I had the privilege to interview Kendra Okolita, owner of Clickinmoms – a great photography forum. You will love getting to know her as both a photographer (LuluBird Photography), owner of a popular photography forum and mom.
If you want to try clickin moms forum, there is a special running right now. Just click the banner or links in the post – and go sign up. Use the code “FRIEND” for 10% off. You can try the forum for one month at $6 (less the 10% off) – basically for the price of a fancy cup of coffee at Starbucks. So you really have nothing to lose.
6 reasons you will want to join today:
- This forum has super helpful members where you can ask your photography and photoshop questions, share your photography, read photoshop tutorials and learn more about photography
- There is lots of great free stuff there (yep – some free presets, actions, templates and textures)
- There is a great referral program too so you can earn money by joining
- There is a referral contest going on right now – so once you sign up you can tell your friends too – and earn some cool prizes like gift certificates to tons of great places. So in the end you may even MAKE MONEY by joining…
- One of the mentors (Sarah) is doing an amazing series on color correction every Wednesday starting last week – so just that is worth the price of admission. It really is incredible and is a great accompaniment to my Color Fixing Workshop. Time permitting I may do a guest post for it teaching a cool color trick or two as well.
- SOME TIME IN THE NEXT WEEK OR SO I WILL BE DOING A GROUP BUY exclusively for CLICK IN MOM members (and since I never run sales – this is your chance to save a few dollars) – and that discount will basically play for a month of membership. It will ONLY be available at Clickin Moms! So do not miss out.
Now I sound like a use sales person 🙂 Just join me over there and you will see.
Now… back to our regularly scheduled program – the interview with Kendra!
When did you decide to become a photographer? What inspired you to become a photographer?
I have always loved pictures. I wanted to be a photographer for as long as I can remember, but it always seemed so mysterious and technical and difficult. Once I had my children I was obsessed with capturing everything special about them and everything amazing in their lives.
What type of photography do you do? What is your favorite type?
Mostly children’s portraits and lifestyle photography for children. Newborns are probably my favorite, and then 6 month olds! I love it when they can sit up and smile, but can’t run away from me yet!
What is your favorite photo you have ever taken and what makes it so special?
I don’t know if I have one favorite photo, but anytime I can get all four of my kids in a photo I am please. This was a particularly special day because they held hands and walked down this path on their own. They probably knew I was going to ask them to do it eventually, but it was sweet nonetheless.
Tell us how you learned photography? Did you have any formal training? If not, how did you learn?
I learned the basics of photography in college, but I never really pursued it until I had kids. I knew how to use my camera, but I wanted to know more. We didn’t use Photoshop back when I was in school!
I have actually learned more from reading, studying and practicing. I am still finding my style and learning new ways to do things every single day. Our online community has been so helpful! It is amazing that I can reach out to thousands of photographers with a question and get at least a dozen different answers in a matter of minutes!
Tell us what motived you to start the clickinmoms photography forum? What is the mission of the forum? When did you start it?
I started ClickinMoms a little over a year ago. I never dreamed it would get so big! I just wanted a place to chat about photography in a casual way. So many of my friends purchased DSLRS and have no idea how to use them. They were willing to learn, but the information can be overwhelming and hard to come by if you aren’t aiming to be a pro.
It is amazing to see so many women (and a few men!), sharing and participating. Both the giver and the receiver benefit in huge ways. We have members who have been with us over a year and it is breathtaking to see how far they have come.
With so many photography forums out there, what makes clickinmoms special? What types of photographers and what level photographers are members? Who should consider joining?
I think that what makes us special is that we all have a passion for photography and really enjoy sharing our work with each other. When you share so much of yourself through pictures, friendships are bound to form! We have real comradery. It’s very cool!
CM is for photographers at every level, from novice to pro. While CM wasn’t really intended as a professional photographer’s forum, it has developed into a very valuable resource for our pros. We have such a super-cool vibe and it’s really inspiring to see what these amazing women will come up with next!
Who are your favorite photographers? What photographers inspire you most?
Oh wow, I don’t think I could list them all, but her are a handful: Lisa Harrison, Kristin Brown, and Sarah Wilkerson (awesome photographers who are incredibly giving with their time and talent); Leah Profancik; Robert Randall; Jesh DeRox; Carrie Sandoval; Brittany Woodall; Andrea Joki; Tara Whitney.
Describe a day in your personal or professional life.
I live in a crazy world! My personal and professional life weave in and out of each other all day long. I have 4 amazing kids (ages 7,7,4 & 2) and one awesome husband who keep me busy with potty training, puzzles, lunch duty, baseball, ballet, homework, laughing and LAUNDRY.
I only schedule one or two shoots a week. They are usually on the weekend and oh how I love to grab a latte and turn up the music in my non-bus-like car and drive to a shoot! It’s “me” time!
I sneak my computer time in when the older ones are at school and the little ones nap. I have more computer time for ClickinMoms and editing photos at night after our kids are in bed. I can usually do that while watching TIVO’d shows with my husband (The Office, 30 Rock, Meet the Press, The Daily Show, Oprah…)
What are the biggest personal or professional challenges you face on a daily basis?
Did I mention laundry? How on earth can one keep up with that?
My biggest challenge is balancing it all. I am so lucky that my passion and hobby is also my profession, so going to work isn’t a problem. I do live with huge mother’s guilt about not giving enough to my family, but in the end I feel incredibly blessed to be able to work from home and still be there for my kids (even if I never make it to the bottom of the laundry pile).
What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
My kids….especially when they don’t know I’m there!
Tell your funniest story from a photo shoot?
Hmmmm…..I did have a mom that was pooped on TWICE from birds flying overhead.
How do you describe your photographic style?
I have to admit that I am still trying to find my style. I love clean/classic portraiture, but I also love the emotion and movement from a more photojournalistic approach.
Tell us a secret about yourself that no-one knows … (and now a few thousand people will know)
I am incredibly shy. I work very hard at keeping my inner-introvert at bay, so most people never know. Photography has forced me into meeting new people and making new friends. I can talk to anyone with my handy camera shield!
What would you have done differently during your photography career so far and could this be an advice to others?
I like to read and study a lot. I spent way to much time reading about photography and not enough time just taking pictures. The time you spend behind the camera is what will help you improve. It is definitely an area where experience (along with dedication and vision) matter!
Mac or PC? Nikon or Canon? Primes or Zooms? Raw or Jpg?
Mac! Canon! Prime, but a zoom for everyday stuff. Raw, but usually jpg for everyday stuff.