Featured Photog: Lollie and Cryssi

Lollie & Cryssi

Sassyfras Studios

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

{Lollie} is a head to toe MOM who loves baking cookies, twirling in pretty dresses, laying on quilts while finding the pictures in the clouds, and snuggling with her hubby & 2 girlies. {Cryssi} is a ukelele playing hipster who likes to spend her days nuzzling on her cat Bucky and hubby Justin, watching her favorite old movies like 7 Brides for 7 brothers,  or surrounding herself with art with paint brushes in hand.

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

Lollie- Cannon 5d mark ii… I love the 35 mm because I am a sucker for rainbow flares and fun bokeh
Cryssi- Nikon D700… I love the 24-70 lens because as a first shooter in our weddings,  I can have so much diversity without having to move around too much {and without getting in Lollie’s way!}

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

When we were babies… ha!:)Seriously, Cryssi was an art major in college and liked photography, but wanted to push herself with it. She would come home during the weekends and do fun shoots with my {lollie} new baby, family pics, etc… We both just started chatting about how we really wanted to take a leap of faith. Our hubbies let us drain our savings, buy some legit equipment and we started SASSYFRAS:)

Are you formally taught or self taught?

Kinda both. Cryssi took one photography class in in college and interned with a photographer… then, she {patiently} taught me all the good stuff.

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

Our personalities are both so different so we each have our faves which is great because it covers all realms of portraiture photography. Cryssi specializes more in the ”older crowd” (seniors, couples, weddings) but is in love with engagement shoots because new love is so effortless and she gets to capture their story in a unique way.
Lollie loves the “little people” but especially newborns… mainly because of their baby wrinkles and kissable cheeks.

How many sessions are you shooting a month?

8-10 because each of our sessions are personally built according to their story. We were shooting about 5 a week but felt we were not giving our 100% creative BEST and since have limited it to 2-3 Max!:)

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

2-3 hours and HAVE TO HAVE MUSIC! Some of my fave editing tunes are Avett Brothers, Priscilla Ahn, The Civil Wars… anything fun & folksy yet soothing

What is your favorite part of the process? Shooting, editing, etc.

Uhhhh, shooting, definitely. It is awesome to see the final outcome, but we love interacting with people, not computers!

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.

Facebook is our best {and only marketing} friend. We have literally never paid a dime in marketing.

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

We are storytellers, and that is rarely {if ever} seen in our area. Each session is unique and built for that particular person… keeps us on our toes! We love planning each session out {we are major DIY girls!}

What do you do to help a client come out of their “shell” during a session?

We let them make out… haha… no really it has happened before.:)We just talk and talk and talk their ears off, asking them questions, becoming their friends… and by the end of it, we have them laughing and just having a good time.

What do you struggle with the most?

People not understanding and trusting our vision. One of our favorite shoots was our circus shoot. At first, they were a tidbit leary of the idea but once we explained our thought process behind it, they jumped right on board. The biggest compliment we received was that we captured their family perfectly. They were a complete blast to photograph!

How did you find your style? Any advice to new photographers on how to find their own style?

Many long hard nights of being unsatisfied with ourselves and our brand, Lollie looking at Cryssi saying “I DONT LIKE THAT EDITING!”, many sisterly loving fights, and finally just saying “stop griping about it and just do it!” And we did. Just experiment with different lighting techniques, editing, but most importantly, do what inspires you!!! The second that you start comparing yourself to other photogs is the second that you start missing it! Just be the creative beautiful person that God made you to be!

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

It is hard for us to pick one singular image, because we love them all for different reasons, but one of our favorite shoots, was definitely our Circus shoot with the Schultzes.  There was just something so fun and magical about it, and we definitely put our heart into it.  We were so honored to be able to photograph photogs that we so dearly looked up to.  It is definitely a shoot we will always treasure.

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.

Our friend Meredith lets us shoot on her property from time to time… Every time we pull in her driveway we say “oh, it feels like home.” From the fields of horses, to the hammocks, to her pristinely AMAZING kitchen, it speaks to us.

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

Our sister business The Carving Tree makes the best hand-made frames {with custom add-ons} and the most adorable woodland creatures you have ever seen! Everything they make is a titch of whimsy with so much love {and hard work} behind it. Their website is www.thecarvingtree.net.

And our workshops! We put so much TLC into each one and are super excited about our next one coming November 2012 nestled in the mountains of NC… just imagine homemade fried chicken, bluegrass bands, and 3 days of photography inspiration! We will be posting about it in the next couple weeks so be on the lookout!

Please share an image of your Prop stash!

MY HOUSE IS MY PROP STASH! haha:)Seriously, every single shoot requires new props so we are constantly buying. If I am in love with it then I find a way to use it in my home… or we also have photog yard sales! From side tables made out of crates to apple baskets full of blankets {i have a blanket obsession!} my home is basically one giant prop!:)

What is the best piece of advice you would give to a new photographer?

Be yourself.! Never compare yourself to other photogs, just find the inspiration within… Between those ears is a beautiful brain just jumping around with amazing ideas so use them!:)

More of Lollie and Cryssi’s Gorgeous Images:

Thanks for sharing with us, Lollie and Cryssi!

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Lindsay Rogers - April 10, 2012 - 10:06 am

I LOVE it! I love all the props and their style. I’m sure all of their clients have a blast during their sessions :)

Christy | One Handspun Day - April 10, 2012 - 10:11 am

Such a great interview! Loved hearing more about the fabulousness that is Sassyfrass ~ you ladies are so creative & talented <3

Rebecca - April 10, 2012 - 10:22 am

Love these girls! They consistently produce the most unique work out there! <3

Cheyenne Schultz - April 10, 2012 - 12:01 pm

the sassyfras girls are the best….the BEST!!!!

Ken - April 10, 2012 - 1:20 pm

HUGE fan of your work!! Congrats ladies!!!!!!!!!!!!

Karla - April 10, 2012 - 7:23 pm

Absolutely love the Sassy sisters. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Betsy - April 10, 2012 - 7:26 pm

Love these images! Love the sassy sisters!

Bethany Barkey - April 10, 2012 - 7:49 pm

Thank you for interviewing them! I follow their work on fb and I’m so happy to see some interview love for them :) Great stuff!

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