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©Dee Hill

Sherry Muldoon of Dreamfocus Studio is a freelance photographer and graphic designer in Dallas, Texas. She currently shoots commercial, portrait, events and weddings on location or in studio. Her current assignments include art direction for Combined Scientific Staffing. Sherry specializes in children and events. She also teaches the occasional “Photography Experience” workshop as well as one-on-one sessions.

www.dreamfocusstudio.com

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

I had always observed and loved photography. About 6 years ago, a friend of mine gave me an old Minolta film camera and I went crazy!! Someone gave me permission to create and the passion was ignited.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

Canon 50D, 50mm 1.8 lens, 28-105mm, and 18-55 mm…..I’m a chronic lens changer.
I still haven’t found the perfect all-in-one lens…. If someone has a recommendation, I welcome it. 🙂

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

God…which pretty much sums up EVERYTHING. Everything inspires me: the beautiful, the ugly, nature, light, design, the abstract, the innocent, etc.

Many times photographers find themselves with a full schedule of paying gigs, ending up with little time for doing the work they truly love. Do you struggle with finding time for your personal work?

Absolutely!! It was worse a year ago before I started free-lancing. I was working 60 hours a week as manager of a portrait studio which completely drained my passion for photography. I hardly shot any personal work for an entire year. I learned through that process why I chose photography as a profession and to never burn out on it. Working for myself has enabled me to provide more balance for myself and shoot more of the things that I love.

What is your all time favorite genre to shoot?

Child portraiture. I love the innocence that kiddos bring to the camera. They are not tainted yet with worldly concerns and self-consciousness like us adults. When I’m capturing children, I truly feel like I’m capturing a soul’s complete self.

Do you have any upcoming shows or events you want our readers to know about?

I’ve just finished my summer workshop schedule at Dreamfocus Studio. The “Photography Experience” is a series of workshops that I developed a year ago out of my frustration with certain photography instructors. I noticed that unfortunately some photographers develop these incredible egos that do not serve them. Then they try to teach the art of photography but end up keeping “secrets” about techniques for fear that their students may surpass them. Also visual people need to learn in visual ways. Therefore, I try to relay technical aspects in terms that an artist would understand. There’s more information on my website.

What is the one thing you feel makes your style or your work unique?

I love unexpected moments and messages. Photography to me is more like experiencing signs that the Universe is trying to tell me. I’m try to have my signal open at all times.

if you could photograph anyone, (past/present/future), who would it be and why?

Jesus …. I would be curious to see how the light would fall on Him.

what’s your dream photo field trip?

Going anywhere that I haven’t been before…..

what’s your post production process?

I use Lightroom for my initial narrow down process and minor fixes. For more detailed editing, I go straight to Photoshop. I love Photoshop almost as much as I love photography…

if you had unlimited resources to purchase any type of camera, what would it be and why?

I’m still searching for that perfect lens. But, it would be really cool to have an underwater housing unit too.

who are your favorite photographers?

Sally Mann for reality and Lara Jade for the dream…

what has been the shining moment of your career thus far? (or, describe your “big break”)

A few years ago I told myself that I would never want to be a free-lance photographer. I didn’t realize at the time that I was speaking out of fear. I did not want to “struggle” in what I felt was a saturated industry. After burning out at my studio job, a friend of mine called me to ask if I wanted to share studio space with her. The deal was so good, I knew that it was a sign from the Universe. All of a sudden, people started calling to hire me for events and photo gigs. I accepted the calling and am so glad I did. My life is so rewarding now that I can do what I love and serve others doing it.

do you have any tips/tricks or advice for amateur photo nerds who are looking to shoot full time or students who are just starting out?

Do not get into this business unless you are truly passionate about it! I’ve trained a lot of young photographers and noticed two types: those who liked the “idea” of being a photographer and those who were completely obsessed. I can always spot the latter. They were the ones who would be in the studio trying different things and constantly pushing themselves to succeed. The former would whine and complain that there was nothing to do. If you have a camera, even if it is a simple point-and-shoot, you have a way to express yourself. So keep shooting!! And for God’s sake, get off of automatic modes and use your camera’s full potential.

what’s the soundtrack to your life and/or your favorite music to listen to while editing?

I love listening to Iron & Wine or Something in the Wheel.

best chow (meal/snack) to get you ready for a shoot? or best way to celebrate a brilliant capture?

Bananas, great potassium for sore legs and fingers.

will you share with us one of your favorite shots?


This image was pure accident for me and speaks to me about my personal journey. Six years ago I was spending a lot of time in places like this (under bridges) but, not for the sake of art. When I shot this image, I had just gotten married. Then I noticed the shoes hanging from the telephone wire and three figures walking out from behind the bridge. I was able to capture all of it in one frame. The photo represents the life that I left behind. This is how the Universe speaks to me through photography.

your favorite photo by another photographer?


This light and colors in this image by Lara Jade just make me completely happy.

has your passion for photography changed at all since turning “pro”?

Yes…it is always changing. That is what I love so much about it. In the beginning, it was just about preserving a moment in time. Now, I look for Spirit in imagery. I’m constantly changing myself with new concepts and techniques. I will never “arrive”, so to speak, in this art form and I love that!

are you a photography nerd or a camera gangsta?

total nerd

what’s your sign? (we’re conducting a poll)

Sagittarius but, I may be the new sign now….:(

who would you like to see interviewed by photopolus next?

Carolyn Collins




©SherryMuldoon

If you are a photographer and would like to be featured as a future/potential Art Star on our blog, email us!
at info@photopolus.com or ange@angefitzgerald.com
subject: Art Star
please include a link to your website and examples of your work

____

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photo credit: Patrick Yen

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1985. I use small portable cameras to document my life as it unfolds. The result is images which portray the beautiful and often absurd reality in which my generation exists. I studied photojournalism at Western Kentucky University.
I live in Brooklyn and am a regular contributor to The New York Times.

www.christianhansenphotography.com

When and how did you become interested in Photography?

I can’t remember ever not being interested in photography. In 2005 I started learning about photography as a craft.

What gear do you mainly shoot with?

Lately I’ve been using the Canon 20d. I had a 5d until I lost it last spring. The 20d is cool though because these days you can buy them for about 200 bucks. This way I don’t have to worry as much about taking care of my gear and I can focus more freely on taking photographs. Bring it in the rain, bring it in the lake, drop it, buy a new one on Craigslist.

What is your #1 source of inspiration?

Recently I realized that the most dominant theme in my work is the infinite sadness that underlies everything. At this time, I can’t explain this concept in words to the degree in which I can feel it. I’ve been dealing with the infinite sadness subconsciously for five years, but it was within the last couple months that I’ve begun to recognize it as a recurring theme in my work. It’s a feeling or a mood that I’ve been reacting to instinctively through my subconscious mind or my infinite soul (rather than my conscious brain, which seems to work best when dealing with ideas that pertain to universally accepted, concrete forms). For this reason, it’s hard for me to put it into words but perhaps that’s why I deal with photographs… All I can really say is that the infinite sadness isn’t a bad thing necessarily because it affects all humans. It’s a part of being human. It’s the inevitability of death and it’s a sadness dressed like happiness.

Many times photographers find themselves with a full schedule of paying gigs, ending up with little time for doing the work they truly love. Do you struggle with finding time for your personal work?

I pull all-nighters when I have to, I just make time.

What is your all time favorite genre to shoot (portraiture, conceptual, documentary, commercial, etc..)?

Magical Realism.

Do you have any upcoming shows or events you want our readers to know about?

No shows or events. I’m currently working on a book. Its taking forever.

What is the one thing you feel makes your style or your work unique?

My lifestyle.

if you could photograph anyone, (past/present/future), who would it be and why

Definitely Jesus on the cross, but if that didn’t actually happen, I would default to photographing T.E. Lawrence as he led the Arab revolt against the Turks during World War I.

what’s your dream photo field trip?

I’m on it right now, I’m traveling all over the country until Christmas, maybe longer, I might not even move back to New York.

what’s your post production process?

Lightroom first then Photoshop. I’m mostly color correcting because I use dinky digital cameras and expired film.

if you had unlimited resources to purchase any type of camera, what would it be and why?

A sweet Leica.

who are your favorite photographers and why?

William Eggleston’s work is the most sensitive and beautiful. I love Bruce Davidson’s early work, particularly Brooklyn Gangs. I taught myself how to shoot from looking at those pictures. From Robert Frank I learned that it’s important that each photograph in a book be great but on top of that, a perfect arrangement of the photographs is where you gain the ability to really transcend time and also preserve it as you rip it to shreds. Last winter I lost control of my car on a snowy road in Mabou, Nova Scotia and crashed into a ditch not far from where Robert Frank lives. I did not intend for this to happen. I wasn’t making a pilgrimage to Mabou. Henri Cartier-Bresson was a sweet old man and an anarchist. His composition was the best. Richard Avedon had a godlike ability to render the human spirit onto silver gelatin paper. Jason Eskenazi is the most pure photographer that ever lived. Wonderland took photography, art, and storytelling to another level. I respect Gilles Perez for his work and for this wisdom: “The Bibles says that ‘in the beginning was the word’ but I think and believe that in the beginning was seeing and In seeing you can get to ideas that have not been labeled yet – pure ideas that precede the word, and ideas that have the possibility of escaping propaganda and predictability.” Peter Van Agtmael‘s work is startlingly honest, he’s never been seduced by fads and trends in photography, never tried to make his work look like anyone else’s; this helps him see the truth more clearly, and he sees it in real time and makes pictures. I don’t understand how Luc Delahaye’s Winterreise can even exist, its absolutely perfect. Alan Chin‘s book about the Breakup of Yugoslavia is another perfect book, but it doesn’t exist yet. He shot the pictures almost 20 years ago. He’s just recently begun looking at it for the first time since then. I’ve seen several raw scans, its beautiful color and the composition is wonderful and bizarre. I can’t wait to see it all. I can’t wait till it’s a book.

what has been the shining moment of your career thus far? (or, describe your “big break”)

I moved to NYC on a whim the summer after my junior of of college. I was studying photojournalism at Western Kentucky University. A few weeks before the summer started I got an email from Patrick Witty who was the photo editor for the Metro section at the New York Times. He was looking for a few more portfolio submissions for their summer photo internship. He’d mentioned this to someone that I’d recently shown my work to and that guy put Patrick in touch with me. I got the email right before class. In class, I had no interest in what the professor was saying, I was nervous and extremely excited. I opened my laptop during the lecture and started emailing back and forth with Patrick. I told him I’d already applied and to look in the stack of portfolios for a pink DVD case with my name on it and a black and white photograph of a toilet on the cover. He found it and I guess I was a candidate for the internship, we talked on the phone a few times more and then that was the last I’d heard about it. Meanwhile, my sister found a job in New York City for the summer, so I decided to move there anyway and just try to get by some how. The day before I left, I called Patrick to tell him that I was moving to New York for the summer and that we should meet up and get coffee or something. He asked me, “Are you coming to freelance?” I hadn’t considered that freelancing for the New York Times was even in the realm of possibilities, I was planning on hustling tourists at New York City landmarks and doing nightclub photography, things of that nature. But on the phone that day I said “Yeah, I’m coming to freelance.” So he told me to call him when I got there and we’d set up a time for me to come to the office and show my work. The next day I flew to New York and moved into the small Williamsburg apartment my sister was subletting. I woke up the next morning, ate breakfast, and nervously called Patrick. He told me everyone at the Times was moving into their new building so he said to come by in two weeks, which was perfect because it gave me just enough time to put a portfolio together. The day of the meeting I was walking on 8th avenue in the forties and couldn’t find the building, it was still being built so there was scaffolding all around the bottom couple floors. One of the people I was waiting at a red light with was holding a yellow legal pad, I asked him if he knew where The New York Times was located, and he told we were across the street from it, we were facing it. When I went in there, Patrick met me at the elevators on the third floor and took me around to the different sections and I showed my work to people. Then this other editor, I’m not even sure who this person was, took me all around and to the city section, and there i saw the guy with the yellow legal pad from outside. He was a photo editor. Then everyone in the photo department gathered around and we were all given plastic cups of champagne and we toasted one of the editors who was getting married. Bill Cunningham took my picture. The next day I was woken up by a phone call from 1-111-111-1111 and I got my first assignment. This was in 2007. It’s still my main gig. I’m so thankful for all of the editors there, they’ve been so cool to work with and they’ve always been very good to me.

do you have any tips/tricks or advice for amateur photo nerds who are looking to shoot full-time or students who are just starting out?

Don’t worry about making money off photography, shoot full-time anyway. You get out of it what you put into it. If you’re dedicated and you work really hard, you’ll begin to start making work that’s authentic. If you’ve made it that far, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t be able to get paid to take pictures in some form or another. But I often wish it wasn’t how I made money. You can get burned out by it. Also, learn how to shoot without looking through the view finder and remember that editing is equally as important as shooting.

what’s the soundtrack to your life and/or your favorite music to listen to while editing?

On this trip we’ve been listening to Kanye West’s new album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” in its entirety at least once a day. Since last winter I’ve been listening to the Nappy Roots a lot. The song “dying on the vine” by John Cale is one song that goes perfectly with my work. My favorite songs of all time are “Trouble, Heartaches & Sadness” by Ann Peebles and “Early Morning Melody” by Kate Wolf.

what’s your favorite hang (when shooting or not)?

My apartment in Red Hook when everybody is home and particularly when we have guests. I also hang out at Larry Fink’s farm in Pennsylvania.

best chow (meal/snack) to get you ready for a shoot? or best way to celebrate a brilliant capture?

I’m not sure I’ve ever actually celebrated a capture, but I will answer this bizarre question to the best of my abilities. I don’t know if a capture is particularly brilliant or not until I look at it big on the computer. If I’m looking at it on my computer, that means I’m editing, and if I’m editing that means that I’ll most likely have a late dinner of either a turkey hero from the deli down the street and a Budweiser or fried chicken and mashed potatoes from the place next door to the deli and a Budweiser.

will you share with us one of your favorite shots?


These guys were both killed within months of each other less than a year after I took this photo. One was hit by a stray bullet and the other one was murdered. A year passed before I heard the shocking news that they were dead. I was also told that the grieving friends and family used my pictures for the airbrushed R.I.P. memorial t-shirts. This meant a lot to me. You never know when you snap a photo whether or not it will have any real significance, to you or to anyone else. This photograph will always be a monument to the lives of these two young men, and it will help us remember them. Therefore, I know this photograph is important. With most of the other photographs, I just have to hope they will be.

what currently is your favorite photo by another photographer?


“In a train, Romania” 1975 by Henri Cartier-Bresson is my favorite photograph. I just love it, and I’ve always loved it.

has your passion for photography changed at all since turning “pro”?

2008 was my worst year, incidentally, I had a nice camera and I made a lot of money working as a photojournalist. I got addicted to watching my bank account go up but I got burned out. In 2009 I spent half the year traveling around the country, shooting for myself and barely making making ends meet. The work that year was really strong. This year has been good too.

do you have a favorite / lucky item of clothing, outfit or uniform that you like to wear when shooting an important assignment or project?

I have a canvas backpack that I’ve traveled everywhere with. I found it on a park bench in Louisville one summer. Despite occasionally washing it, the backpack smelled like patchouli for 2 years.

what’s your sign? (we’re conducting a poll)

Gemini.

who would you like to see interviewed by photopolus next?

Alex Welsh.




©ChristianHansen

If you are a photographer and would like to be featured as a future/potential Art Star on our blog, email us!
info@photopolus.com or ange@angefitzgerald.com, subject: Art Star.
*please include your website and examples of your work
____

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