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 attainable with out the proficient individuals behind the lens. The 500px Highlight collection highlights the worldwide and numerous 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 method to images caught the eye of the 500px group for her artistic ideas and lighting. Kaitlyn can be a chief 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: Hiya Kaitlyn! Are you able to inform us a bit about your self?

A: I’m a artistic portrait photographer based mostly in West Tennessee. I’ve been freelancing for over six years, primarily specializing in different style 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 wish to discover images as a profession?

A: I first picked up a digital camera in my teen years. It began off as a solution to doc recollections with my pals, take selfies—regular teen issues. However my first actual digital camera was a Nikon DSLR handed right 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 path and felt I wasn’t good at something.

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

I searched for therefore lengthy to search out an outlet or a approach I might quiet these ideas. Then I picked up that previous 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 group. I felt so impressed by the enjoyment my photographs introduced them! Not solely might 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 collection?

A: Regardless of identical intercourse marriage within the U.S. solely being authorized for eight years, now we have 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 those that marched for our freedom and lived their fact with out concern of how the world noticed them—without end paving the trail for us to be who we are actually.

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Q: Most of the photographs in your portfolio illustrate themes of connection and love. The photograph beneath, for example, might have been shot with out the fashions’ fingers however you determined to include them and thus created a more in-depth, extra intimate really feel. Do you’ve ideas for growing this stage of intimacy along 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 snort. In doing that, I captured a phenomenal second that was real!

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

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Q: Your shoot was shot in low mild situations with numerous coloured vacation lights. Your fashions are illuminated and clear. Are you able to inform us concerning the technical facet 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 permit 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 at all times on level! How do you determine what sorts of fashions to work with and what’s your method to recruiting them on your shoots?

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

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 snug doing a photoshoot. In the event that they agree, we collaborate to mix our types and create one thing that matches how they wish to see themselves. I ask what makes them genuine. It at all times feels most snug being your self.

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Q: As somebody who’s skilled in photographing members of the group, 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 most effective and most respectful solution to ask somebody their pronouns is by asking, “How do you establish?” or “What are your pronouns?”. It’s crucial 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 great tool for self-promotion and cultivating group. We love your TikTok, and you’ve got gained a incredible following! Do you’ve any options for photographers wanting to begin their very own TikTok?

A: I like to doc my journey as an aspiring skilled to indicate others easy methods to do the identical! I virtually at all times have an assistant to assist me with photoshoots. When my assistant isn’t busy, I ensure that 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 virtually at all times overlook and find yourself with 25-minute movies. (I’m optimistic there’s a higher solution to do it, however nothing simple is enjoyable!)

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

It’s supreme that you simply publish at the least 3 to 4 occasions every week. Nevertheless, my consistency of posting content material varies on what I can deal with. I’ve anxious 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 needs you to. Even when it doesn’t get the eye you suppose it deserves.

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Q: If you got a limiteless funds 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. Probably in an aquarium or water tank!

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

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

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

I wish to be taught extra concerning the variations inside our personal group and what it could 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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