Interview: Photographer Liz Charney
We were blessed with the absolute pleasure of all that is Liz Charney, photographer of her photography services; Trek and Bloom. Her humbled and distinguished palette for maintaining her grounded yet completely immersed perspective of photography and motivation and development really was inspiring, (as she had hoped) and just as she said, “there’s so much we can all learn from each other!
What do you define being a photographer as?
There was a time when my definition of being a “photographer” was based off of how many Instagram likes I got or how many sessions I was booking but over the last year or so, that definition has changed a bit. I think being a photographer means……. you see people and places in ways that not everyone does. You notice the mood of a place, the way the colors of a scene work together to create an emotion, you see people as the best version of themselves.
How would you describe your vision/style?
Natural light, authentic, moody, inspiring (I hope!)”
What led you into photography?
We took some great family vacations while I was growing up. We road tripped out West for all of them in some version or another out of an 80’s motor home or early 90’s conversion van that my dad would find on Craigslist and fix up just enough to somehow get us through Kansas before it would break down and we had to find an O’Reilly’s and make additional adjustments before continuing on into the Rocky’s. On one of these trips, when I was about 13, my mom handed me her Canon AE-1 that she had received as a high school graduation gift and I was smitten with the way I could freeze frame the amazing scenes we were driving or hiking through. I loved Ansel Adams and did my best to recreate his magnificent work as we toured Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and South Dakota. I’ve been taking pictures consistently ever since then.
What are some nifty tricks you use to achieve your vision?
I try not to spend too much time looking at other photographer’s work. There are so many beautiful and unique styles out there! I found that I would lose sight of my vision and start doubting my worth and potential if I spent hours scrolling through gorgeous social media feeds of photographers who are much more established/experienced than me. That said, I do think it’s extremely important to initiate and maintain healthy, supportive relationships with other photographers and creatives. There’s so much we can learn from each other!
Is there anything you would like to go back and tell yourself when you first started photography?
Yes, SHOOT IN RAW! Haha! This seems like such a basic thing now, but when I first started, I hadn’t even heard of RAW and was convinced my JPEG files would do just fine. Oh boy. Also, trust your gut. If an image speaks to you, share it! Don’t over analyze the response you think an image will get and try not to let external feedback/confirmation be the measure of your success. Do you! And your sincerity and unique view of the world will speak for itself.
How do keep your momentum of motivation?
I try to maintain a healthy mix of for-work and for-fun sessions so that I always know I have a creative “break” coming up! Working with other creatives helps me take a step back from things and broaden my perspective, helping me feel inspired and ready to create.