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Friday, March 27, 2009

Monkey Moon

Hi folks! You know I love to show off the amazing stuff I have found while paroozing the area (or the Internet). Today I'm going to feature Monkey Moon Photography. Gina, the photographer extrodonare (and mommy of 3), is an actual friend of mine... meaning I have actually hung out with her... in real life! She is just peachy :)
Where did you get the awesome name of Monkey Moon?
Well, I thought about using my name at first but somehow Gina Carlin Photography just wasn't doing it for me. I wanted something catchy and kind of child-like. So I played around with words in my head for a few days (literally I walked around the house saying to myself things like, "Pink Elephant? No. Polka-dot Pineapple. No. Blue Bananas? Uh, definitely, no." And I somehow ended up with the combination of Monkey and Moon and it stuck.
How did you start Monkey Moon?
When our first son was born six years ago, my husband requested that I not subject our child to the likes of Sears or JC Penny's studios. Certainly no offense intended for those who do.I didn't have a problem with taking him there myself. It was just not his style.
Since we didn't have the funds for custom photography at the time, I realized that if I was going to have anything approaching professional photos of my kids, I'd have to learn how to take them myself. So I bought some photography books and joined some online forums and immersed myself in the basics. Then I practiced every single day (since then I've taken over 35,000 pictures). In the last few years, I've found that more and more of my friends, family and blog-followers were starting to comment on my images. And I was learning more about the field and found myself really beginning to enjoy the technical and artistic aspects of photography more than anything I'd done professionally. At my husband's gentle urging last year then, and with a lot of faith, I took the leap.
Where to you get your ideas for location shoots?
Coming up with new and interesting locations has probably been the biggest challenge I've faced so far as a photographer. One of the great things about southern California though is that there are so many different kind of settings to choose from. The gorgeous beaches have been the choice for many of my clients but there is also no shortage of urban backdrops for just about every personality. Personally, I tend to gravitate to the lush green spaces and have been known to pull over by the side of the road and go hiking to find them (my kids are safely at home on these occasions...usually). I will ask my awesome clients if they have a special spot where they would like to be photographed and, because of their creative ideas, I've found some cool places that way too.
What are your top 3 tips for us novice photographers to get great shots ofour kiddos... even if we have a less than great camera?
1. Get down on their level. This will not only make them feel more comfortable and relaxed but the eye-to-eye contact will make for a more natural looking photo than if you are standing above them.
2. Zoom in close. Those shots that mainly focus on the precious expressions can be some of your sweetest shots.
3. Don't make them say "cheese". There is nothing like capturing the image of your child's pure, natural and contagious joy. You can't get that with a manufactured smile. Be patient. Sometimes you have to wait for it. But it's worth it.
What inspired you?
There are so many things I could put here but certainly the most influential inspiration would have to be that of other photographers. I have also found some inspiration in catalogs like Anthropologie and Mini Boden. But the most surprising inspiration for shots comes from the personalities of my amazing clients. Sometimes that is all the inspiration needed!
Monkey Moon is in good old Orange County, CA.
Read more about Gina here.
Here blog is awesome! Check it out here. You will fall in love with Gina's photos and the way she captures her clients (and kiddos) is fresh, unique and NEVER boring!!
Go straight to her portfolio here.


Suz Broughton said...

WOW! Thank for introducing us! I love her site and her photography is bright, carefree, and beautiful! I love the shot with the feet hanging from the lifeguard station.

JaMean said...

She definitely has a knack for photography! Wow. Beautiful shots!! :)

Gina Carlin said...

Thank you, KN! You are so sweet.

Jada's Gigi said...

Gina is an awesome photographer and a wonderful person as well. Your family will love her and her photos if you are fortunate enough to be near Orange County, CA to have her take yours.

Anonymous said...

Fun interview and great photographs!

I'm hosting a give-away today. Enter by midnight Sunday to WIN!

It's a book for parents that helps foster a love for reading in children.


The Blonde Duck said...

She's very talented! IF only she took pictures of puppies!

Donna said...

I love Gina and her photography. She took amazing shots of my girls...she is amazing!

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