Underwater Photography with Mallory Morrison
Looking for inspiring photographers for Colorvale Features is always fun because we get to see so many styles, dimensions and artistic elements. When Marie, our Media Director, found Mallory I was blown away by her work. She ignites a creativity in me and I inspire to take leaps as she has with her photographs. Get ready to be inspired by this incredible artist!
What made you decide you wanted to be a photographer?
I was always an artist and knew that I was going to be doing something creative for work. When I found photography, everything just fit into place and it was the best match for my skills and interests.
What do you find is your greatest strength in running a business?
I am always thinking of the next shoot. I do not sit and revel in what I have and wait for clients to notice. When you are constantly shooting, thinking, creating, clients take notice and are more interested to hire you.
Since we are all human, what is one of your business fears and how do you over come it?
Since I shoot something so specific, I don’t get the call for jobs all of the time. It just isn’t the right fit for a lot of jobs. So, I always have a fear that the next call just won’t ever come. To over come it, I work on personal projects- gallery shows and such, to focus my attention elsewhere. Self-doubt can be your worst enemy. It’s important to remind yourself that you have something of value to give. Creative personal work helps me remember what I can give.
How do you push yourself to learn and grow in this business?
I meet with a group of photographers twice a month and talk about our goals for the up coming weeks and what we have accomplished. We all focus on different areas of photography so there is rarely an issue of jealously and competition. It is a time for us all to ask questions, get inspiration, and support each other when things are hard.
What do you find is the best way to promote your photography business?
I have found that most of my clients come to me by searching online and coming across my website. I think that search engine optimization is very important as well as having profiles of my work on lots of different sites. It is useful to be aware of what keywords best describe your work and use them whenever possible. The more searchable you are, the easier you make it for people to find you. I also get most of my website visits from Facebook, so for social media, Facebook has been very effective.
How did you design your company or style to stand out from the competition?
Once I found underwater fashion and fine art, I did not want to do anything else. My interests just so happened to be my best strategy for standing out since I wanted to shoot something very obscure and niche. I have found that being a specialist and an expert in one small niche makes your competition shrink and makes you stand out.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I love looking at illustrations and paintings. I like to see worlds that cannot exist in real life and take that idea into water. I find inspiration from music a lot of the time as well.
How do you get your clients to relax and feel natural around you?
I just talk to them about my process and what to expect. That usually answers questions about how everything happens, which makes them more relaxed. Sometimes my clients are my models but most of the time my clients are art directors. They look to me to educate them on the production and process. When I am teaching them about the process, I make sure to be very friendly and open about my information. That usually makes everyone involved feel comfortable.
Are you Canon or Nikon?
I shoot with a Canon 5D mark II.
What’s your favorite lens?
For the longest time I only had 1 lens, the Canon 24-105mm F/4 L-Series lens. It has been so wonderful for many years. For underwater however, I use a 17-40mm f/4 L-Series.
What would you call your editing style?
I work with compositing and image manipulation heavily. I often stitch images together to build a new image. When I do a shoot, my image is halfway done.
Do you shoot RAW or JPG?
What is your favorite editing program?
Lightroom and Photoshop combination.
In-person or online gallery?
I’m not sure what you mean with this question.
What three tips would you give aspiring photographers?
If you can specialize in an area, you can focus your energy more efficiently and be able to build a business around it more easily. Going along that theme, the money needs to be secondary. Passion comes first. People can sense when you are only shooting something for the money. The heart cannot be missing from your photography; otherwise, what is the point? Also, always keep shooting personal projects. That is how you keep developing our style and your voice.
What is your most embarrassing moment during a photo session, come on … spill the beans!
I was doing a shoot for a tv show and I flooded one of my underwater flashes. I was distracted when I was putting the equipment together and put the battery on the light without the O-ring that keeps water out of the battery. It worked for a bit then it stopped working while I was being filmed. I had to make it work with one light for a while. It started working again towards the end of the shoot and I had to have a person on the tv film crew hold it. Luckily, they ended up cutting out that part from the tv episode.
Where do you see your career in 5 years?
In 5 years, I aspire to have my career as a fine art underwater photographer well established. I would like to eventually focus mainly on my conceptual/fine art projects and have commercially based jobs be secondary. When I do have commercial jobs, I would like to be able to pick and choose which jobs fill best fit my style and interests.
Where can we find you (facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc)?
Twitter: malloryphoto, https://twitter.com/malloryphoto
Google +: Mallory Morrison, https://plus.google.com/u/0/111136943830266615679