I’m not exactly a star-struck kind of person, but if I had the chance to meet Sheye Rosemeyer I’d be sure to be a sweaty mess. Roughly a year ago I stumbled upon her blog and as I’ve done only once before I sat and read over every square inch of her two-year postings. In one sitting. My eyes burned from exhaustion and the ever-flowing tears. The life and loss of her daughter Ava has been painstakingly shared as Sheye has so bravely and honestly tried to make sense of it all. I have always appreciated Sheye’s deepest sincerity and honesty and have learned so much from her. More than I could ever put into words. I genuinely thank God for allowing me to find her. My business and ultimately my life would not be the same had I not.
So, when brainstorming the person I wanted to interview next for Photography Friday I just knew it had to be her. I typed up my email request with what I hoped was the right recipe of humility, confidence and please, oh please, oh PLEASE and within minutes she had graciously replied with this…
I’m running out the door so will keep this shorter than I would like to..please don’t think I’m rude. In brief, yes, I’d love to !I do get a few requests for blog interviews and have had to say no lately, I’m so time short but I love what you’ve written and can tell I’ll feel right at home at your blog!
Thankyou for asking me..
As you can imagine I feel like a giddy schoolgirl on her way to field day being able to introduce to you (if you don’t already adore her, that is) the one and only … Sheye Rosemeyer:
Hi Sheye. I was thrilled to read that you are coming to America! : D If you see a girl (roughly 5’8”, dark hair, medium build) following you around Disneyland please pay no attention to her.
I feel like your blog allows your readers into the intimacy of many areas of your life, but something I’m curious to know about is your journey to photography. Can you tell us a bit about how you got to where you are today?
Hi Jessica! Thankyou so much for the warm invite to your blog
Firstly, I couldn’t possibly ignore you at Disney, you’d be a welcome extra set of hands to help with the kids!! I always had an interest in photography, right back from high school but it wasn’t until I had babies that I started to really push myself to learn – there’s no bigger motivator than capturing your own children to make you want to master photography! Initially I tried learning with film but found the technical aspects confusing. When digital came about with the opportunity to practice without cost, it all finally began to fall into place. Like many people starting out, friends began to ask for photos and then, much to my surprise, some even offered to pay! A few years on and I still pinch myself that my passion is also my job and that I’m actually teaching workshops!
If you were to describe your business in three words what would they be?
For The Love.
Where have you found success in marketing your business? Ever done anything that proved to be a waste of time/money?
I’m very lucky to be able to say I’ve never advertised my business at all. Launching actions recently is my first venture into marketing and even then, I’m usually approached by people offering to advertise rather than the other way around. When I find some more time I plan to focus on marketing them a little more. I have found Flickr & Facebook have been great for generally building awareness of my business and inviting new blog readers. Almost of my business, from client shoots to workshops and action sales comes directly from my blog. It’s a sad fact that my traffic increased enormously after losing my daughter in 2007 but at the same time I am glad so many people have come to know about Ava. It’s a strange thing for me that not only did my daily life change dramatically because of losing a child but my business also began to head off in all sorts of directions that keep me incredibly busy. I do feel very blessed for the amazing support from blog readers on both a personal and professional level.
Who are some other photographers (or simply artists) that inspire you?
Oh! So many!
Amelia Lyon – she’s my new favorite lately
Dina Marie – for me, one of the very best childrens photographers on Earth.
Gemma Booth – hugely inspiring and re-ignited my obsession with Super8 film again.
Jose Villa – simply beautiful wedding photography
Denise Bovee – great portraiture
Jefra Linn – beautiful photographer, beautiful person.
and Ms Whitney, of course. Who doesn’t? She’s shooting us next month!
As a business owning, married mother how do you make it all work? Family … work … marriage … a social life … you?
This really is the hardest part of my business. It’s a double edged sword – the more business grows, the more challenging the juggling act. Lately I’m trying hard to re-establish better boundaries between home life and work life but it’s still difficult to shut off at times. It’s the cry of working women the World over, isn’t it? I do have a very patient husband who also works from home and does a lot of the running around for the kids when I’m flat out. Together we feel we have a good handle on meeting the needs of the children, running our own businesses and then hopefully having time for a movie or a coffee together each week.
Can you share with us a bit of your thought process as you prepare for and carry out a photo shoot? Do you prefer to pose and catch the in-between moments, just act like the paparazzi, a bit of both??
A big part of my workshops focuses on preparation as I believe it’s so important to think through what you want to get out of each and every shoot. While I do like spontaneous shots, I have moved from “winging it” with no real plan to having a much clearer idea of the type of images I want before I arrive at a shoot. From clothing to props and poses, I really enjoy the process of taking ideas in my head and turning them into photographic prints.
I simply must take this opportunity to ask a question solely for myself. I hope you don’t mind and honestly I wonder if other photographers will be able to learn from your answer as well. I know that something that is seemingly important in the world of photography is being consistent in your style of photos – when shooting and editing. Unfortunately for me my photography changes a bit depending on the shoot, season or sometimes-even mood I’m in. Some shoots just seem right bright and colorful, others dark and moody and others sweet and nostalgic. What would you say to that?
I could write a book on this very topic! Having taught over 250 students in the last year, I hear this said so often. Finding your own style is something that takes time and a strong resolution to stick to what you instinctively love. I know myself, I started out inspired to take quirky, grainy, moodier portraits of children but quickly became distracted by the gorgeous bright and shiny, tack sharp images done by others. For a couple of years there I would swing back and forth, not knowing exactly what my own style was. After taking a break from photography for a while in 2007, I came back with a new resolution to do exactly what felt right for me. I pushed aside my anxiety about what clients or other photographers might think and began creating what was in my head and my heart. I started sharing at Flickr and found so much support for the work I was doing, complete with odd color, grain and haze. We can all get distracted at times but remembering that period always inspires me to return to what I know and love.
There are lots of things I suggest in the workshops to help develop your own style.. Think about what kind of images make you gasp when looking around the net? What consistently catches your eye? You should find a common thread in what really inspires you. Write a list of things not related to photography that you love. How would you describe you? Find three words that represent you and incorporate those things into your images. Forget what others are creating..focus on perfecting your own style and you will automatically become more consistent.
And lastly, just for fun … Your bags are packed, your camera ready, your kids are cared for, your husband thrilled to tag along, the plane tickets being handed over – where would you want them to say your final destination is (with money being a non-issue)?
Oh just one destination? If I had to pick today it would be Chile. I’ve never been to South America and hear the scenery is spectacular. Sometimes you hear of a place and it almost feels familiar, like a knowing before you’ve even been there. That’s how I feel about Chile.
Thank you, thank you Sheye. We are indebted to your kindness.
Well thankyou so much for having me!
Where to find Sheye’s goodness …
*I’ve taken and LOVED!
Happy Friday, Lovely Souls!