Interview: Photographer Christian Lemons

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What's the story of how you got into photography and end up pursuing your passion?

My interest in photography began in middle school with 35mm film cameras and never left me. When I left home after high school to travel I always had a camera nearby. I took photos of nature, landscapes, and things that I found inspiring. I got my first Canon DSLR in 2011 and shortly after discovered the world of wedding photography. I worked tirelessly to build my business while juggling a full-time job. I focused on learning about SEO for my website and the technical aspect of photography.

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I was working in a fine dining restaurant serving tables and dreaming of a life where I could support myself by creating art. I moved to Asheville, North Carolina early in my business and quickly realized that elopement and intimate wedding photography was what thrilled me the most. I loved adventuring to the forests, mountaintops, waterfalls, and riverbeds with my couples and working to infuse the beauty of nature into my images. Thankfully, there are many wildly in love and adventurous couples who seek out my work and I now work full time as an elopement and intimate wedding photographer as well as being a full-time mother to my son! 

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What has influenced your style and work the most?

Human emotion and nature have been the largest influencing factors on my work and style. Adventuring with my couples into nature and guiding them to feel comfortable in front of my camera is the most inspiring process that continues to influence and develop my style and further my work in the direction I want it to grow. My own connection to nature and the process of love has also helped me cultivate and grow my style.

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What do you wish people would understand better about you and your work?

I feel as though my message is accurately portrayed and that the people who seek out my services fully understand what my work is all about. I would love for more people to understand how amazing an elopement or intimate wedding can be. 

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What is the best thing you've experienced by being a photographer?

Freedom and connection! I find so much freedom in being a creative entrepreneur. Working for myself is ideal and incredibly freeing for me and I am grateful that I've been able to build my business to this level. Freedom from a 9-5 job and also from struggle are both monumental in my life. I have the freedom to be with my son while also pursuing my creative dreams! Connection is another huge factor; connection that I witness between my couples and also the connections I make with them along with my fellow photographers and wedding industry professionals! I find that community over competition is very much alive for my circle and that a radically inspiring thing! 

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What is your dream location and why?

My dream location is anywhere that my clients feel most connected to themselves, one another, and the natural world. Thankfully most of my clients find this connection in spectacularly beautiful nature spots! Some of my bucket list locations include Central and South America, Hawai'i, New Zealand, Bali, Europe, and pretty much everywhere else on planet Earth! Also, the moon! ;) I recently photographed an elopement in Yosemite National Park and that was certainly a dream come true! 

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What are some key elements in your work?

I strive to fuse connection, emotion, love, and nature in every photograph I take. 

What are some of your all-time favorite hobbies other than photography?

I'm an artist through and through so I love creating things with my hands. I enjoy painting, sewing, building things, growing plants and food, and going on adventures and conjuring up magic with my two-year-old son, Everest. Living a life fueled by happiness and love is one of my major life goals that I work to create every day and that is somewhat of a hobby in and of itself! 

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What was your last shoot like?

My last shoot was an engagement session atop one of my favorite Blue Ridge mountaintops! Autumn is upon us here in North Carolina and the fall colors were definitely a sight to behold! We adventured all over the mountaintop soaking in the magic! We ended the session with my couples dancing, laughing, and holding one another close as the sun set behind the ridge and the sky turned to blue. We hiked down with headlamps and all left feeling so enriched by our evening spent in nature!  

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Is there anything we didn't ask you about that you'd like to share?

Love is the real deal! It's the largest factor in being able to create potent work. I also believe that true love can heal our society and planet. More love, please! 

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Interview: Photographer Nico Villanueva

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What's the story of how you got into photography and end up pursuing your passion? 

Quite simple actually. I was introduced to photography by my dad as a child. I got my first camera during high school, shot lots of landscapes and slowly transitioned into photographing friends. I did both for a while but in early 2016 I wanted to dive into portraiture a little more so I started reaching out to models and other creatives. From there I've just been hooked into the whole process of planning, styling, shooting, editing, etc. 

How would you distinguish your style? 

Simple, intimate, and mysterious are how some people describe my work. I'm constantly moving back and forth between the Pacific Northwest and Southern California so I find myself jumping between cool, natural, and warm tones. So my colors and tones changes from time to time, but I always approach shooting with the goal of achieving a certain vibe that one expects from my photos.

What do you see and feel when you look at your photos? 

I'm highly critical of my work so I'm always looking at the positives and negatives of each image. What could I have done differently? What works? What doesn't? Asking myself these simple questions gives me confidence in my own work.

What is the best thing you've experienced by being a photographer? 

Meeting very talented and interesting individuals. Building a great rapport with a model and just seeing the work unfold is always an awesome feeling.

Do you have any personal tips to other photographers? 

Watch lots of tutorials. Work with other photographers and learn. Be receptive to criticism. Don't be afraid of changing things up. These are basic things that go a long way.

What are some key elements in your work? 

Light. I love to shoot for sunrise and sunsets but I do welcome overcast skies and the midday sun as well. I like to be versatile when it comes to locations so I often switch between nature, urban, and indoor. I like to crush shadows or blacks to highlight my subject.

What are some of your all time favorite hobbies other than photography? 

Driving, Hiking, Camping, Road Cycling, and Eating. They all cancel each other out.

What was your last shoot like? 

It was with my friend Baylie. It consisted of thrifting, scouting, taking one shot, getting kicked out, and hanging out. Sometimes you just need to relax and deal with life's complications.

Is there anything, anything at all, we didn't ask about that you'd like to share? 

The photographers who influence me the most are Jordan Voth, Paolo Artymiak, Jessica Kobeissi, and Annie Leibovitz.

Interview: Photographer Lauren Dahlhauser

Portrait Of Lauren Dahlhauser

Portrait Of Lauren Dahlhauser

What's the story of how you got into photography and end up pursuing your passion?

I started taking pictures 6 years ago as a senior in high school. It was something that I naturally developed an interest for being the artistic minded teenager I was. I’d always been more drawn to the creative side of things. Honestly, I didn’t realize it was something I’d grow so passionate about because back then, I had aspirations of becoming an elementary teacher. The idea of impacting kids at a young age intrigued me.

Then, when college rolled around, I had to choose between art or kids. Society told me education, because I’d have a concrete path to take and more guaranteed financial stability. My heart told me art, because of passion, my creative mind, and a natural eye for capturing moments. Despite what others expected of me or what society deemed “the smart route”, I followed my gut and I’m so incredibly glad I did. Through the pursuit of art, I found passions for portrait photography, meeting new people, and traveling the world I probably would have never discovered at such a young age. Now, here I am, doing what I love with no regrets and pure excitement for what is to come in the future.

What has influenced your style and work the most?

The people that I have met, photographers and non-photographers alike, are probably the biggest influence in why I see the way I do. I am super passionate about traveling, culture, and understanding why others have various perspectives that are foreign to me. When I work with people I don’t know, I always learn something. My mind is opened to new ways of shooting when I work with other photographers and new ways of capturing emotion and the human body when I work with a variety of models. Constantly collaborating and creating for myself is how I keep inspiring others or how I become inspired by other artists. My style ebbs and flows depending on the people I work with.

What are you looking forward to achieving and doing in the future?

At 24, I can’t say I know what the future holds. Moving forward feels like stepping into a big ocean of the unknown. But then I remind myself, there is always going to be more that I don’t know in comparison to what I do know no matter what chapter of life I’m in. What I *do* know and am choosing to cling onto as a growing artist is this: the world is at my feet. I am free to create whatever I want to create without limits. I can experience the fulfillment that comes from pursuing my deepest passions and allow that to fuel the life changing and transformative experiences I will have along this journey of life. I’m so excited to see who else my passion for photography will cause me to cross paths with and what parts of the world I will get to explore next.

What was your last shoot like?

My last shoot was with a lovely, silvery haired senior surrounded by the beauty of nature and Autumn leaves. Alaina was definitely one of my favorite seniors I’ve ever worked with. Not only did she have an amazing eye for fashion, but she told me she hired me because she liked my style, and also loved the way I put people in non-typical poses while making them look natural at the same time. She was a big reminder of why I love working with seniors. How often do they get their portrait taken professionally outside of the awkward snapshot of a school photo? I love making them feel beautiful in their own skin.

What is your dream location and why?

My dream location to shoot (and live) is anywhere in the mountains with pine trees on end. Ideally, there is a crystal clear lake and a rustic cabin nearby with a wrap around porch and lots and lots of sunshine. A girl can dream. :)

What are some key elements in your work?

It’s so weird to look at my work as a whole and to pick out what makes my images *my* images. I have to say though, the way I see and utilize natural light on my subjects paired with how I edit are two key elements of each portrait I take. I am very drawn to warmth, contrast, intimacy, and moody vibes.

What kinds of things did you learn that advanced your skills and creativity?

I absolutely love this question because I feel like so many photographers can relate to this or learn from it. For a while I felt like I didn’t have a style. My work flow was and is very driven by each individual portrait I take as its own work of art. I don’t use specific presets or do the exact same thing to every image I take. I edit based on what I want that particular image to convey. Over time, I realized there are specific creamy tones and colors I gravitate toward. What got to me though, is that these specific tones and muted colors are evident in most of my images, but not in all of them. This bothered me for a while because I felt like my Instagram feed wasn’t “unified”.

I went through a phase of not posting certain images simply because they were “too bright” or “too saturated” just so my feed would be cohesive in my eyes. And then I realized, I liked each individual image for what it is and not for how it compares to another. Each image I take is a strong image because treat it as it’s own work of art. So then, I started posting for me, and not for others, and I discovered a way to see my work as “unified”: the mood/vibes it gives off. My work is unique because of the moments I capture and the moody vibes they emit. This whole idea of posting for me and not for how others will judge my work is the biggest catalyst for my skill development and any boost of creativity I have.

What is the best thing you've experienced by being a photographer?

The best part about my job is showing ordinary people in a light they have never seen themselves before. By this, I don’t mean that I make them look unnatural; I find ways to pose them or get a reaction out of them that is candid and then create portraits that make them feel beautiful in their own skin. The fact that these moments I’ve captured for either seniors, couples, or families will last a lifetime is *so* incredibly fulfilling to me. The reaction that I get out of my clients and friends after I shoot them is the reason why i keep doing what I do.

Is there anything we didn't ask you about that you'd like to share?

Stop playing the game of comparing. Admire and be inspired, but don’t let other’s work or experience make you feel like you aren’t good enough. You are capable of creating something unique that nobody else could ever create. Embrace the way you see life and capture the story around you. The moment you start copying others is the moment you stop creating. What is art if you aren’t creating?


We'd like to thank Lauren for such an insightful interview! If you'd like connect with her further here are some links to her other social media networks!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laurendahlhauserphotography/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laurendahlhauser/

Interview: Photographer Bryan Chow

Portrait of Bryan Chow by Hunter Gillman

Portrait of Bryan Chow by Hunter Gillman

What started your passion and pursuit of being a photographer?

It started when I moved to Utah. When I first got into high school I saw my friends Grant Thorn & Eric Leth do it and it really caught my eye and it inspired me to get a camera. I got my first camera my freshman year in high school it was a Canon t3i.

How would you distinguish your style?

I don't think I really have a style I just shoot everything and I have some preferences I guess but I think style is very hard to dictate when you first start off.

How would you say you and your work evolved over time?

I started off just shooting on auto of my friends basically anything that could be captured I took photos of it. I remember taking photos in my basement with friends against a white wall for the look. I think I started taking it a little bit more seriously when people started telling me that I was "good" and that I have a talent for it. It really encouraged me to keep going and keep learning more.

What are some essential elements of your work?

Just try to never miss a moment. I would always change the drive mode from single shooting to continuous shooting and I would try and find the best photos that weren't blurry. Now I just burst my shots when I shoot but its rare now because I used to have to go through over a 1,000 photos and now it slimmed down and it has made my process a lot easier.

What is one of the most inspiring experiences you've ever had?

It's so hard to pick one but I would have to say when I got to shoot The Endless Summer Tour with G-Eazy, Logic, YG & Yo Gotti I think that was like one of my biggest dreams to come true I remember tweeting back in 2014 that it would be a dream come true to shoot one of his shows and in 2016 I got to meet him and shoot his show and I won't ever forget that feeling or those moments.

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What are your greatest ambitions and goals for yourself and the future?

I'd like to keep getting better because there's always room for improvement. A goal of mine though is to go on tour with someone and see what that is like. I think just to travel with some friends and go see new places and learn about the culture would be sweet too.

What is something about you or your work that you'd like people to understand the most?

Patience and realize it's stressful and scary sometimes. I get overwhelmed with so much work sometimes and it just gets too much so I appreciate all of those who are patient with me. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes and I think that should be addressed because sometimes things happen where its out of our control as artists to handle. Just know I'm doing my best to get everything out to everyone as fast as I can.

What kinds of things do you wish you knew when you were starting out?

Shooting in RAW & Manual. I think that would have helped me a lot but you just gotta Trust The Process and learn as it comes. 

Any special or particular experiences being a photographer has brought you?

Being able to meet people and getting to capture it for them. The smiles I get to see & it makes me happy seeing people happy with my work and them cherishing those moments. Getting to meet all these artists is still so surreal to me.

Is there anything, absolutely anything at all, that we didn't ask about that you'd like to share?

Just wanna give a shout out to my Mom & Dad for always believing in me and supporting me, my friends for keeping me motivated and helping me with everything and help me get back on track when I have my bad days. There's a lot of people to thank and I couldn't thank you all enough for supporting me and showing love to my work. It really means the world to me and I wouldn't be here without you guys and a big thank you to The Histographer for having me. 

Interview: Photographer Federico Orihuela

Portrait of Federico Orihuela

Portrait of Federico Orihuela

How did your interest in photography begin?

I discovered the photographic world after a trip to Patagonia in 2015. I came home and it felt like I was unable to express it with words with what I saw there, so the next day I bought a Nikon D5500, my first camera.

Where is your dream location and why?

Patagonia definitely, it changed the way I saw the world.

What is something you see the photography community lack?

Nothing in my opinion, social media has given us the chance of spreading the “word” and that’s what it's all about, sharing the art.

What was your last shoot like?

My last shot was during a sunset in Rocha, the most beautiful state of Uruguay (where I’m from).

What would you like to see come out of your photography?

I’m obsessed with the emotions human beings are capable of, so my main goal is to share that sensorial experience trough my content

How has your life changed since being involved with photography?

Since I've had a camera I started to live in search of the little things, those details that makes us who we are in life.

What kinds of things did you learn that advanced your skills and creativity?

First of all practice is everything, knowing your gear is key, from there on it all becomes so much easier.

Anything that you wish people understood better about you and your work?

As I said before, my work’s focus its on the little moments and emotions of our lives, so I want to encourage people to live in search of those. “Love the life you live”