Ask Me

This morning I asked my facebook fans to ask me anything, and got some great questions!Here are a few of my favorites:

"I'd love to know who you look toward for fashion inspiration. I love your style!" Well, thank you, ma'am! I, like lots of women, have hips and thighs and lots of boobs, but feel like the majority of "curvy girl" inspiration out there is too risque for my taste. Marilyn and I may be shaped similarly, but I'm an Audrey kinda gal (in the UN ambassador kinda way, not so much the Breakfast at Tiffany's kinda way ;]) I tend to look to women with simple, modest style like the doll, Kendi from Kendi Everyday. She gets me with the stripes, polka dots, florals and button up shirts. That's my jam. You can follow my style board on Pinterest, to take a peek into my virtual closet ;]

"What was your gateway into the type of photography that you create? [...] I wanna know what started your passion." I love this story. I had been portfolio building for about a year, deciding what I was going to specialize in. I didn't want to take the time to learn photography, become business savvy, and spend time away from my family if I wasn't going to offer up something special to the industry. A very dear friend of mine had an adorable little girl 6 weeks older than my second daughter, and another one of her best friends had a baby who was a newborn. I envisioned them sitting back to back in a field nursing their babies and called up my friend to discuss my vision for her session and the future of my business. I had taken some nursing images at a newborn shoot shortly before and I knew right then that I loved it. I began to google "breastfeeding photography" I found weird anatomical images, LLL pamphlets, and several personal projects (At Mother's Breast was particularly inspiring,) but no one was serving this demographic of women photographically. So, as Emerson said "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

And I did. I've now photographed hundreds of mothers nursing their babies and feel like I have contributed something significant to the photography world. No, I am not by any means the first person to photograph a baby breastfeeding, but I may be the first to make a successful business out of doing so!

Breastfeeding Best Friends Mae Burke Photography



Lastly for tonight-

"[F]irst of all, your work is AH-MAZING! that being said, did you have a periods of time where you thought you "got it", but now, looking back at old work feel like... ooohhh forehead slap! Also, what was the main thing that helped you cross the threshold of "I like taking pictures" to "I am a seasoned pro photographer"?" GREAT questions. You see this photo up here ^ well that was taken in 2011, about a year after I got my first DSLR (a Canon 20D yikes) I had just started shooting in Manual Mode, which obviously meant I was a professional. *Insert Forehead Slap Here* I have edited this image 9284570984 times. Not much can save it. or make it look like anything in my current portfolio. Keri, (the blonde) was a seasoned, highly sought after birth photographer and I thought I was BIG STUFF for taking her portrait. Lawdy. I feel that I, like the majority of digital pop-up shop, shoot and burn photographers, take claim to "I am a seasoned pro photographer" much sooner than we should have ever dared. I don't think it was until 2012 (two years after I began teaching myself, a year after I started taking people's money) that I really would have considered myself a professional photographer, and, if we're being honest, not until this past year (2013)  that I would consider myself a seasoned pro. I offer my clients tangible products, not just 33348957 images on a CD that are full of half decent pictures that will sit in a drawer until my client moves. I charge for my time and talent. With three little girls that I homeschool, my time is invaluable and I've taught myself everything I know to bring my clients gorgeous images in a professional manner. This is not just a hobby. Most importantly, I am continuously growing and learning. There is a school of thought that says "If you have been doing something for X number of years, that is what qualifies you" and it just isn't true. My career isn't very long, but my growth is abundantly obvious. A photographer's portfolio should be outdoing itself on the regular, never stagnating. I would say that knowing exactly what I can capture (an event, a milestone, the subject) and exactly how to make the picture in my head come to life through my lens and on my computer screen makes me a seasoned pro.

Well that was fun! Leave some questions in the comments below and we'll do this again real soon!