Featured Photog: Angela Healy

Angela Healy

Linabell Photography

Site : Facebook

What  fun it is to introduce a new face to you all each week!  It’s funny every week I fall in love with the images that are shared by the Featured Photog and say “Oh, they are my favorite!”.  This is week is NO exception.  Angela’s images are dreamy, romantic and have just a bit of vintage to them.  Exactly what I love! I am SO excited to introduce you all to this sweet photographer.  Please be sure to stop by her Fan Page and leave her some love for sharing with us!

Now on to the Q&A ….


Q. Tell us a little about yourself in just two sentences and include a picture of yourself.

I am an incredibly blessed woman with 2 beautiful little boys (2 and 4), a wonderful husband who believes in me and my goals, and a career that I couldn’t have dreamt up to be better! I went to school for graphic design, and so I still get to enjoy design and creativity in a way that’s so fulfilling to me!

Q. What do you shoot with and what is your favorite lens and why?

I shoot with a D700 and have a D90 for a backup. LOVE my D700, everything about it. My straight out of camera took a giant leap when I started shooting with it. As far as my favorite lens goes, when I bought my Nikon 24-70mm 2.8, I thought for sure that would be my favorite lens, but it’s still my 50mm 1.4 that I adore.

Q. When did you start shooting for fun and then move to shooting professionally?

I’ve always enjoyed photography, but was never patient enough to learn the true craft of it until after I had my first son. I realized then how precious all the moments are with them and that you want to capture every bit of it before it’s gone! Soon after I started diving into learning how to shoot on manual, I was hooked. I just wanted to get better and better. I started shooting for people I knew, then people I didn’t know, and just grew my business from there. I had never really thought I would do it professionally, but it was the best move I’ve ever made. I went from shooting only on location, to finishing off a studio room in our basement and using a home studio for a year before moving into a commercial space where my studio is now.

Q.  Are you formally taught or self taught?

After high school, I got a degree in graphic design, and then ended up in sales for something completely different. It was so great to be able to come back to my creative roots and use some of that training I did have, so that gave me a kick start with editing, however, there was still a huge learning curve. I started ‘playing’ with my first DSLR, a Nikon D40, and realized that I wanted to learn how to use my camera and do with it what I wanted it to do instead of letting the camera decide for me. I took some community classes to learn the basics first. After that I practiced like crazy, and enveloped myself in forums and other ways of learning how I could get better. Having a baby helped a ton because I could never get bored with photographing him anyway!

Q. What is your specialty and how did you decide to specialize in that area of photography?

I would say I mainly shoot newborns through age 1. I do photograph families, seniors, some boudoir and maternity, and a handful of weddings each year, but it’s the babies that I drool over J For me, it’s the magic of the newness of them. Their tiny little features, their tiny wrinkles and folds and baby chub… I never tire of it! The newborn session is so completely different than the 6 or 9 month session and then the 1 year session. I love watching them turn into the toddler with their personality really shining through. It is so incredible to watch that transformation, I truly love seeing those milestones.

Q. How many sessions are you shooting a month?

I do a lot more outdoor sessions in the summer and fall, so I’m much busier through those months, but I would say around 12-18. I like to keep it to 2-3 a week. For me, that allows me to keep some balance with my workflow and my personal life. Shooting, editing, taking care of the business side of things, and still allowing me plenty of time with my family.

Q.  On average how long to do you spend editing each session and do you listen to music while editing or just enjoy the quiet?

It usually takes me around 2-3 hours to edit a session. I’ve been known to be a little bit of a perfectionist, so it depends on the mood I’m in. I love listening to Pandora.com while I edit! I totally bump it with the kids at daycare and the house to myself! J LOL- if everyone is home and I’m burning the midnight oil (what!? We photographers don’t ever do that! Lol) then it’s usually pretty quiet or some light music.

Q. What is the best marketing tool that works for you or was a total waste of time?  Do you advertise in print?  Do you offer referral bonuses?  If yes, please share a little.

At this point, my best marketing tool has been facebook! You can’t beat free advertising. Honestly, that and referrals. Your past clients are your best cheerleaders and supporters! (At least that’s what I work really hard at every session to make happen) I am working on an incentive plan for referrals and also working on putting together some gift baskets to go along with gift certificates for baby showers, etc. I think people sharing their personal experiences speaks volumes, and if your friend is so over-the-top happy with their experience with you, they’re going to want to have that same experience!

Q. What do you do to “stand out” from surrounding photographers that you’re competing with?

I work really hard at connecting with the parents and kids. For me, I think that if people really connect with you, they have a much harder time leaving you for the Cheap Charlie down the road. I think that relationship and trust is important. I don’t just show up, do their shoot, and say ok, see ya! I try to hold their hand through the whole process, making them feel like their family and their session is just as important to me as it is to them, which is true. It really is. They’re my business and my biggest cheerleaders and supporters! It’s a win win situation J Is that the case for everyone…? No, probably not, but if I do everything I can to make that happen, then I can’t feel bad about it.

Q.What was your biggest mistake and how did you fix it?

Man, I still struggle with balance. I hear it over and over again, how it is so hard to be a great Mom, wife and run a successful business. I think for me, I had to really start valuing my time and the time I spend away from my kids and family. That meant, I could no longer be the cheapest photographer around. I had to raise my prices in order to make it worth all the time I spend doing it. I pour my heart and soul into my work, so if I’m just giving it away, what am I telling myself that my time is worth and the time with my family? I am by no means a master of balancing my time, but I’m working hard on getting it right!

Q. Please share your favorite image and tell us what makes this your favorite?

Wow, that is soo tough! For me, it seems like it changes all the time! With every session, there are different experiences and things that you remember. I guess it would have to be this family image, and let me tell you why. It is not because it is the best photograph that I’ve ever taken, nor is it because the lighting was perfect or the props were great. It is because this family is fighting the battle of their life. Their son, Anders, who was a healthy and active little boy just one year prior, was diagnosed with cancer. A brain tumor. I took their family portrait the year before and the kids were running around like… you know, kids. Then the following year, I received an email from them saying they’d like their family session again, but here is where their life is at now. I bawled. As a mother myself, I just can not imagine the struggle that this family is going through and how they are all being so strong through it all.

Q. Can you show us your shooting space?  If you are shooting inside can you show a simple pull back shot or lots of images if you have a large studio. If you shoot on location please share an image of you favorite location.

I have a studio right now in a commercial building, but we are in the process of re-assessing our space J It’s currently being repainted/redecorated, so I can share some of the shots that I have from right before this process began!  I shoot a ton (the majority of my sessions) outside in the summer/fall, besides newborn, so it’s allowing me the time to get this (big) project done.

Shooting Areas – Above & Below

Q. Is there anything you would like to promote?  Maybe a mentoring you offer or any side projects.

In the future, I would love to host a mentoring program, but my current projects are the studio and my new ‘Linabellbaby’ brand under Linabell Photography. The studio is a big project and I would love to share pictures when it’s all done! Linabellbaby is a little division under Linabell Photography that’s all about babies. I’m working on some cute promotional pieces like onesies with the logo and some other little goodies for gift bags for all the new parents, as well as some new marketing for it.

Q. Please share an image of your Prop stash!  This doesn’t have to be an organized space just an image showing off your addiction.

I’m quite the hoarder of props! Besides making headbands (in all my spare time! hahaha) I spend WAY too much time on etsy and all those other fun little shops. I just added a ‘Links I Love’ tab on my website to start adding all my favorite prop finds J I think it’s so important to help guide parents in the direction of your style! Most ask for ideas and such, so it’s been helpful to have some places in mind so they come looking the part;)I also have a ton of hats for boys and girls, clip flowers for ladies/seniors and little accessories to use to add a special little extra to an outfit.

Lastly, every photographer has a specialty or a technique that they are really good at.  Would you share a little tip for everyone that has to do with your specialty?

I loooove using backlighting! Summer lighting in the evening outside is so awesome in MN, we get to have a couple of nice months of weather here, so I rock it whenever I get the chance! Biggest thing that helped me with backlighting, if you’re not going to use OCF (off camera flash) is using a reflector and getting that light back in their eyes and on their face. I can’t always have someone assisting at shoots, and the stand doesn’t usually work that well in the wind outside, so of course editing is really helpful too;)

I’m sharing some before/afters to see the difference editing can make on a dark face from a backlit picture, and what a difference it makes to have a reflector for some fill light.

More of Angels’s Stunning Work:

Thank You for sharing your beautiful work with us Angela!

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Tammy - August 22, 2011 - 2:46 pm

wow, gorgeous work! Vivid, liquid images. This is how I want to shoot! Thanks – perfect, usable info!

Lacey Meyers - August 23, 2011 - 8:43 am

Wow … AMAZING work! I love how her studio work doesn’t FEEL like studio … these are all so natural!

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