Sarah Severson (Chicago, IL)
Sarah Severson Photography
(also on facebook)
Based in Evanston, IL - just north of Chicago, Sarah has two rambunctious but sweet little boys, ages 4 1/2 and 3. She's been in business for three years and loves to photograph births, newborns, toddlers, older kids and families, and of course her own children as they grow. Sarah also offers one-on-one tutoring to help parents better use their DSLR and photo editing software.
I'd always had an interest in photography and was the person at family events walking around, taking pictures of everyone. I really love capturing moments in time with still images. I majored in journalism in college and took a few classes related to photojournalism, and this further fueled my passion for photography. It wasn't until my husband finished graduate school though that I could afford to buy a DSLR and really dive in to learning the camera and the craft. I took classes, mentored with photographers that I admired, read a whole slew of books, studied and practiced like crazy. I have been in business for three years now.
2) How would you describe your style?
My style is clean, simple, and sweet. I lean toward being just a touch overexposed with a light, airy feel. I like taking a combination of posed as well as candid lifestyle shots.
3) What do you most enjoy photographing?
I have a special love for photographing newborns, but also enjoy the big milestone ages - toddlers are hilarious and a great challenge, families are a lot of fun. And photographing my own family of course ranks right up there!
4) Which is your favorite lens?
Hmmm it's hard to say just one! The lenses I use the most are Nikon's 50 f/1.4 and 24-70 f/2.8 lenses. But before I had those professional level lenses, I loved shooting with Nikon's 35 f/1.8 lens because it's a light prime that worked well indoors. Chicago winters can feel really long and it was nice to have a prime that I could use often in my house with my kids.
5) What have you most enjoyed about being a photosanity mentor so far?
It's so rewarding to see photosanity participants learn the material and run with it! I also love seeing the positive interactions between members of the group as they give great suggestions and positive feedback. It's a great community. I'm excited to work with this next session of workshop participants!
6) What is your favorite photography tip for parents?
Have your camera charged and ready! Upload and backup your pictures OFTEN and in multiple places (online and external hard drives)! Try to anticipate emotions or picture-worthy moments so you are ready with your camera when they happen. If you have a DSLR, invest in a camera bag that you enjoy carrying around with you so you'll bring your camera along when you go out.
7) Share three of your recent favorite photos (personal and/or professional) - why are they favorites?
The first is a beautiful newborn named Cate. She slept through the entire session and I love that she is so peaceful and sweet in this shot. The second was taken on a day in October the day before a big storm came through Chicago and blew off all of the gorgeous fall leaves, so I was really excited to do this session before it looked like winter. The family lives on this wonderful street with large old trees, so it was a great place for our photo session - they have their oldest child and then two sets of twins! The third is one of my absolute favorite pictures that I took of my boys at home - my 4-year-old son snuck my iPhone into the bathroom and the 2-year-old followed him in to watch him play (I think it was Angry Birds). I walked past the bathroom, saw what was happening and grabbed my camera really fast to capture this shot. Such a funny moment and sweet time of life!
8) Choose one photo from a fall 2011 participant that you particularly like and explain why.
I love this photo by Jessie Wixon because it so sweetly captures these little girls in their matching outfits and how they are so focused on making the right steps. Such a great photo.
nyc baby, child and family photographer & architect alethea cheng fitzpatrick is based in brooklyn. she specializes in baby photography as interior design & interior design for babies. view her portfolio of babies, children or families or send her an e-mail here!