Licensing Contributor Kaitlyn Sawyer offers perception on capturing emotion and variety

At 500px wonderful images is at our core, however these pictures wouldn’t be attainable with out the gifted folks behind the lens. The 500px Highlight sequence highlights the worldwide and various photographers which can be a part of the 500px Neighborhood. This week we’re excited to introduce you to Licensing Contributor Kaitlyn Sawyer.

Kaitlyn Sawyer is a contract photographer at present based mostly in West Tennessee. Her model and method to images caught the eye of the 500px group for her inventive ideas and lighting. Kaitlyn can be a first-rate instance of a photographer who thoughtfully casts her fashions to incorporate variety. Her portfolio continues to captivate us with the distinctive narratives and personalities of her fashions.

Q: Howdy Kaitlyn! Are you able to inform us a bit about your self?

A: I’m a inventive portrait photographer based mostly in West Tennessee. I’ve been freelancing for over six years, primarily specializing in different vogue and artistic lighting. I spend most of my time dreaming up new ideas and discovering new methods to inform tales with my pictures.

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Q: Kaitlyn, when did you first decide up a digicam and what made you wish to discover images as a profession?

A: I first picked up a digicam in my teen years. It began off as a method to doc recollections with my pals, take selfies—regular teen issues. However my first actual digicam was a Nikon DSLR handed all the way down to me by a member of the family who was beforehand a photographer.

At that time in my life, I used to be 20 and severely depressed. I had simply been recognized with OCD and Bipolar 2. I had no course and felt I wasn’t good at something.

So, I requested myself, “What extra can I do?”.

I searched for therefore lengthy to seek out an outlet or a means I might quiet these ideas. Then I picked up that outdated Nikon DSLR. It didn’t appear to imply a lot to anybody round me, however I lastly felt the facility of making one thing that was mine.

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It was in my consolation zone, so I started by capturing with locals within the queer neighborhood. I felt so impressed by the enjoyment my pictures introduced them! Not solely might I present a protected place for expression, however I discovered it in myself too.

Q: The shoot you developed for this interview is beautiful. Your pictures spotlight real expressions of vacation celebration, pleasure, and love inside an LGBTQ+ household. Why did you select this as your focus for this sequence?

A: Regardless of similar intercourse marriage within the U.S. solely being authorized for eight years, now we have confirmed time and time once more that we’re right here, and we’ve by no means gone anyplace.

Personally, It’s so inspiring to see an older era of the LGBTQ+ nonetheless thriving unapologetically. These are the those that marched for our freedom and lived their reality with out concern of how the world noticed them—ceaselessly paving the trail for us to be who we are actually.

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Q: Lots of the pictures in your portfolio illustrate themes of connection and love. The picture beneath, for example, might have been shot with out the fashions’ fingers however you determined to include them and thus created a more in-depth, extra intimate really feel. Do you may have suggestions for creating this degree of intimacy together with your fashions?

A: For this picture, I requested my fashions to get shut and take a look at one another. I then requested them to whisper jokes to make the opposite snort. In doing that, I captured an attractive second that was real!

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Different methods I get folks to work together is by letting them discuss to one another. Even when they really feel uncomfortable behind the lens, they’ll discover consolation in one another. That’s what actually issues!

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Q: Your shoot was shot in low gentle circumstances with varied coloured vacation lights. Your fashions are illuminated and clear. Are you able to inform us concerning the technical facet of this shoot?

A: To shoot, I used a Canon Insurgent T7i and Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Artwork Lens.

For lighting, it was darkish, and my fashions’ schedule didn’t permit for a day time shoot. So, I used a single Godox V860IIC TTL Flash with XProC TTL Set off.

I additionally used a white umbrella to melt the laborious gentle. That is my favourite on-the-go lighting setup!

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Q: Your selection of fashions is at all times on level! How do you determine what sorts of fashions to work with and what’s your method to recruiting them to your shoots?

A: After I first began, most of my fashions have been my closest pals and locals in my space. I work on a low-budget, so discovering fashions isn’t at all times simple. All through the years, this has turn out to be simpler by reaching out with a easy message on social media or networking by pals.

I usually begin with an idea and maintain onto it till I see somebody that matches the vibe or aesthetic of what I’m going for. I’ll then attain out to the potential mannequin and ask them if they might be comfy doing a photoshoot. In the event that they agree, we collaborate to mix our types and create one thing that matches how they wish to see themselves. I ask what makes them genuine. It at all times feels most comfy being your self.

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Q: As somebody who’s skilled in photographing members of the neighborhood, are there any suggestions on how photographers can politely and respectfully ask for gender identification for the aim of titling and keywording when submitting to Licensing?

A: The most effective and most respectful method to ask somebody their pronouns is by asking, “How do you determine?” or “What are your pronouns?”. It’s crucial to determine this early on to keep away from misgendering.

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Happy Family Holidays by Kaitlyn M. Sawyer on

Q: Social media has confirmed to be a useful gizmo for self-promotion and cultivating neighborhood. We love your TikTok, and you’ve got gained a unbelievable following! Do you may have any recommendations for photographers wanting to begin their very own TikTok?

A: I like to doc my journey as an aspiring skilled to indicate others tips on how to do the identical! I nearly at all times have an assistant to assist me with photoshoots. When my assistant isn’t busy, I make certain to ask for brief 10-second clips of any new improvement in a shoot.

When my assistant is unavailable for a shoot, I set my cellphone in an space that reveals my topic, the background, and clips of me capturing. I nearly at all times overlook and find yourself with 25-minute movies. (I’m constructive there’s a higher method to do it, however nothing simple is enjoyable!)

I exploit my cellphone for these behind the scenes movies deliberately. I wish to present the restrictions of the setting round me and the way I overcame the obstacles to get the ultimate outcome.

It’s ideally suited that you just put up at the least 3 to 4 instances every week. Nevertheless, my consistency of posting content material varies on what I can deal with. I’ve nervous an excessive amount of prior to now that the quantity of likes decided my ability degree. It doesn’t! It’s an algorithm.

My greatest recommendation is studying to create for YOURSELF. Create what you need. Not what everybody else desires you to. Even when it doesn’t get the eye you suppose it deserves.

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Q: If you got an infinite finances to execute any shoot you would dream of, what would it not be?

A: Given the chance, I might like to shoot underwater lengthy publicity images. Presumably in an aquarium or water tank!

I think about two lengthy haired mermaids wrapped in extra-long sheer cloth. Fish of many alternative sizes, colours, and shapes swimming round them. Lengthy flowing hair in hazy blue water. I might experiment through the use of optic lighting woven into hair. So many potentialities!

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Q: Are there any tasks you may have on the go or within the close to future which you can share with us?

A: Within the upcoming yr, I plan to begin a photojournalism sequence highlighting the approaching out tales of LGBTQ+ elders and youth. Focusing totally on the southern states of America.

I wish to be taught extra concerning the variations inside our personal neighborhood and what it may possibly train us concerning the ever altering world round us.

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Sustain with extra work by Kaitlyn Sawyer:

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