I am excited to feature Lori Svensen today.
She and I met a few weeks ago via Steemit and we got along right away. She is a very talented artist!
Lori is a 45-year-old, stay-at-home mother of six. This self-described Anglo-American is originally from Oregon, USA, but has lived in many other places including, Wisconsin, New York, England, Wales, and now Wyoming.
After joining Steemit in December 2017, Lori began to more passionately pursue one of her other dreams - fiction writing. Her fantasy, romance series A'mara Books features daily on all three platforms right now. However, she also tries to spend time with her camera and GIMP and Photoscape to make the most of her images.
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Lori, thank you for answering my questions! What inspired you to become a photographer? Any particular story?
Lori Svensen: My father was probably one of my first inspirations. Always fairly shy, he was always the photographer and rarely the subject. I remember him buying an Olympus back in the late 70s, I would have been 5 or 6 at the time.
I had my first point-and-shoot when I was in second grade - something I used to record a few images from the best place I ever lived growing up - a small hobby farm that my family owned.
Later, I was in Yearbook - back in the era when we had to learn how to roll our own film and everything was manual. (I didn't have to develop our own images, thankfully!) Most of those images were in black-and-white. I specialized in covering the football team as I was team statistician and went to all the games anyway. It was a somewhat dangerous subject, actually (once the statistician on the visiting team accidentally got tackled!) Although I learned on a basic Pentax, I often used my dad's Olympus as well.
CM: What is your favorite subject to photograph?
LS: Whatever is at hand! But my favorite things involve contrast - especially in places where you might not expect it.
Some of my early pictures involved strange contrasts... such as a building that had been targeted by arson. The first thing that was done by the contractors afterwards was to put up this sign that said: "Another improvement by.... (name of company)" - I thought it was so funny that I needed a picture.
Another image was of upturned canoes next to a snow-covered lake (which I was standing on...)
CM: What makes a good photo?
LS: In many ways, this is in the eye of the beholder. What are you looking for?
I am looking for things that I wouldn't mind having hung up on my living room wall if I had the space for them all! Or a coffee table book. They may not be the things that sell the best, but they are what I love to capture.
The job of the photographer is to find the picture within a scene - sometimes, that means salvaging a shot that seemed hopeless at first.
CM: What is the photo you prefer in your portfolio? Why?
LS: Children are difficult subjects to capture well. So, when I come up with an excellent shot, they do tend to be my favorites.
This one is of my youngest son when he was about 5 years old (he's almost 17 now!) - in fact, it was a shot that I wasn't impressed with in its original state. Fortunately, I rarely throw out photos completely... and came across this again last year, re-edited it and realized I had a stunner there.
I've been using it as my Facebook page cover image for awhile now. I love how he's watching the older kids playing - he clearly wants to join in! That's why I called this shot "Anticipation."
CM: Any photographer you admire?
LS: Besides you? I love a lot of your work, actually. One of my favorites in the Blockchain world is @jarvie with his awesome shots from around the world. He even got to meet The Piano Guys recently - how awesome is that?! I bumped into him when he was brand new on Steemit. As you can imagine, he's done extremely well on this platform.
CM: What piece of advice would you give photographers who are starting with online promotion?
LS: Get your pictures "out there" - it's one of the reasons I joined Steemit to begin with.
I have various stores around - I get sales on Zazzle, CafePress and RedBubble (my favorite so far.) You may not get a whole lot to begin with, but it's better than nothing, and you are building a presence.
If you can, try to keep your name consistent across platforms. I started using Viking Photography years ago. Because of my work with graphic art, I changed it to Viking Visual which remains today. Viking Ventures (which I use on Steemit, Whaleshares and WeKu) is just my "umbrella" to cover everything I do - including my fiction writing. It's good to be consistent though because people will see your name in different places and start recognizing your work when they see it.
CM: Anything else you would like to share?
LS: ALWAYS have your camera on you! (Okay, maybe leave it home when you're going shopping in your local town.) I cannot count the number of times I wished I had my camera with me! Yet, I've rarely regretted having it with me.