Sarah Rhodes is one of my favorite people and a former roomate at the IXTEEN (aka The Claire Houe). Besides her agonizing aversion over washing any dishes, I was so fortunate to be able to live with her to learn from, to share in creative ideas, and to talk to about boys, naturally. But like 3/4 of the other IXTEEN girls, she was swept away by a boy and has since married. Sarah and her husband Josh make up Team Rhodes. This creative duo can be blamed for numerous great promo and wedding photos throughout the south, as well as great fine art and design that you will probably see popping up more and more. Portland has taken their heart so they won't be around the south much longer, but if you get a chance to see these two in action, take it!
I recently was able to interview Sarah:
se // Who/what first inspired you to pursue photography?
sr + I was in Bible College thinking about ministry but not knowing what to do with my life, and thinking a degree in ministry seems silly unless you want to be a pastor. I'd always loved taking pictures with my point and shoot. My friend Mia enrolled in a photography school in PA, and looking at her photos was so magical and inspiring to me... and the Lord brought everything into place and directed me to which school to go to and everything!
se // What is your favorite thing to shoot? (people, places, etc)
sr + Definitely people! Nothing else is like shooting people.
se//What are your goals as an artist?
sr + That's a good question - I don't have any set goals (maybe I should!). And I also don't tend to see myself as an artist since all I like to do is capture what is already created, and already beautiful! My aim is that my photography conveys an enjoyment of life. Joy, Love, Hope, Honesty, and Contentment in who we are as people - these are the things that I really love to capture. And since this is my full-time job, another goal is just to make enough money to live! Let's be honest! :)
se // What do you want people to take away from your photography?
sr + I'd love for people to look at the photos I take of other people and be able to see proof of a loving and beautiful Creator. I'd love for people to know they are beautiful and they are loved by the Lord - made in the image of Christ.
se // Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
sr + Still working with my best friend in some way - if not photography maybe something fun and crafty... or traveling... either way, I'll still be taking pictures along the way.
se // Any crazy/fun/funny stories/experiences you could share about a photoshoot? (or just your NYC story i think that's my favorite hehe)
sr + Which NYC story? The one where the guy punched my camera? RIDICULOUS!
Well each photoshoot is so different but I feel like each one definitely has its challenges that you can't plan for. For example this past Saturday when we shot Jesse and Julia, my camera about 10 minutes in went crazy. The autofocus stopped working, the screen on the back stopped working, and I couldn't change anything like the white balance or anything. So basically I was shooting blind since my diopter was off (the wheel that adjusts to your eyesight). It was so crazy!! I was so stressed out and panicked, but we made it through and shot for 5 more hours like that. I just had to kick into "pretend I'm shooting film and also I'm blind" gear, and just uploaded images like every 10 minutes to make sure they looked ok. :)
se // Any advice you would give to an aspiring photographer? (ex. school, business, gear, etc)
1. Save money whenever you can.
2. Shoot Canon :)
3. You don't have to go to Brooks Institute to be a good photographer! I went to a community college and it was amazing, I was shocked. The education was awesome, the tuition was silly-cheap.
4. It helps to have your picture taken by a photographer friend whenever you can - you have to know how to be comfortable in front of the camera in order to make others feel comfortable in front of the camera!
5. Learn from other photographer friends - everyone does things differently, and it's fun to see and learn from each other's workflow.
6. Also if you are thinking about advertising, just see how far you can get with free advertising (being featured on different blogs, using the free vendor guide websites, using facebook and twitter). We made the mistake of shelling out a lot of money for advertising with a big wedding company, and haven't booked anything from it. We have gotten a zillion times more interest from being featured on blogs than we ever have from our paid advertisement!
se // Any last tips/post production secrets you'd like to share?
sr + I use a lot of Photoshop actions and then tweak them to how I like! Actions are a brilliant time-saver. I make a lot of actions for batch processing a ton of photos. Also, I try not to use artificial lighting if I can get away with it. Natural light is so beautiful, and even at noon on a sunny day you can find some shade. At most I use a reflector, unless we are doing a really swank and fancy photoshoot. :)
My favorite of her most recent photoshoots are of our other former saucy minx roomate Julia and her Husband Jesse. Julia has always been my favorite clogger :) Sarah, Julia, and I shared our love for coffee, Starbucks, and Cornerstone. Though I've always been quite concerned about their fascination with metal...
These cannot be experiences without Jesse's playlist. Scroll and listen along to see the full shoot: CHECK IT OUT!