Name: Elizabeth Weitz
Business Name: Elizabeth Ann Photography
Genre of Photography: Wedding and Portraits
What's your 'photography story? (How you got into photography, how you decided to go pro, etc) :
Hmmm, I started out of boredom. Haha...I know sounds bad to say that. But we were in a transition phase. Hubs had decided to change careers at 30. We did a few radical things and rented out our home and moved in with the inlaws. We saved a lot of money...but maybe our sanity was touch and go for a while. Lol. Anyway, because of that, I needed something, some reason to get out. My father in law had a decent canon camera and let me borrow it. Let me just tell you...it was like letting loose a side of me I didn’t know existed. I saw light, watched my kids laugh and knew I wanted to photograph those moments...in that order. I read every book I could get my hands on. I entered contests one of them being Pioneer Woman...I was surprised that I was in the top ten and then later 2nd place winner for some of her contests. Kind of made me feel I could keep pursuing this….I felt so hungry for anything and everything to do with photography...so any kind of encouragement, well it confirmed I should keep walking in that direction. Of course, those were landscape and city scape...but the love was there. And probably one of the main reasons I tell people not to specialize in the beginning. Let your love continue to grow...it helped me see light on all different subjects and I learned to control a lot of the way I shoot because I shot so many different subjects. Anyway, after picture and then 100 million more...my friends started asking me to photograph their babies. I thought, we need money...desperately. I’m going to just say they need to tag their photos and direct them to my new fb page for payment. It wasn’t enough lol...so I stupidly...or brilliantly haha put up an announcement in Craigslist in the children’s clothes section my business with my phone number. I received two calls. One being the backbone of my business (I call it the snowball effect...she referred her friends...who referred her friends etc.) ...the other, well, lets just say tattooed tears and missing teeth...not really my ideal client lol. It was slow going, but I’m so proud to say I do not advertise for my full time business. Not saying I won’t ever go down that road but so far I haven’t needed to do that yet. Word of mouth in this industry is seriously the best way to encourage me. You love your session and want to share it...then that is a satisfied customer in my book.
Tell us about your very first shoot:
Well, a family session of about 15. White shirts, missing teeth, tattoos of tears on a face (where I come from that means you killed someone...but maybe not here in CO lol...um, I hope). But I see pieces of who I am as a photographer...I still went after the natural reactions of happiness in between poses.
What do you specialize in?
would say I mostly specialize in people. :) I like different phases of life. But I particularly feel the hungriest for weddings. It lights me up and I freaking love weddings...all the details, the happy happy...makes me forget I’m actually working.
What three words best describe your style?
Full of light, romantic and happiness
If you were stranded on a desert island with only one camera, lens, and accessory, what would you hope they would be?
I’d have a D4, 85 1.4...I don’t need another accessory.
If you could go anywhere and photograph anything, where would you go and what would you shoot?
Everywhere, everything? I love the moodiness of Ireland. It fits my romantic side as well as my love of leading lines...all those rambling hills and stone walls...ahhh, it would be a dream. I’d have a bride in a Claire Pettibone dress, horses scattered thorough out and a dashing groom. I’d be in heaven. Of course, the sun would have to shine through at peak moments… ;p
If you could be photographed by any photographer, living or dead, who would it be?
hhh, that is so tough...my photographer I absolutely adore above all else it Jose Villa. The way he captures details, light and happiness...he’s a freaking rockstar. But I would be drawn towards Annie Leibovitz, she is a creative genius and poses her clients in such a unique way. A portrait...she draws you in and wants you to know more about her subject. Serious talent.
What one tip would you give a photographer starting out in your field?
elieve in yourself. Go after that career. Feel it. Grab every book you can, get out there and shoot. Shoot some more...different times of day, different subjects. Your style will start to unfold before your eyes. Study the greats...while we have a ton locally, I recommend sticking to outside your local group...its easy to get the green eyed thief of joy and compare your work to theirs. I would figure out why I liked the way they shot. When I started, I visually connected with Caroline Tran and Jose Villa...you see the way they shoot light...its def. a major influence in my work.
What websites/blogs do you visit often?
I don’t. Unless its blog Thursday lol. I love pinterest. But I have a lot of interests in decorating and gardening so I try to fill my mind with other things besides photography. I can feel a burnout coming when I start looking at photographers work. I start comparing and then I hate everything I do. So I just learned to not do it.
What do you find most difficult about being a photographer?
In the beginning...I never felt safe from my peers. I felt judged by my lack of gear. I’d hide my little DX camera...I feared when someone would ask what I shot with. A year into it...I said, F it. This is what I shoot with. I didn’t have a fancy camera but I had passion in spades. I truly feel, starting with limited gear forced me to know my strengths. My sister used to laugh at me...I’d be super far back and photograph my clients...because I knew I wanted a bigger picture. I moved to make my camera not feel the limits of being a crop sensor. I’m not talking limits because its lesser...just harder. I knew the way to rock light with a camera that sucked in low light situations. Its built a strong foundation for me and I fully appreciated the switch to a full frame camera. I think angels sang when I opened up that FX camera and shot with it. We are a big pay cash kind of family over here...and it made me work harder to get it.
What do you find most rewarding?
When a client sends another client my way. When they tell me they cried because I saw a moment that they didn’t see. When a client sends me their gallery on their wall of my images I took for them. When a client tells me their grandmother passed away and they treasure the moment caught at their wedding...the last time they had with her. When a Dad holds her daughter and says, he’s been waiting for her for twenty years and it shows in the image. I want to photograph life. I’m not limited to how I shoot it...I just want to feel it. I want to continue to photograph life’s passion, joy, happiness and romance...with light...always light. Its what brings me joy.