Featured Friend and Photographer of the Week Emily Southerland

May 22, 2011

This week I’m featuring Emily Southerland of Emily Southerland Photography. She’s located in St. Louis, Missouri and offers very fun and unique portraiture! Check out her website or her current work on her blog or facebook page.

Featured Image of the Week…..


Orange County Kid Photographer
10 Questions for Emily Southerland…

1) Why do you love this image?
I love this shot because it is a perfect sample of MY STYLE. I love fun, I love whimsy, I love spontaneity… And a little bit of funky thrown in. This family was AWESOME to play with!

2) What were your settings with this image?

1.ISO 500
SS 1/125
aperture 4.0
lens: 24-70L
natural light

About Photography…
3) What do you love about Photography?

I love catching perfect moments in crisp, beautiful color/black and white. I love seeing personality in my subject’s eyes. I love being able to preserve the RIGHT NOW for myself– a big sappy sentamentalist!– and to be able to do that for others as well.

4) What type of Photography do you specialize in and why?
I specialize in portraits of babies, kiddos, and teens… With family moments thrown in. I do love photographing couples in love, but most of my work leans towards the younger set. I particularly adore babies and high school seniors. I find myself drawn to this instead of weddings/landscape/macro because I love the spontanaeity you get when you can arrange the best times and places for photographs. I love that I can get most any subject to let loose and really become themselves in front of the camera. And I love the intimacy of working with people, but in small numbers.

About your life. . .

5) What are your favorite hobbies and pastimes?
I LOVE baking– particularly cupcakes. And I have discovered a passion for sewing that has taken over my imagination completely. I’m an artist at heart, and love love love creating something out of nothing. Fabric just happens to be my medium of choice these days. As for pastimes, I love going to movies, eating amazing food, exploring markets fairs and festivals, road-tripping, and playing board games with family and friends.

6) Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by wildly creative people, most of whom I find online these days. Etsy artists, other photographers, designers… I am in awe of the original ideas out there that still exist. How do they come UP with that stuff???
I am also inspired by vintage, boho, gypsy, Anthropologie, my nostalgia for my own past, and my mother.

7) Do you have happy and depressed moments during your creative cycle?
This is such a pertinent question right now! I am extra pregnant these days, so 2011 has been a strange year for me so far, photography-wise. I usually barrel into a new year with ideas, schemes, goals, and creativity, ready to grow as an artist and grow my business. But this year, knowing I’ll not only have a maternity hiatus in the spring, but also have a slower year altogether as I learn how to be a mama to two, I’ve let myself “let go”, creatively. So I suppose you could consider this a “slump”. I am content with it for now, trusting that there is a season for everything, and that inspiration comes from all corners. I have faith that when the season to expand my photography comes again, I’ll be refueled and ready.

8 ) Do you have any personal projects?
Indulging my own creative projects has been my creative lifeblood these last weeks of winter. So far, I’ve taken a belly photo for each week of my third trimester (you can find them here: http://emilys-little…el/baby%20bumps), made an elaborate set of snowflakes and hearts for Valentine photos of my son (found here: http://emilys-little…entine-boy.html), and done a LOT of sewing and crafting. having personal projects keeps my creative well full and I LOVE doing them!

9) What would your ideal day be like?

Wow— this will be fun! My ideal day would begin in a breezy apartment in Rome, Italy, waking slowly to the sounds of the city outside my open windows. My hubby would be with me, and my kiddos asleep in another room. After a leisurely breakfast on a balcony/patio, we’d head out to explore the city with a stroller, good shoes, and some spending money. I’d also have my camera and journal in my bag, so that if the whim stuck me, I could stop and capture some of our day on paper or in photographs. We’d enjoy a mild, sunny day in piazzas, getting food from street vendors, sitting by a fountain to drink Orangina while the kids splash their hands in the water. We might check out some outdoor markets, watch painters doing their thing… take the kids to an outdoor puppet show…When we get a bit worn out, we’d head back to our apartment and everyone would get a nap, me included… I’d read a great book to fall asleep, and the open windows would waft city sounds to us as we dozed. In the late afternoon, when everyone woke, my sister would come and make us an amazing dinner from fresh marketplace ingredients, then stick around to babysit while Joe and I headed out to have a date together– perhaps some cinema, maybe some outdoor musicians, or just a stroll to get gelato and enjoy the night. The day would end with some romance *wink* and since my man goes to sleep before me, I’d then burn the late night hours away doing something creative, just for me, be it a sewing project, some painting, some altered art… Something. And I’d fall into bed exhausted, but completely content. Mm!

10) If you weren’t a photographer, what other profession would you like to pursue?
I used to be a high school teacher… And while I am not missing that specific job, I think I’d still love teaching in some capacity— even if it was just an evening community college class in writing or art or photography. I’d also LOVE to be a life coach!! Weird, I know… but I’d LOVE that. Or a movie or food critic… Lots of things sound amazing to me! Mostly, though, I love being an artist and a mama, so I am content.

Next week I’ll be featuring the fabulous Niki Strbian from Niki Strbian Valokuvaus. She’s all the way in Finland! Checkout her work on her website and blog. Become a fan on her facebook page.

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