Name: Heather Lilly
Location: Erie, Colorado
How long have you been a photographer, and how did you get started? I have a B.A. in Journalism and a minor (with a lot of extra credits) in computer art. I was working at a small newspaper writing, copyediting and doing photography. My favorite part of this job was telling a story and capturing photos that helped tell it. I was craving to be more creative at work, while they wanted me to do sales. My husband and I were at a point in life (no kids, small mortgage) that he felt comfortable with me turning in my notice at the newspaper and diving into my own business. When friends and family heard, I started booking right away. :) I started my business full-time in February 2006.
What’s your favorite type of session to photograph, and why? I have always loved photographing engagement portraits. I get to capture such a special milestone, work with a happy couple and it also sets the stage for their wedding day. I really enjoy seeing the chemistry behind each couple.
What are three words that describe your photography? classic. detailed. fun.
Are you a Canon or Nikon girl, and which lens is typically glued to your camera? I am a Canon girl! I love my 5D Mark IIs. I tend to shoot a lot of detailed images our son and food items for our personal blog with my 100mm macro lens. Right now it’s on one of my 5D Mark IIs.
How do you find balance being a mom and managing your own photography business? Well, our sweet baby was just born in September, so I’m new to the mom gig. I shot my last wedding of 2010 six weeks before my due date – which is when our son was born. I continued photographing portraits until the first week of September and wrapping up projects until I went into labor. I decided to take the rest of 2010 off. I knew I’d be mentally and physically tired. Since it takes a lot of creative juice to do what I do, I didn’t think it would be fair to have people hire “Zombie-mom.” So, I guess you could say, so far my “balance” has been accepting fewer photography projects. My husband is extremely supportive and is excited for “Dad and Little Dude Days” (i.e. Saturdays) when I’m back into the swing of weddings and portraits in 2011.
What’s your best advice for photographing your own kids? Keep the camera handy at all times. You never know when they’ll suddenly be in a great mood or when you’ll feel all emotional about how tiny/cute/precious your kid is and want a picture of that very moment.
How do you stay inspired? Photographing people and things I love keeps me inspired. My husband and son together, our dogs, food, my BFFs baby hanging out of with our baby, our finds at the Farmers Market, the crunchy fall leaves in our yard – the list is endless since we live in such a gorgeous state: Colorado.
What’s your guilty pleasure? Do I have to choose just one? Ummm, Epsom salt baths, hair appointments, pedicures & 90-minute massages. But I’ll argue 3/4 of this is necessary to keep my body in commission. (Who would have thought carrying 20 pounds of Canon gear works a different set of muscles than carrying around an adorable baby!)
What’s the best thing about your job? I love helping “everyday people” see that they can become timeless artwork that evolves emotion and memories.
Show me your most recent favorite image: This image is of our son when he was 2 weeks old. I feel that his little personality is already shining through. Besides his gorgeous blue eyes, adorable hands and kissy-lips (obviously things a mom would love), I really love the lighting and airy feel of this image.