February 2014

Artist Feature – MerryFields Photography

 

I had the WONDERFUL experience of interviewing a very talented photographer!  Effie Lissitsas specializes in newborn photography and her work is simply beautiful.  She works under the name MerryFields Photography and is based out of Toronto Canada.  If you get an opportunity to click over and take a look at her work she has some wonderful examples of how to photograph newborns the safe way :-)  I had a number of questions for her and here is what she had to say :-)

Where did your love of photography begin?

My love of photography began when my mother brought home one of those large Polaroid cameras! I thought how amazing that this machine can take a photo and you instantly have a print of a moment that just passed! I just loved the feel of looking through old photographs and seeing my parents, my grandparents at a younger age…and even myself. I honestly thought that it was quite wonderful to be able to literally go back in time looking at these.

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What is your dream photography session?

Ha! I think that most would agree with me, that any dream photography session would  have an unlimited budget! My ultimate dream session would be recreating some concepts that I have floating around in my head…but barring that, it would be quite amazing to be able to shadow Georges Antoni, fashion photographer. The man tells stories with his photography, is an expert at lighting and I feel that his images are very evocative. I’d learn a lot from someone like him!

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How would you describe your style and how does that style reflect you as an artist?

I think that my style is fairly simple, clean and focuses on the subject that I am photographing. For example, when I photograph newborns, while I will remove blemishes and scratches, I’m not into the fad of the overly smooth porcelain doll look. It’s not me. There are some who carry it off well, but it’s not to my taste.  I try to keep everything true to form.

I do feel that this style reflects me as an artist, at least at this time. As a portraitist, I’m finding that I am constantly evolving, and constantly on the look out to do something different, from what I regularly do. I find that for myself at least, while I love photographing babies and families and newborns, I need to be able to do something totally outside ‘my’ box so I don’t become stagnant.

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What are some of your personal goals for 2014?

Personal goals for 2014 are quite a few actually, so where to start?! First and foremost spend more time with my family. Not many people realize how much time is actually involved in the work that we do. From setting up, to taking the photograph, to editing, to presenting etc. I became somewhat over loaded in 2013, and missed quite a lot of quality time with my family. So I decided to limit the sessions per month that I have. That is my main goal.

I also want to evolve with my lighting. I want to learn different styles of lighting, with different light set ups.  I want to be able to take my portraits to the next level. I’m also working on some projects that I am hoping once I have tweaked them that I will be able to offer these to clients. Mini goal is to get better organized. I somewhat like my chaotic order, so that too is a work in progress!

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What is some of your favorite photography gear? Nikon or Cannon? Favorite lens? Favorite accessory?

I am a Canon girl through and through! My favorite glass was my 50mm f/1.4 but I have to say that lately I have been using my 100mm f/2.8 for portraits and I am just in love with this lens! So it;s quite difficult for me to choose at this time as I am having fun with both!

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What is your favorite place to find inspiration as an artist?

I find inspiration everywhere. If I walk the streets and look at the people, the relationships going on in front of us. When I watch my kids getting all creative together to draw something imaginary. On the internet artistaday.com has some really cool stuff to look at. Other inspirations run the gamut from learning about various art periods to various photographers through out history.  So I have a pretty wide spectrum that I can pull from I think.

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What are some of your favorite images right now?
That is hard. One of my all time favorite images right now is one from Kirsty Mitchell’s ‘Wonderland’ series called ‘Spirited Away’. It’s vibrant, simple yet tells a complex story and it allows the viewer to wonder what that story is, and create a bit of your own. Kirsty Mitchell is quite phenomenal in her images.
http://www.kirstymitchellphotography.com/collection.php?album=5
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If you would like to connect with Effie here are a few ways to do that :-)
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Surprise Proposal – Madison Nature Trail Huntsville Alabama

It was a beautiful but VERY cold day…  There were some last minute scheduling changes but how do you not just roll with it when you know that he is going to propose???  They were high school sweethearts and have been dating all through college as well.  Now, in less than a month He will be deployed over seas for a 3 year tour with the US Navy.  I had been texting with him for weeks working out the details and coming up with the perfect location :-) (Not an easy job in the middle of Winter!)  These are just a few of my favorites from their session…

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This photo was taken not 5 minutes before he proposed.  Doesn’t the look on his face just say it all!!!

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It has been impossible to not smile while I work on these!  Their excitement is contagious :-)

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