"I love to capture moments that can never be recreated. I find it fulfilling to be able to create a way to remember a priceless moment."
Sorry we had to title this with Nickleback lyrics, but hey, we have to hand it to them, this was a catchy song. Now on to less painful things, we are so excited to brag on our photography genius: the one, the only (well the only that I know), Leigh McGruder! This girl could be described as so many lovely things, but one of the first that comes to mind is talent! This girl can make anyone look like a model. Trust me, I figured this out first hand the first day I met her. During a photo shoot I had to fill in for one of our models- this was #unfortunate news for me. Sweating profusely, conveniently not wearing makeup, and just being the overall awkward person that I am, I was pretty much set up for a failure already. But Leigh didn't give up on me that easy. She came in with her calm and hilarious personality and made me feel so at ease. That girl is good at her job! She worked her voodoo magic and the pictures turned out really well! And I got to hang with her for two hours so it was a super fun night! I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend and coworker, here's what she has to say about photography and how it has impacted her life.
M: How long have you been doing photography?
L: Well, it's quite embarrassing, but my first interest in photography was in my awkward Junior High years. I started with self-portraits using a self-timer... yeah, gross. Then I realized it was definitely a better idea to shoot other people. So I just played around with my friends. Then I started my photography business in high school.
(For the record, we would love to see those Junior High pics!)
M: What is your favorite subject to take photographs of?
L: I love to take pictures of people the most. Whether it be my friends on a spur of the moment adventure, a senior who is supposedly "awkward in front of the camera" and ends up rocking their senior pictures, or capturing the laughs of my orphans in Africa.
M: Where's your favorite place to take pictures?
L: I love to shoot anywhere outside, but I live for grassy fields.
M: If you could photograph anyone, who would it be?
L: I have a dream that I can one day photograph Free People models.
(We believe in you, Leigh!)
M: If you could photograph anywhere, where would it be?
L: In a valley filled with flowers.
M: Is there a photographer that inspires you or your pictures?
L: I don't think I could name just one photographer. I feel inspired by every photographer I come across that has originality and no fear of what others think.
M: What's the hardest part of being a photographer?
L: The hardest part of being a photographer is not letting yourself try to copy other photographers ideas. Being original is everything in this field. Inspiration is what leads a photographer. And why would you want to create work that isn't your own?
M: Any advice for amateur photographers? (AKA those of us with an iPhone and an Instagram account)
L: If I could give anyone advice that enjoys how a camera feels in their hands, or even if you just like artsy iPhone pics, it would be to never get discouraged by comparing yourself to other photographers. Because no one sees something you think is beautiful or unique the same way you do.
M: What is your favorite picture you've ever taken?
L: Well as hard as I thought this question might be, two photos immediately came to mind. Both were taken in Tanzania, Africa at an orphanage I've visited three times. These are my girls Neema, Ceceilia, Rehema, Martina, Sarah, Deborah, and Lugresia.
(I told y'all she's good!)
We are beyond excited to have Leigh on our Houndstooth Press team! Keep pursuing your passions and talents, girl!