Licensing Contributor Kaitlyn Sawyer offers perception on capturing emotion and variety

At 500px superb images is at our core, however these photographs wouldn’t be potential with out the proficient folks behind the lens. The 500px Highlight sequence highlights the worldwide and various photographers which might be a part of the 500px Neighborhood. This week we’re excited to introduce you to Licensing Contributor Kaitlyn Sawyer.

Kaitlyn Sawyer is a contract photographer at the moment based mostly in West Tennessee. Her model and strategy to images caught the eye of the 500px group for her inventive ideas and lighting. Kaitlyn can also be a first-rate instance of a photographer who thoughtfully casts her fashions to incorporate variety. Her portfolio continues to captivate us with the distinctive narratives and personalities of her fashions.

Q: Good day Kaitlyn! Are you able to inform us a bit about your self?

A: I’m a inventive portrait photographer based mostly in West Tennessee. I’ve been freelancing for over six years, primarily specializing in different vogue and artistic lighting. I spend most of my time dreaming up new ideas and discovering new methods to inform tales with my photographs.

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Q: Kaitlyn, when did you first choose up a digital camera and what made you need to discover images as a profession?

A: I first picked up a digital camera in my teen years. It began off as a strategy to doc reminiscences with my associates, take selfies—regular teen issues. However my first actual digital camera was a Nikon DSLR handed all the way down to me by a member of the family who was beforehand a photographer.

At that time in my life, I used to be 20 and severely depressed. I had simply been identified with OCD and Bipolar 2. I had no course and felt I wasn’t good at something.

So, I requested myself, “What extra can I do?”.

I searched for thus lengthy to seek out an outlet or a approach I may quiet these ideas. Then I picked up that outdated Nikon DSLR. It didn’t appear to imply a lot to anybody round me, however I lastly felt the facility of making one thing that was mine.

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It was in my consolation zone, so I started by capturing with locals within the queer neighborhood. I felt so impressed by the enjoyment my photographs introduced them! Not solely may I present a protected place for expression, however I discovered it in myself too.

Q: The shoot you developed for this interview is gorgeous. Your photographs spotlight real expressions of vacation celebration, pleasure, and love inside an LGBTQ+ household. Why did you select this as your focus for this sequence?

A: Regardless of identical intercourse marriage within the U.S. solely being authorized for eight years, we’ve got confirmed time and time once more that we’re right here, and we’ve by no means gone anyplace.

Personally, It’s so inspiring to see an older technology of the LGBTQ+ nonetheless thriving unapologetically. These are the folks that marched for our freedom and lived their reality with out concern of how the world noticed them—perpetually paving the trail for us to be who we are actually.

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Q: Lots of the photographs in your portfolio illustrate themes of connection and love. The photograph under, for example, may have been shot with out the fashions’ arms however you determined to include them and thus created a more in-depth, extra intimate really feel. Do you’ve ideas for creating this stage of intimacy together with your fashions?

A: For this photograph, I requested my fashions to get shut and have a look at one another. I then requested them to whisper jokes to make the opposite snigger. In doing that, I captured a gorgeous second that was real!

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Different methods I get folks to work together is by letting them discuss to one another. Even when they really feel uncomfortable behind the lens, they may discover consolation in one another. That’s what actually issues!

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Q: Your shoot was shot in low mild circumstances with numerous coloured vacation lights. Your fashions are illuminated and clear. Are you able to inform us concerning the technical aspect of this shoot?

A: To shoot, I used a Canon Insurgent T7i and Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Artwork Lens.

For lighting, it was darkish, and my fashions’ schedule didn’t enable for a day time shoot. So, I used a single Godox V860IIC TTL Flash with XProC TTL Set off.

I additionally used a white umbrella to melt the laborious mild. That is my favourite on-the-go lighting setup!

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Q: Your selection of fashions is all the time on level! How do you resolve what sorts of fashions to work with and what’s your strategy to recruiting them to your shoots?

A: Once I first began, most of my fashions had been my closest associates and locals in my space. I work on a low-budget, so discovering fashions isn’t all the time straightforward. All through the years, this has turn out to be simpler by reaching out with a easy message on social media or networking via associates.

I usually begin with an idea and maintain onto it till I see somebody that matches the vibe or aesthetic of what I’m going for. I’ll then attain out to the potential mannequin and ask them if they might be comfy doing a photoshoot. In the event that they agree, we collaborate to mix our types and create one thing that matches how they need to see themselves. I ask what makes them genuine. It all the time feels most comfy being your self.

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Q: As somebody who’s skilled in photographing members of the neighborhood, are there any suggestions on how photographers can politely and respectfully ask for gender identification for the aim of titling and keywording when submitting to Licensing?

A: The perfect and most respectful strategy to ask somebody their pronouns is by asking, “How do you determine?” or “What are your pronouns?”. It’s essential to determine this early on to keep away from misgendering.

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Happy Family Holidays by Kaitlyn M. Sawyer on

Q: Social media has confirmed to be a useful gizmo for self-promotion and cultivating neighborhood. We love your TikTok, and you’ve got gained a implausible following! Do you’ve any recommendations for photographers wanting to begin their very own TikTok?

A: I like to doc my journey as an aspiring skilled to point out others how you can do the identical! I nearly all the time have an assistant to assist me with photoshoots. When my assistant isn’t busy, I be sure to ask for brief 10-second clips of any new growth in a shoot.

When my assistant is unavailable for a shoot, I set my cellphone in an space that reveals my topic, the background, and clips of me capturing. I nearly all the time neglect and find yourself with 25-minute movies. (I’m constructive there’s a higher strategy to do it, however nothing straightforward is enjoyable!)

I exploit my cellphone for these behind the scenes movies deliberately. I need to present the restrictions of the setting round me and the way I overcame the obstacles to get the ultimate end result.

It’s superb that you simply submit at the least 3 to 4 occasions per week. Nevertheless, my consistency of posting content material varies on what I can deal with. I’ve apprehensive an excessive amount of up to now that the quantity of likes decided my ability stage. It doesn’t! It’s an algorithm.

My greatest recommendation is studying to create for YOURSELF. Create what you need. Not what everybody else desires you to. Even when it doesn’t get the eye you suppose it deserves.

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Q: If you got a limiteless price range to execute any shoot you might dream of, what would it not be?

A: Given the chance, I might like to shoot underwater lengthy publicity images. Presumably in an aquarium or water tank!

I think about two lengthy haired mermaids wrapped in extra-long sheer material. Fish of many various sizes, colours, and shapes swimming round them. Lengthy flowing hair in hazy blue water. I might experiment by utilizing optic lighting woven into hair. So many prospects!

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Q: Are there any initiatives you’ve on the go or within the close to future which you can share with us?

A: Within the upcoming 12 months, I plan to begin a photojournalism sequence highlighting the approaching out tales of LGBTQ+ elders and youth. Focusing totally on the southern states of America.

I need to study extra concerning the variations inside our personal neighborhood and what it may possibly train us concerning the ever altering world round us.

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Sustain with extra work by Kaitlyn Sawyer:

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