Trying to find a photographer that is the right fit for you? This Q&A with Sheri Barrette of Citybee Studio is a great way to learn about her style, background, and what makes her tick! You will find the answers to commonly asked questions along with many samples of her work. Scroll down to the end for her contact info to find out more and schedule a session!
What led you to start your photography business?
I first learned to shoot and develop film as a hobby in college, and while I really loved the medium, but didn’t have the spare cash to keep up with it after I graduated. A few years later, I went back to school for a masters degree in arts in education, and was on the founding staff of a college prep charter school on the west side of Chicago. Fast forward several years, a move to the suburbs, and the birth of our four children, and I was gifted my first DSLR camera. It was just the spark I needed to reengage with photography. People seemed to connect well with my images, and I saw an opportunity to turn it into a part-time venture while still being able to be the primary caretaker for my kids. My sister-in-law is a professional photographer out in the Las Vegas area, and she has been incredibly supportive and encouraging, as has my husband.
How would you describe the style of your photographs?
I have the hardest time answering this question! I use the term “documentary-style” a lot. I shoot in natural and available light, preferably outdoors. I rarely pose people. I look for moments, for light and shadow, and genuine connections. It might be a connection between two people, or a reaction to a moment, or even a moment between the subject and the camera…I wait for it. I learned to shoot with black and white film, and I think that still has a large influence on my aesthetic. I typically provide my clients with a mix of both black and white and color images, but the black and whites always end up being my personal favorites. When done well, they boil down a scene to its essence — light, shadow, mood — and force the eye to what’s important, what the photograph is saying.
I always encourage clients to spend some time on my website and blog before we book a session to get a feel for my perspective.
How old are your kids, and how has motherhood affected you as a photographer?
Right now our kids are 11, 9, 7 and 5, and I pretty much want to freeze time. They amaze (and craze) me every single day. I have found patience I didn’t know I had, and that definitely helps me as a photographer. I will take the time needed with kids and let them warm up to me and the scene, and when they do, we have a lot of fun together, and get images that have an ease about them, but are still full of personality.
Do you only shoot children and families?
Nope! I actually LOVE photographing personal events including weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries, and family get-togethers. They are such a great opportunity to document genuine relationships and moments.
While I do offer 30-minute Quick Shoot portrait sessions, my favorite family sessions are documentary-style… in-home, or out and about with a family while they are engaging in something they love to do together. And that can be as simple as a walk to the local playground!
I do a little commercial and real estate photography on the side, as well.
What’s the best way for people to be in touch with you?
As far as social media goes, I am most active on Instagram (@citybeestudio), but also have a Facebook page (http://facebook.com/citybeest
This post is brought to you by Citybee Studio.