/2.8, 28-70/2.8G, 28-135/4-4.5, 50/1.4, 50/2.8 Macro, Lensbaby, 70-210/4 Beercan, 80-200/2.8G APO, 85/1.4G, 100/2.8 Macro, 100-400 APO, 135/2.8, 500/8 Reflex
CS5, Calibrated with Spyder3Pro

Body by Sony...heart by the Minds of Minolta.

SJ Photography
PeaFixture

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Posted: 9/30/2010 11:51:23 AM
Love this! I love seeing your photos! Thank you for sharing!


Susan

Canon 5D, 24-70 mm 2.8, 85 mm 1.8, 50 mm 1.4, 100 mm 2.8

My Blog

katiescarlett
AncestralPea

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Posted: 9/30/2010 12:23:31 PM
I enjoyed your photos and your interesting interview. Thanks for sharing with us!



hampton32
PeaFixture

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Posted: 9/30/2010 1:22:24 PM
YAY for Chell!!!! Thanks for such a great interview. I'm going to have to google Kawasaki disease because I don't know what that is. Hope it doesn't interfere with daily life too much.

How could you possibly foster cats when you are highly allergic??! I think my brother would love to do the same, but he starts wheezing after being in my house for about 15 mins. It's too bad since he is such an animal lover.

And I am so excited that you picked Julie!! Something to look forward to!


~Carolyn

My Web Site
My Facebook Page
My Twitter
My Flickr Photostream
Canon 5DMKII, Canon 40D, some lenses, some lights, and CS5 on a calibrated iMac

craftyluv
Prayers: You need 'em? I've got 'em <3

PeaNut 365,669
March 2008
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Loc: St. Louis, MO

Posted: 10/4/2010 8:36:27 AM
Chell, it's so good to see you back here! I'm glad Julie's interview reminded me of yours so I didn't miss it. Your interview was a great read.



16. Can you share your top tip/technique with us?
Wow this is tough because so may things have been shared. I think the tip I would like to share is to Enjoy what you are doing. No matter what stage you are in on your photographic journey make sure to have fun. I think we put too much pressure on ourselves and it can suck the fun out of it. You can keep growing and improving while having fun.


This is absolutely perfect, so wise and profound.


Honestly for me the thing that stuck with me was winning "photo of the week" 3 weeks in a row in HS when I first started, then I stopped entering. I had finally found something that I could do well at in a time of my life where everything sucked!



I always credit God with knowing what I needed to help get me through those dark times.


I can't tell you how much this warms my heart!

Thank you for sharing yourself with us!


Blessings, Rebecca





My gear:
Nikon D700-a dream come true
50mm 1.8
70-200mm (old AF film lens)
Nikon D40-
18-55mm
55-200mm VR
Promaster 7400EDF flash
Close up macro filter set
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