|Posted: 10/19/2009 8:47:12 AM|Who are you ?
My name is Jason Walkowiak I am 31 and truly enjoy the outdoors and hanging out with my boys.
I have been married to my wonderful wife Darcy for 10 years, we also have two really cool kids Cameron who is 7 and Keaton who is 4.
I like to see myself as someone that is always up for an adventure or a challenge. I am finding as I am getting older that sense of adventure or the thought of change really makes me stop and think .
We LOVE to camp, we pretty much camp every weekend in the summer, so I really pretty much enjoy anything that goes along with the outdoors.
A few years back I joined the POTD world, I had no idea how hard that is to keep up with it but I love being able to go back and look at the past year. Within the last month I joined the world of Facebook I tried to resist (the whole change thing) but so far it is going "ok". I also have been a member of NILMDTS for the past two years. I can not express how grateful I am to be a part of this organization....
2. What inspired you to get into photography? And when?
Back in college we were "forced" to take a photography class along with our classes in the media field. I actually really enjoyed photography, I liked the developing and processing of the film. After college I was broke like many others right out of school, so I really did not think about photography for many years. Once we had kids both my wife and I would get so frustrated with the shutter lag of our point and shoots. We have some really awful pics of our kids posed with a green sheet behind them with BAD wrinkles and such. At the time we thought they were outstanding! About 4 or 5 years ago we purchased out first Rebel XT to catch those little guys running around, and have grown from there. Darcy is a huge scrapbooker so we always had the camera with us at gatherings and such and people kept asking for us to take their photos and such.
3. What is your education? Degree? Self-taught? Workshops?
Neither my wife or I have a degree in photography, mine is in Electronic Publishing. Since purchasing or first Rebel there have been tons of hours reading, practicing and going to workshops. Thinks seem to change so rapid at times it is impossible to keep up. I find I learn the best if I can just get out and play, I screw a lot of shots up but I usually learn something new all the time.
4. What kind of photographer would you describe yourself as?
I have no idea!!! I know what I am not and that is a wedding photographer, I have no desire to do that at all. Way too much pressure for me. We mainly shoot maternity, kids and grads. I wish I was a rock star grad shooter like some of you but they always seem to turn out more traditional style. I want to be able to get more creative with my resources. I think I probably enjoy shooting maternity/newborn the most out of everything.
5. What kind of equipment do you use? Not every piece you own, but your favorites or use most often.
I love my Canon!!! I have a 40D along with a bunch of other stuff, I really struggle with what my favorite lens it. I really like my 50mm 1.4 (for studio stuff) but I use my other ones a lot as well. I just don't have one lens that I would be crushed about if I didn't have it.
6. What did/do you struggle with the most?
POSING (afraid I am going to end up on awkward family photos)!!! My wife and I work very well as a team and pretty much always shoot together. She does 99% of the posing, I just draw a blank when it comes to what is next. We have little cheat sheets and ideas but I might as well throw them away. I can look at them and it is gone. I know I just need to practice more to get more comfortable with it but for the time being and the amount we shoot it works awesome to do it as a team. Darcy will usually pose and spot while I shoot. We can be pretty efficient and I usually know the look she is going for once she gets them set.
7. What was your biggest "A-ha" moment? Cam be something technical/camera-related, something personal as it relates to photography, or something you learned about yourself as a photographer.
Mine has got to be figuring out the "exposure triangle". That made everything click for me. It makes so much sense now.
8. Biggest lesson learned?
ALWAYS close your camera bag before moving it. I dropped my 50mm on the asphalt one time. I was moving my camera bag and it feel out and hit the ground pretty hard. I could not imagine if that would have been an L series lens. You can spend a lot of money in repairs for a one second mistake.
9. What's your greatest triumph or achievement?
I love making someone cry because of a photograph I've taken or created - Is that wrong? I would say also opening our photo business and having a dedicated studio, it seems to make it so much more of a "real" thing for me. Now if we could get our process down so I don't spend so much time on post processing.
10. What is one of the most important mistakes you made that served as a basis for your progression?
Charging too little, and selling myself short. I would make a horrible salesman. I hate taking money from people, I work very hard for the money I have and I just hate to see other people have to spend their hard earned money as well. I wish everything in life could be free lol!
11. What is it about photography that makes your heart sing and your mind race with possibilities?
Just grabbing my camera, I love seeing things through the view finder. It is pretty sad that I will see something when I don't have the camera with me and I wonder what it would look like in the view finder!
12. Which do you like better - taking the photo or processing it? Why?
Taking the photos!!!! I have a hard time sitting still long enough to go through them all. I have an issue with over shooting a little... ok a lot.
13. What inspires you?
I would have to say there have been a few photographers that have really inspired me and given me some great ideas to run with. You peas have been a huge inspiration to me. Living in MN we have the four seasons so it seems like something is always changing and is a good opportunity to go shoot it. When it comes to editing I have to have some tunes on, it just makes everything flow smother. It is always so fun to see what you get after a shoot!
14. What is something about you that we don't know?
This is totally not photography related but my wife and I had fertility issues and spent several years and lots of that green stuff to have our two kids. I can not imagine life without them. I am so thankful that our prayers were answered and we have two awesome kids... and as Great Grandma says "they have such nice ears, they turned out so nice lol" she doesn't really get the whole process.
15. Can you share with us your loved ones? Especially if they have been featured in your work?
Most of you have seen most of my family from my POTD but I will post up a few of my favs!
I forgot my two four legged members.... I will have to grab them later
16. Can you share your top tip/technique with us?
For me I achieve the best focus by almost always using the center focus point and doing a "focus recompose" for so long I was using the other points and they just were not getting as sharp as I wanted them to be. This has made all the difference for me.
17. Who are you picking next and why?
Tracie Gibbs (traciegibbs) Tracie has always been so helpful and is so great a leaving a comment or feedback. It seems like even if she can not answer 100% she will comment so the poster can get some feedback. She has been a very helpful pea to me and to many others as well! Thanks Tracie!
18. Please share some of your favorite works with us!!
This is going to be hard, I have taken a lot of shots but I don't have a ton that scream "this is my best work or my fav"... I will see what I can do! Thank You for this opportunity!
Loc: WDW Florida
|Posted: 10/19/2009 8:59:26 AM|Very nice! Thank you so much for sharing a part of you with us.
Ancient Ancestor of Pea
|Posted: 10/19/2009 9:03:39 AM|
Hey Jason, it was so fun to read about you and your photography journey!
I think it's wonderful that you shoot with your wife - it sounds like you two make a great partnership, and you're blessed to have someone who shares your interest as much as she does. And I love the shots of your boys - such personality!
Bless you for your work with NILMDTS. Good karma coming your way....
|Posted: 10/19/2009 9:03:42 AM|Thanks for taking the time to write that, Jason, and for being our first male Pea of the Week! You have a gorgeous family! I love the way you talk about your kids - you sound like you are an amazing father.
Sigma 50-150 2.8
580 EX Speedlite
and a bit more, but a mile long wish list!
Ancient Ancestor of Pea
Loc: Boston, MA
|Posted: 10/19/2009 9:07:03 AM|
Hey Jason! Thank you so much for sharing some of yourself with us! I love these pea "interviews", and I love hearing how we all ended up here from such varied places and backgrounds!
As for the photos -
LOVE LOVE LOVE the yoga momma shot - it is great!
The dogs are great, too, and your boys are adorable!
Loc: South Carolina
|Posted: 10/19/2009 9:16:33 AM|Thank you!! That was totally awesome!! I love how you and your wife are a team- that is my dream(too bad my DH doesn't want to do it) And what an amazing story about your kids! I can just imagine with the emotion you shared with us how wonderful you are with NILMDTS.
I your photos! The mommy doing yoga is priceless!! And the doggy on the dock
Loc: tornado alley
|Posted: 10/19/2009 9:21:58 AM|That was really interesting and enjoyable Jason! Thanks for taking the time to share your life with us.
Wishing I was in Ireland
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
|Posted: 10/19/2009 9:22:58 AM|
Thanks, Jason, for sharing with us! And can I say that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that shot of the tunnel in the fog?
"All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke
Loc: central IL
|Posted: 10/19/2009 10:06:28 AM|Loved getting to know you better! I love to hear how you and your wife are a team!
I had to laugh at this
and as Great Grandma says "they have such nice ears, they turned out so nice lol" she doesn't really get the whole process.
What is it with great Grandma's and ears?? My Great Grandma was all about ears, it was the first thing she checked on every new baby in the family!! when we were old enough to my dad and uncles would "pick us up by the ears" we would hold their forearms and hold our own weight but they would just hold our ears. This made Great Grandma so upset, she was sure it would give us Donkey Ears!
*When insPEAration calls you .. Answer it!*
~they make the weather and then they stand in the rain and say "Shit, it's raining!" ~
~Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply, Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.~
Drink lots...PEA pale!
|Posted: 10/19/2009 10:14:38 AM|
So fun to read more about you and that shot of your family is so cool! Also...that dog on the dock? AWESOME angle/perspective and processing.
100 2.8L IS macro
85 1.2L II
Tamron 70-200 2.8
CS4 on a calibrated Mac
Woolywishes Etsy shop
Loc: the cowboy state
|Posted: 10/19/2009 11:03:49 AM|
It is so nice to read about you and see some of your work! You have a beautiful family. Oh and the maternity image of the girl balancing on her head is fantastic!!!!
Canon 5D mkII/ Canon 5D/ Canon 24-70mm 2.8L,/ Canon fisheye/ Canon 50mm 1.4 and Canon 100mm 2.8/ CS4
|Posted: 10/19/2009 11:11:43 AM|Thanks for sharing Jason! Nice to meet your whole family and love that yoga shot too!!
Loc: West Virginia
Thinking Hap-Pea Thoughts
Loc: Pacific Northwest
|Posted: 10/19/2009 11:23:23 AM|Jason, this was so fun to read. Your family is just beautiful, and I LOL'ed about Great Grandma saying their ears are so nice Totally sounds like something my Grandma would've said.
I love that you and your wife enjoy this together and the mischievous expressions on your boys' faces
I can't believe you chose me, now I have to take a picture of myself, lol! Thanks for the kind words though, that made my day
I'm a Nikon Girl!
Ancient Ancestor of Pea
Loc: Sometimes GA, sometimes NC, Wyoming whenever possible!
|Posted: 10/19/2009 11:31:25 AM|
I am so enjoying these interviews! You have a great looking family and I enjoyed your photos so much--especially the tunnel in the fog.
1 DH, 1 DD, 1 DSIL, 1 DS and 1 Beagle
Nikon D7000 | 18-270mm VR | 70-300mm VRII | 105mm VR micro
I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. Will Rogers
Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for. Will Rogers
Loc: Guildford, England, UK
|Posted: 10/19/2009 11:56:04 AM|How lovely to get to know you You have a couple of vintagey-looking senior pics in there which I really LOVE!
"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
Loc: On the road
|Posted: 10/19/2009 12:02:53 PM|
Nice getting to read about you. What great shots of your family. Wow I love the dog on the dock and the tunnel.
Prayers: You need 'em? I've got 'em <3
Loc: St. Louis, MO
|Posted: 10/19/2009 12:15:15 PM|Great interview, Jason...such a fun read!
It's so incredibly wonderful you and your wife shoot and run photography business together.
I don't think it's wrong that it makes you happy when someone cries over their images...(unless, of course it's not happy tears. )
Your boys are adorable and have a lot of personality.
Thanks for sharing your images. I said "Holy Moly" out loud when I saw the yoga momma. I also love the dog shots.
And I literally clapped my hands with delight over your choice of Tracie Gibbs for the next POW.
Thanks for sharing yourself with us.
Nikon D700-a dream come true
70-200mm (old AF film lens)
Promaster 7400EDF flash
Close up macro filter set
Loc: Central Coast, CA
|Posted: 10/19/2009 12:15:40 PM|
So good to know more about you and your family. I love that you shoot with your wife! Your kids are too cute. The shots you shared are amazing, can't even begin to pick a favorite. I love the processing on the dogs on the dock though. Nice work!
Loc: Roy, Utah
|Posted: 10/19/2009 12:25:54 PM|Great interview, Jason! I LOVE that Yoga pose maternity shot. Incredible! That comment from your Grandma is hilarious!
I can't wait to hear from Tracie!!!
Life in Moments Photography Blog
Canon 40D!!!!!, Canon XT, Canon 18-55mm, Canon 50mm 1.8
For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. - Audrey Hepburn
|Posted: 10/19/2009 2:26:31 PM|
Yay for getting to know you better! Your kids are precious!
50 mm 1.4
85 mm 1.8
Tamron 28-75 2.8
mama to 3 now!
|Posted: 10/19/2009 2:50:06 PM|
Thanks for a great interview Jason. It is lovely to learn more about you. I think your photographs are fabulous. I love the yoga maternity shot! wow! Your boys look like they are lots of fun!
|Posted: 10/19/2009 4:03:35 PM|
I love reading these each week! (And I have to say, the maternity photo of the headstand is so original and I <3 it!)
Loc: Central Valley, California
|Posted: 10/19/2009 4:17:18 PM|I am loving these pea of the week threads! Jason, it is wonder that you and your wife get to share this The yoga pose made me start, I have never seen that before.
My Blog: Better Than Real Life
Canon 7D ~ Speedlite 430EX ~ CS5
Canon 50mm f1.8 ~ Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro ~ Tamron 28-75mm f2.8
Canon 75-300mm f4-5.6 ~ Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6
Loc: Erie, PA
|Posted: 10/19/2009 4:32:38 PM|
Great interview. Its so funny that you mention you struggle with posing. The shots you shared look so nicely composed and some certainly different posing going on. Was that yoga pose your wife's idea. that is just a crazy wonderful pose. ~Jackie
|Canon 7D and XTi
The important thing is not the camera but the eye.
Loc: Spring, TX
|Posted: 10/19/2009 8:39:21 PM|Jason, Loved your interview. You have a beautiful family. Thanks for sharing a part of you with all of us!
Canon 5D, Canon Rebel XT
100 mm 2.8 macro
85 mm 1.8
50 mm 1.8
|Posted: 10/19/2009 9:07:50 PM|
it's great to 'meet' you Jason! Thanks for sharing a little bit about yourself here!--It was great having a guy share with us!!
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,
Loc: Central USA
|Posted: 10/19/2009 9:26:15 PM|
Jason, you are awesome! Thanks for sharing. I love your Golden's!!
you take very nice photo's.
Can you share what an exposure triangle is?
can't wait to read about Tracie next!
|Posted: 10/19/2009 9:39:24 PM|
Every week I enjoy reading about all the talent here on this board! I loved learning more about you and your family, Jason! Thanks for sharing your background and photos with us!
|Posted: 10/19/2009 10:22:08 PM|It is so nice reading about the Peas. Your family is beautiful as are your pictures!
|Posted: 10/19/2009 10:39:07 PM|
So much fun to read about you Jason and your wonderful family! Enjoyed learning of your photography journey and how you have come to the place you are at with your studio and clients.
I pea a lot...
|Posted: 10/19/2009 10:51:01 PM|Awesome interview! It's actually pretty funny...I was reading it and thinkng to myself.."me too...oh yeah, me too...wow, me too...I can't believe it, me too"...LOL I swear I could have written pretty much the same thing word for word...except for the fact that I don't have a wife and two boys...but I do have a husband and two girls(concieved with the help of fertility treatments). LOVE the yoga maternity and the dragonfly! Can't wait to hear Tracie's now!
|Posted: 10/20/2009 1:45:01 AM|
Nice to meet you Jason, how wonderful that you and your wife can enjoy doing photography together. Love that maternity photo of her on her head. Sheesh, I can't do that even without a baby sticking out of me!
|Posted: 10/20/2009 10:41:48 AM|
Nicely done Jason. Thanks for sharing.
Nikon D300,Nikon D90,Nikon D40x,70-200 2.8 VR,50 1.8,SB600,55-200 VR,Tamron 28-74 2.8,Tamron17-35 2.8-4,lightroom 2,PSE5,AlienBs,SB 800 &600
Lost and Found in Pea-land
Loc: NC but wishing I was somewhere else
|Posted: 10/20/2009 11:10:21 AM|
I really enjoyed reading about you and your love for photography. YOu have a beautiful family and I love the comment about the ears! (so cute)
|Posted: 10/20/2009 1:38:18 PM|Thanks for sharing yourself with us...=) and I have to say that I absolutely love the yoga momma shot...
Never look down on anyone unless your helping them up...
Nikon D80 w/grip
CS4 Extended & Lightroom
|Posted: 10/20/2009 6:55:08 PM|How fun!!!!
I only wish that the hubster would be as in to photography as I am. (At this point he just shakes his head and moves on to hunting or fishing or somthing that makes sense to him).
I love that you two get to share that.
Your boys are super cute and I too laughed out loud about Grandma's comment. It totally sounds like something DH's Grandma would say. When our DD was born she went on and on for months about how lovely and long her fingers were... "that baby has such beautiful long fingers... she's gonna play piano... you mark my words..."
And I'm so glad you picked Tracie for next week.
I got to meet her in Denver. She is the sweetest pea ever and I just love her. I'm super excited for everyone else to get to know her the way us Denver gals did.
She's definately one of those special few people that just makes your life better by knowing them.
My POTD Blog
My Photography Blog
**** I'm a Nikon Girl****
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
Nikkor 85mm f/1.8
Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5
Nikon Speedlight SB-600
And my Bees!
|Posted: 10/20/2009 7:06:27 PM|
This week has been busy so I am little behind in my usual PEAing, but I really enjoyed your interview. You have a great looking family and how neat for your boys that you camp so much. When our kids were younger, we camped as often as we could, and they still talk very fondly about those times. Nice memories to make and have.
I love all of your photos, but my favorites are the dogs on the dock. I love everything about those.
Great job and thanks for sharing with us.
|Posted: 10/20/2009 8:16:48 PM|
Jason - Great interview! You are an awesome photographer and your story is awesome. It sounds very familiar! My hubby is the photographer and I am his poser.... processor.... and overall helper I guess. It is so much fun being part of a team!
Your boys are adorable! We also went down the long road of infertility......... no fun at all - but finally I have a 10 month old!
Thanks for sharing - my favorites are the golden's on the dock and your maternity shots are great!