I currently live in the Santa Monica mountains of Los Angeles with my two amazing daughters, Savannah and Shiloh, and our sweet yellow Labrador Retriever, Carerra.
On my first trip to Europe when I was 13, I took my dad’s film camera with me and was immediately in love with documenting the world through my lens.
My love, experience, and knowledge of photography grew, even more, when I was on the yearbook staff in high school as the sports editor. I photographed the games and developed my images in the darkroom, wrote the stories, and prepared them for print.
It was not until years later that I actually considered becoming a professional photographer and starting my own business. In all the twists and turns of my life, I had become a birth doula and had been working in the field for about 10 years.
I was ready to create something of my own and to combine it with my love for documentary-style photography and my knowledge of birth. The “aha” moment happened when I realized that the beginning would be in birth photography.
Birth photography is natural, raw, and unposed and something that reminded me of the images I had studied all those years in the monthly National Geographic magazines we had in my home as a child. I am a self-taught photographer and literally just jumped right into it and learned as I documented each birth.
Since the beginning of Little Plum Photography, which started six years ago, I have expanded into maternity, newborn, family, event, and even some commercial photography, all while keeping the documentary and lifestyle feel to all of my work.
I focus on utilizing natural light and producing evocative and emotive images. In 2019, I reached a pinnacle in my career when I was featured on the cover of the Los Angeles Times in an article about birth photography.
I bought a Canon Rebel XSi when my first daughter was one year old. I had a friend and neighbor who was a wedding photographer and he taught me the basics of my camera. I started off using my Canon Rebel for my first three jobs and bought a 50mm lens to use with it.
After those jobs, I decided it was time to upgrade, and I bought my Canon 6D, which came with a Canon 24-105mm f/4 zoom lens. I chose the Canon 6D because I was familiar with the functions, the color image quality it offers, the price, and because of the high-quality video feature.
Canon 24-105mm f/4: This lens came with my camera and offers versatility for wide shots at the beach or other outdoor sessions.
Sigma 35mm f/1.4: I love this lens and it is on my camera 95% of the time. When I bought this lens it was a game-changer for me and my photography.
It instilled my love for prime lenses and is the perfect focal length for documentary and lifestyle photography. It is wonderful in low light and works beautifully for my birth films.
Sigma 24mm f/1.4: I added this lens to my kit because of the dependability of my Sigma Art 35mm and because I need some added focal length in tight situations, in the birth setting. It is wonderful for my overhead newborn shots and other times when I like to be able to add more subjects to the frame.
Godox V860 Speedlight: I use this because of the rechargeable battery and its dependability in those situations, in particular the birth moment, where I need to know my flash will not fail me.
Think Tank camera bag: I chose it because it fits all of my gear I need for a typical shoot as well as my battery chargers, my 15-inch laptop, and water bottles.
ONA camera bag: I bought my first ONA bag this past summer for my trip to Europe and needed a smaller bag big enough to fit my camera and extra lens, money, passport, and lip balm. I also use this for outdoor shoots when I don’t need to bring all of my other gear with me.
My leather, custom-made strap was a gift from my sister, Megan, when I first started my photography business. She ordered it from the artists, Daniel and Alisa Foytik who own and operate RSVP Handcrafted. I love that it’s unique, it has my business name on it, and it’s from my sister.
I never use a tripod unless I am using a second camera for my birth films; All of my work is handheld.
Hardware & Software
I edit all of my image work in Adobe Lightroom; I edit my birth films in Adobe Premiere Pro; I use the Tribe Archipelago presets and in particular LXCN; I also like Ben Sasso’s presets.
I love the way these look as it gives my images a film look. I tweak when needed to meet the white balance, color tone, and shadowing that appeals to me. I tend to underexpose when I shoot and then brighten up and highlight when needed in post.
Apple MacBook Pro 15″
Apple iMac 27” 5K Retina display
Samsung flash drive
LaCie external 1T hard drive
G-Technology 4T Hard drive
I always carry ProMeal Bars, nuts, lip balm, prescription sunglasses, progressive glasses, reusable water bottle, credit cards, money, driver’s license, Spry gum, sometimes my MacBook Pro, and external hard drive, when I know I will have some spare time to edit.
If you are truly passionate about doing photography professionally, don’t give up! Reach out to other photographers, family, and resources to help you grow and learn. It takes true tenacity to create a viable photography business. Stick to that individual uniqueness that makes your photography stand out.
Instead of copying others, be inspired by what you see others do and then make it your own. Above all, really make a true connection to who and what you are photographing and take the time to help bring out their vulnerability and to make them feel comfortable and at ease. Shoot, edit, drink coffee, repeat:)