Interview: Michele Anderson
Originally published : January 8, 2017
Shoot Along: Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you located? Do you have children? What ages?
Michele: I'm a lifestyle photographer in Austin, TX with 3 kiddos ages 8, 11, and almost 13 (what????).
Shoot Along: What single piece of photography equipment (aside from your camera) could you not live without?
Michele: Hmmmm...I guess my 24-70 2.8 - It's my most versatile and most used lens..
Shoot Along: Name another photographer whose work you find inspiring.
Michele: Roxanne Bryant - she has the most interesting and unusual eye for what makes a captivating image.
Shoot Along: What is the best photography advice you've ever received?
Michele: As far as photographing my own family is concerned, just take the photos. It doesn't matter if you don't have time to edit them right away...editing will always be there. Capture the moment anyway. (Lyndsay from Life In Motion Photography told me that when I was freaking out about taking pics of my daughter when she was a baby and not having time to process them...ever).
Shoot Along: How do you make documenting your family through photography a priority?
Michele: This has become tougher for me as my kids have gotten busier and more aware of the camera and social media. They are at an age where I have to ask to photograph them and/or to post images online and I have to respect that. I would say now I am much more dependent on using my iPhone to capture everyday moments now because getting out my SLR tends to pull them and me out of the moment. And the most important thing is printing books of images regularly. Don't just leave images online or in digital form...it doesn't matter the quality...a printed set of images is far more valuable and utilized by myself and my kids.
Shoot Along: Tell us about the image you've shared? What makes it special to you? What did you do to make it happen?
Michele: I'm torn about sharing this image because I know what it was supposed to have been and it wasn't this. I have a canvas collection in my house of photos I've taken of my daughter each year since her first birthday. I always try to take the birthday pic in a place that is special or has meaning to us. This year, we went on a trip to New York City as a family and I wanted her birthday pic to capture that. I had big plans of her with the balloons and the Brooklyn Bridge and the NYC skyline at night. It was going to be glorious!
Turns out, it was surprisingly difficult to arrange for the helium balloons and get the timing right and we ended up in a bit of a sketchy place well after dark. We decided to cut our losses and hop on the subway back to our apartment. It was then we got the idea to just do the shot on the train. The lights were surprisingly bright on board and I kinda liked the colors. We rode all the way to the last stop and waited until (almost) everyone got off (I had to edit out one head and one set of feet in the final image). So while it wasn't quite what I had planned, I ended up quite liking the final result and at least there's a story to go with it.
Shoot Along: Share a mistake that you made when you were first learning about photography. How did this mistake help you grow?
Michele: Wow. I made so many mistakes...so many! I always turn my ISO back down to 400 before I turn my camera off so I don't accidentally shoot a whole session at too high of an ISO.
Bio: For more than a decade, Michele of Pinkle Toes Photography has been one of the most sought-after family and child photographers in Austin and around the country. She has photographed hundreds of families and is known world-wide for her authentic, lifestyle portraiture, and unexpected, beautiful newborn and baby imagery. She has three children and is married to a wonderful man who keeps everyone happy and fed.
Are you a professional photographer with a unique viewpoint to share? Contact us about being featured.