June 22nd, 2009 by Neil Corman
The f/22 profile for this month brings us New York City photographer Caryn Leigh Posnansky. I first met Caryn in Montana a few years ago and have continued to stay in touch with her as we share ideas and help each other out. The following is a brief conversation I had for the f/22 earlier this year.
What was it which first got you interested in photography?
I picked up a camera in high school and I was immediately hooked. I photographed for the my high school yearbook my junior and senior years. I’ve never been a shy person but being behind the camera helped open me up even more. I also love the reactions to my photographs.
Prior to becoming a full-time photographer, you worked as a casting director. With the focus of your photographic work on people, how does this background help you in your photography?
Casting is believing in your eye and believing in your decisions while knowing what your client is wanting. Photography is very similar to this as well. Casting and photography are both so subjective. You can show 20 different people one photograph or one casting candidate and you will get 20 different critiques. While casting, I had to learn to look at the big picture, think about the viewer and the client and trust my gut. While photographing, I have to look at the big picture, take in all the details and then trust my gut. I have found that once you trust yourself and your creativity, others will trust you as well.
Do you have a preference of working in the studio versus being on location for your shoots?
WOW, good question. I like both. I love trying to use natural light when it’s available, even in a studio. The lighting you create in the situation whether it is the natural light or artificial is what will make the photograph.
Some of your work recently was taken on black and white film, versus digital. What is your feeling on the change from film to digital and how this is impacting the photographic world?
I love film, I love printing, I love the work put into making a print. BUT, since we’re living in an “I need it yesterday” world, digital is the way to go especially with my commercial and editorial clients. I will be giving myself a personal assignment using film this year as there’s nothing like the results it provides.
Are there any photographers you follow on a regular basis, and what about their work inspires you?
There are photographers who I love, but I don’t “follow” any on a regular basis. I find new photographers who inspire me daily. Inspiration can come from one photograph that just catches my eye to an entire series. I’m a simple photographer who loves simple photography, but can really be sucked into the complex work of some photographers.
This past year you added some more clients to your portfolio. Being in one of the most competitive areas for photography, do you have any suggestion to the readers and how to grow your business?
Believe in yourself and the power of word of mouth is amazing, and free!!!
That is a great piece of advice especially in today’s fast paced world. By providing high quality results as well as quality customer service the word of mouth advertising is what will grow your business, which is of course free. Thank you Caryn for taking the time to answer the questions and remind us of the importance of caring for your clients.
Be sure to check out more of Caryn’s work on her website Caryn Leigh Photography.
Thanks again Caryn and stop back next month for another f/22 photographer profile.