lainie photography and design

Lainie Photography and Design

One of my favorite parts of my job is meeting up at a coffee shop with other professionals. That’s how I met Lainie from Lainie Photography and Design. She has built a business using her talents, and it’s no wonder, because her photos are beautiful. I, as a photographer, tend to be very picky about the photographers that I like. There are a lot of photographers that are just…well…not good. But Lainie is a fantastic photographer, and if you are looking for lifestyle photos, then she is the one you should call.

 

Check out my interview with her below.

How did you get started?

I started taking photography classes in high school and in college. I thought being a wildlife photographer sounded interesting, but it felt like a daydream more than anything else. Professional photography wasn’t really on my radar until I befriended a local wedding photographer. Hearing her story and her day-to-day experiences being in the industry normalized creative work for me. When I expressed interest in photography, she encouraged me, patiently answered my questions, and even brought me on as a second shooter for a few weddings. It all sort of snowballed from there.

 

Why did you choose to do photography?

Creative work has always been a big part of who I am. I never thought I could do something creative as a profession- probably due to a combination of practicality and confidence. Even when I started doing photography sessions, I told myself it was mostly for fun. Turns out, that was the golden ticket- I was doing something fun.

 

At that time in my life, I was working as a medical social worker during the pandemic and I was running on fumes. Photography was my therapy. Doing something creative felt like pushing past the person in me that existed for someone else- the social worker, the mother, the wife, the sister, the daughter- and getting to my core self. When I realized that, I decided to take the plunge and pursue it full-time.

How did you get better at photography?

For better or worse, I’m my own worst critic. I think I have a pretty realistic perspective of what my strengths and weaknesses are.

 

In my first year, I knew that editing was my strength. There’s always room for improvement, but I had a headstart. I have a strong background in color theory and I already learned to use editing tools in an academic setting. I struggled more with practical skills. So, I spent a lot of my first year in business developing those skills- like how to compose a photo, how to help different people feel comfortable in front of the camera, and how to work in different lighting conditions.

What do you most like to shoot?

This answer changes often, but right now I really like photographing in-home lifestyle sessions. There is something that is so cozy about being in your own space, playing with your kids on the floor, or snuggling your partner on the couch. It’s more of an intimate vibe. People are less self-conscious in their own homes, and that easygoing atmosphere helps everyone have more fun.

What is your expertise, what do you do best?

It’s probably a tossup between photographing couples and newborns. I think working with couples comes to me on an intuitive level. It’s pretty easy for me to help couples loosen up and just enjoy each other. However, I love the pacing of newborn sessions. Those two hours really let us dive into the details and it becomes a passion project that I just can’t put down.

What’s your style of photography? (bright and airy, dark and broody, etc.)

I lean towards lifestyle/documentary photography. I say “prompts over posing”, which means that I like to suggest prompts that encourage authentic interaction instead of a more traditional approach to family portraiture. My editing style produces timeless images that are true to color with a matte finish.

What work environment do you enjoy most?

One of my favorite things about photography is that I get to work outside often. I get to explore new places and be in the sunshine for about a third of my job. I can work in flower fields all day long. More than anything, I want to work where my clients are inclined to play.

 

When you go on a hike, you probably aren’t posing in the middle of the trail with your arms awkwardly around each other. You’re probably teaching your child how to skip rocks on the water, or pointing out interesting flowers. You might be listening to your child share a funny animal fact they learned at school or giving your toddler a piggyback ride when their legs get tired.

 

I want to capture those moments and those interactions. Those details make the photos more meaningful than looking nice and smiling pretty.

What are the types of packages you offer? (Maternity, newborn, etc)

I really like working with families of all kinds- and it shows in my packages. I work with couples, expectant mothers, new parents, families, and even extended families. My packages are designed to accommodate diverse needs.

 

I offer a la carte packages for people who only need a few photos, all-inclusive sessions for those that want a lot of variety, and packages that include multiple sessions throughout the year (think milestone minis for infants). I know it sounds like a lot, but I break down all the details on my website.

What inspires you?

As an artist, I am inspired by other artists across various mediums that create these huge works of passion. You can feel the difference between someone who feels inspired by what they do and someone who doesn’t. Some of my favorite creators are the writers and illustrators behind the mini-series, Over the Garden Wall. I just finished a deep dive into the behind-the-scenes of the creative process and it gave me all the feels.

 

One of my favorite illustrators is Adolfo Sierra who illustrated a wordless version of Little Red Riding Hood. His idea is that this story is so well-known across cultures that by eliminating the words, it can be a more engaging storytelling experience for anyone, anywhere in the world. These attempts at understanding and connecting universal experiences are some of the most beautiful efforts made by people. It’s something we’ve been attempting as a collective throughout history. It evokes a feeling in me that I really can’t put into words- which is my favorite kind of emotion.

Do you have a favorite photo that you’ve taken?

My favorite photo changes often, but a top contender from last year is a photo of two siblings sitting on a blanket with peaks of fall foliage in the background. I love this photo for a lot of reasons- the tones are perfectly balanced, and the kids are dressed in such adorable clothes.

 

But I think the thing I love most about it, is how the siblings are completely focused on each other. Despite their young ages, they were totally having their own conversation. It reminded me of my own experiences watching my son completely immersed in his own imagination, and I think it’s a glimpse of something a lot of parents cherish.

What kind of equipment do you use? Are you Nikon or Canon?

I’m a Canon girl. I learned on a Canon EOS Rebel when I was in high school, and I’ve been hooked on the brand since.

 

Which lens is your favorite? Why?

The Nifty 50 is my favorite. It’s so versatile, and the 1.4 is so creamy.

 

What’s your dream camera?

I really love most of the gear I work with now. I’ve thought about going mirrorless, but I think the technology needs to be adjusted before I personally make the leap. More than a dream camera, I’ve got my eyes on a 70-200mm lens.

What do you use for post-processing?

Like most photographers, I use lightroom and photoshop.

 

Interested in having Lainie Photography and Design do portraits for you? Check out her website for more info.

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