Spotlight For Inspiration - Heather Arsement
Can you start by telling me a little about yourself?
I am a wife of a musician/teacher, and I have two children and I love German Shepherds. I have two currently. I live in southwest Louisiana.I run a gift shop in the local hospital here.
You run a hospital gift shop? Wow. How did you get started in photography?
My husband was a photographer as a hobby in college. He had an old Canon D10 and one day I picked it up and started shooting nature shots--you know the usual flowers and bees. I took this shot of my little girl laughing in a chair and I turned it to black and white, and I fell in love with black and white photography.
I shot only black and white for a while but I wanted to learn more. I borrowed every book my library had on photography but soon realized I was going to have to shoot to learn.
I took a whole entire album of music and shot a photograph based on each song and taught myself how to shoot.
Yes, I do believe I shared Time Marches On. It's my favorite. It has the shadow of my hair in it so it borderlines having a person in it.It is published on a book about poetry.
I remember that one!
How long ago did you put yourself through this "course?"
It was done very fast. I think I shot the whole thing within 4 months. My sister liked the shots so much she made me print them and put in her office at work. That give me a confidence boost!
How long ago was that?
2011 I believe.
Wow. Not that long ago! You've moved along quite quickly, I'd say. You recently had a solo show. Right?
Yes it was just a local art walk where you got paired up with local businesses to use as a venue to show. It was to promote our downtown area of the city and local artists. It was so fun standing there watching peoples reactions to your work.
Did you learn anything from that experience? Either from preparing for it or from listening to people or observing their reactions?
I learned that everyone liked something different. I show three pieces and I was sure one photo would be the front runner. I was wrong. People were curious about the process, whether they were photos or paintings, but they never mentioned photoshop and neither did I.
What was really funny was they couldn't believe it was me in the photos! They couldn't believe I shot myself.
You have a busy life! Husband, two kids a full-time job... How are you making time for not just shooting, but planning?
I have a notebook by my computer. I have to write down ideas. I learned that from watching Brooke's workshops. It is very hard not to feel guilty or selfish shooting and edition since it takes so long to edit. Six to eight hours is a long time to do something when you have kids.
Truth! I know a lot of us can relate to that.
What kind of camera are you using now? Any other gear you always take along?
I have a Canon t3i with an 18-200 lens my husband purchased for me for Christmas. I love it. It does what I need it to. I wish I had a better remote; it doesn't reach very far so I am using the timer with the 10 shots to capture motions especially. I don't have a studio so I tend to use natural light in my laundry room. I have a speed light but I only use that if I am shooting a standard portrait shoot.
Is there anything that is not camera gear that you always make sure to bring along?
My phone! In case I get lost or my jeep breaks down. LOL
That's a must, I think, for all of us who venture off to the middle of nowhere to shoot, especially when shooting alone. Are you planning any shoots or a series right now? What are you focused on?
Yes, I am focusing on trying to shoot some stuff to submit to magazines. And I would like to finish up my Potent Moments series that started with Always here with me.
Those are great goals! Good luck with both! Would you like to one day work full-time as a photographer?
Sure! I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago and I shot several times that week. It was nice to have time to be creative and not rushed to do shoots.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our group? Advice? Encouragement? Something I should have asked you but forgot?
Don't be afraid to put yourself out here! It is super scary to show your work or submit your work for review. But if you don't nothing will ever happen. Also don't be afraid to ask other photographers advice or a question. If I would have never contacted a local photographer here in town to ask a question. She wouldn't have told me about Creative Live and I would have never learned so much about myself and the creative process. My work as turned very personal and I can truly say I am proud of what I am creating. Do what you love!
One more thing, just for fun... Can you share with us one great Photoshop shortcut? Anything. Who knows who it may help?!
I wish someone would share one with me! LOL Especially since I got a Mac. I am still learning the switch. Learning how to use curves has helped me a lot!
Good answer. Good answer. (Applause) I think I'll start asking everyone I interview to share a tip. Thank you for talking with me today! It was nice to get to know you better.
Heather's Gift of Inspiration: