This week's crew member for our 'Meet the Team' feature is our one and only, Louisa Podlich! Louisa is our lead photographer for our sister company, Rivets and Roses
! She has been an incredible addition to our team and I am beyond impressed with this girl's talent, work ethic and true passion for creating amazing imagery! Louisa is an artist whose work grows exponentially and she truly cares so much about her clients and her craft!
To check out more work from Louisa, follow her on Twitter & Facebook!
Q. What is your role in the Photogen Inc. Crew & Rivets and Roses?
I started working with the Photogen Inc crew last summer as the new lead photographer for Rivets and Roses. This means that I get to work with all the amazing Photogen Inc. people when I shoot weddings and when I help Eliesa out on her big, awesome test shoots. I am in charge of finding my clients, meeting with them and booking them, as well as shooting the weddings and engagement sessions. It's the perfect blend of independence and team support.
Q. How did you begin working for Rivets and Roses?
I met Eliesa several years ago through mutual friends of ours. We've run into each other here and there for the past 3-4 years and last summer, I decided to go to one of her MINNeSHOP workshops. I was so inspired by the incredible artists that I met that I think I sent a rather flowery thank you note to the Photogen Inc. studio. A few weeks later, Eliesa called me up and we met for a cup of coffee. She explained how Rivets and Roses worked; it's basically an umbrella company for new photographers who want to get into the wedding industry, but don't have the start-up funds. Eliesa supports her photographers by providing a website, equipment, assistants, etc. and the photographers who work under the umbrella can build a client base while still being supported by a more experienced and seasoned professional studio. I jumped at the chance to get in the field and have Eliesa as a mentor.
Q. What does it mean to be a lead photographer and growing into that roll from an assistant?
I haven't done much assisting yet, although it's a great experience. I like watching my peers work and I appreciate opportunities to assist, because it gives me a fresh look at how to go about the day. There is also something very liberating about shooting for 8 hours and then just handing the files over and not having to think about them anymore! I prefer being a lead photographer, though, because my favorite part of the wedding day is spending time with the couple. Being a lead photographer means there is a lot of work and planning that you have to do before the wedding day and a TON of editing and follow-up after the wedding day, so it's a serious amount of time and energy. Ultimately, I have to rely on myself to make sure my clients are happy and relaxed, that they are getting what they want and that my shots are going to exceed their expectations. More responsibility than assisting, but WAY more rewarding.
Q. How has being a part of this crew helped you as an artist?
I think that my technical skills have gotten exponentially better. After shooting my first wedding, I sat down with Eliesa and she helped me work though how I could make better exposures, better composition, better everything. Having a good eye for emotion and feeling only goes so far, if you don't know how your camera works. Beyond the technical, being around Eliesa, Liz, Jess and the other photographers I've met has made me think about how I see the world and why people should care about my point of view. It's made me think about how to best use color, contrast, shape, etc. If I had not taken the job at Rivets and Roses, I think I would still be back at square one.
Q. What is your favorite part about shooting?
My favorite part about shooting is when I get a frame that make me want to do a little dance. Sometimes everything comes together just so and the image is perfect. It's a blend of expression, light color and composition, as well as that instant where I am totally in synch with my clients.
Q. What else do you love in life, besides photography?
I love thunderstorms, my kittens, sitting on my front porch, growing things, crocheting, the amazing people in my life, noticing tiny and beautiful things when I go for walks, getting foot rubs, being near the water, boats, glass bottles, the ocean, steak (medium rare), candy, jeans that fit just right, jewelry, talent, old houses, driftwood, Bon Iver...want me to keep going?
Q. How did you start being a photographer?
I was dating a videographer several years ago and he convinced me to buy a DLSR. Once I started snapping away, I couldn't stop. My first year produced some pretty terrible images, but luckily that didn't slow me down (plus, at the time, I think I thought they were pretty good.) I have a lot of background in the sales field and I've been able to use that training to be shameless when it comes to self-promotion. My friends probably think I'm a broken record, because I talk about shooting all the time, but it's paid off! If you don't ask people to hire you, no one will.
Q. What do you think you bring to this team?
I bring a good attitude to the team, along with a solid work ethic. I feel lucky to work with Eliesa and her crew, and through listening to her critique and advice, I believe I've become a better photographer. Also, I am reliable and punctual; two things that are essential to being a professional in this field.
Q. What are you looking forward to the most for the 2011 season and beyond?
Once I get more comfortable with all the changing light situations that you get in a wedding, I will improve tenfold. I'm looking forward to the technical aspect of photography to come as easily for me as the client communication. I am excited to meet more new people and make friends in the industry and I hope I can make it to Eliesa's next Elevate Workshop!!!