Saturday, January 29, 2011

Photographer Interview: Becky Leatherman (Life with Kaishon)

Not sure how I stumbled across Becky Leatherman's blog Life with Kaishon.  She may have found me first I can't remember.  Her comments are always so encouraging and straight to my heart that I just fell in love with her.  I visit her blog because I always ALWAYS leave with a smile on my face.  She takes the most beautiful pictures of people and life.  She says her blog isn't a photography blog and she really doesn't like anything to do with camera specifics like ISO and aperture's all about capturing the moment and that's what I love about her.  She definitely captures it:)

She does these amazing photographer interviews.  When I see one come up I feel giddy inside.  I just love learning about people, and photography is obviously something I connect with.  They are SO good!  Anyway it dawned on me one day that no one has interviewed her and that's just a shame.  So here's my attempt to get to know Becky better and to share her with you.

As a blogger how has your direction changed and why?

When I started it was because some of my friends from college did it and I thought it was a brilliant way for people to keep up with our family. Then, I got addicted! It was so interesting to meet new people and see how they were living life. People fascinate me.

When did you start pursuing photography?

I Heart Faces. I saw it somewhere in the blogosphere the very first week it started and I was in love! The first 3 or 4 weeks I was using pictures I already had and then I started trying to get a new shot each week. And then started taking more pictures. And then I started taking pictures daily. Then I learned how to {sort of} edit in Photoshop Elements...and the rest is history. I am in love with taking pictures!

How did you learn??

I didn't go to any classes. I read my manual and had no idea what it was saying. I learned by shooting. I shot the trees in the morning and the kids playing outside at night. I shot the snow shoveler's in our neighborhood and the ballet dancers at the Nutcracker. I shot third grade basketball players in florescent lighting and I shot brides at sunset. Anything and everything. I loved learning. And I still have SO much to learn!

One thing that is very important to me though is to always have fun and to capture moments. I know a lot of people that take technically perfect pictures but there is something missing. The heart perhaps? I never want that to happen to me. The moments are magic! We are blessed to be able to capture them. If I shoot something and it isn't technically a great picture but I got a special moment it goes down as a winner in my book!

Do you have a photography business?

No business. I don't charge to shoot yet because I do not have a small business. I don't file taxes. I don't feel ready. I see a lot of people start up and I look at their pictures and I think 'Oh NO!'

I think it should not be jumped into just because your camera cost $1k or more or because you have a Mac with iphoto. That doesn't make you ready to be a professional. I don't want to be a part of that crowd!

Hats off to anyone that tries it but that is just not me!


What equipment do you use? Is there someone who took you under their wing and helped you decide what to get? What's your favorite lens?

I started with a Canon Rebel and wore that camera out! I moved up to a Nikon D90 and I love it. The thing I loved most about Canon was the color. Impeccable. The thing I love about Nikon is the sharpness. It can not be rivaled.

No one told me what to get except the salesperson at the local camera store. I believe in shopping local because I love to support small businesses! My camera man had seen my pictures from the Rebel for 2 years and he told me it was time for a D90. I tested it at the store and was leery. I took it home and didn't use it for 3 months. Finally, my friend Drew insisted I bring it to the I Heart Faces workshop. Loved it : ) and so did she even though she is a Canon girl through and through.

I have a couple of lenses: I don't know what there numbers are. (This just goes to show how uneducated I am) I got a 50mm 1.4 because everyone and their brother was swearing by it. Just like the camera, I didn't try it for 2 months. And now I am in love with it : )

How do you get people to let their real beauty shine though in photos?? How do you capture that?

I believe every person is beautiful. Every. Single. One. And I love finding that. One time I heard some wedding photographers complain about having to shoot a wedding with an ugly couple. It broke my heart. Everyone has beauty within. I truly believe that and I think it shows in my pictures. I think the day that any photographer thinks in their head 'I am shooting an ugly couple, or an ugly baby, or an ugly family' is the day they should stop. If you can't see beauty in everyone then this isn't the right field. People are beautiful. All kinds.

What is your favorite thing about being a mom to Kaishon?

My absolute favorite thing?

I can't pick. I love reading books at night before bed. He has such great thoughts about ideas. I love when he uses his imagination and acts out stories. He is dramatic. I love that he loves acting and he is so good at it. I love that we are both struggling through 5th grade math together. I love the happy moments when we can't stop laughing. I love the job of being a Mommy more than any other thing ever. These past 11 years have been the best collective years of my life. I treasure him.

Least favorite part of being a mom?

I am the worst disciplinarian on the planet. Kaishon is definitely spoiled. Now, the bad thing about that is...hello, SPOILED! But the good thing about it is that I was pretty spoiled when I was growing up and I turned out OK, so I am hoping for the best for him as well! As a social worker I see a lot of children that are not only not spoiled but not cared for at all. It breaks my heart.

What is a list of your favorite blogs, photographers etc...

Every day I go to a Quiet Life with Donna Boucher as well as Scott Kelby's blog.

There are many others but they are 2 of my favorites.

I am a part of Communal Global which is a great photography site because it has people of all levels and each day we share pictures from all around the world. I love it there : )

Do you have any special talents or other gifts we don't know about?

Taking pictures is my only special talent. I wasn't brilliant in school. I am not athletic at all. I can't sing or dance or play the piano or cook. So, nope, no other special talents.

You always seem so happy and full of life. What gives you joy?

Jesus gives me great joy.

And Kaishon.

Having a son like Kaishon gives me great joy every day.

There are two ways to live life: Thankfully or unhappily. If you are thankful you are joyful. I choose joy.

Thank you girlie!  Go visit Becky at Life with Kaishon.

Have a blessed day.

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  1. I love Becky : ) She is part of our Communal Global Blog and we love the joy she brings there. Her pictures are beautiful because they are always full of heart. Thank you for interviewing her. Love, Lola

  2. Thanks so much for doing that Becky! I've been following Becky's blog for months now and I think she's awesome. And you're not wrong when it comes to her encouraging comments. She totally makes my day when she pops in and comments on my posts and photos. I would love to know her in real life. And that Kaishon! Well I would just love to hang out with him. He's just gorgeous!

  3. you have such an amazing gift, your photography is stunning!

  4. Oh I just love that precious heart of Becky! ♥ What a wonderful interview... loved learning more about her!

  5. I love her. Her pictures capture the moment. I think I get it now. You are a teachin' me girlie!

  6. What a wonderful interview! I adore her blog, her encouraging comments and her sweet adoration for her son. This was such a treat to read! Thanks Becky & Becky!

  7. I love Becky's blog for the same reason you do. This was a great interview - it shows her perfectly!

  8. what a fun interview...and what beautiful photos :) thanks for sharing. i love finding new blogs.

  9. Thanks so much for interviewing Becky! I always love reading her photographer interviews that she does each week, and, like you, thought, "I would love to interview HER!" So, thank you for doing that!! She is the greatest commenter on the planet, the sweetest friend and the most wonderful mom to Kaishon!!

  10. OK, I can rest easy now : ) I read the sweetest comments from Lola and Ky and Jennifer from JRU, Rachel and Mari. I don't know Janie Fox or Polly but I am going to say thank you to them right this instant! I was so nervous! Thank you all for coming to read and for saying kind words : ) Much, much love, Becky : )
    Oh, and my whole name is Becky Leatherman Adams. Just in case my husband reads : ) I don't want him to think I am disowning him ; )

  11. How cool! I will have to go check out her blog, thanks for sharing girl!

  12. oh, she's fun!!! and, she said something (the part about having a nice camera and starting a business) that i've been thinking for a long time... only i wouldn't have said it so lovingly; she's good. reminded me of the pictures we took at Christmastime as a gift for my hubby's family. i asked the "photographer" a photography question and her response left me annoyed. she said, "oh, i don't know anything about my camera or photography." excuse me?! then why was i paying her $50?! i mean $50 is cheap when it comes to pictures, i know. but $50 is a LOT! sorry, just had to get that off my chest.

    loved the interview. off to leave becky #2 some comment love!

  13. Fantastic interview...everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask. LOL

    There is just something about photographers named Becky that make my heart smile real big!!

  14. argh... not sure if my other comment went through. thank you internet.

    loved this. her pictures are breathtaking. she seems so fun, too. i like her already.

  15. Well YEA! It's about time somebody interviewed Becky! I'm especially glad you asked her about her equipment.

    What amazes me about Becky is that she has this way of putting up pictures that are totally unrelated and throwing some quotes or text in between them, and it seems like she took each photo to fit into THAT spot in THAT post. She is more a storyteller than a photographer, but OH! the tool that her camera is in the telling.

  16. No other special talents? Riiiiiight. Excuse me while a get a tissue to wipe my eyes from laughing so hard at that one. OK. All better now. So I shall make a list.
    1. photography (OK, so that was already covered in the interview. Check)
    2. Interviews (have you read her interviews? Seriously, Barbara Walters PALES in comparison. The Sixty Minutes folks really need to be knocking on her door).
    3. Photo essays (combining photography with writing is Becky's particular "sweet spot". I LOVE her blog for that reason)
    4. Parenting (Kaish is one lucky kiddo...)
    5. Encouragement (This should really be in the #1 spot. If you haven't made it onto Becky's list of people that she encourages, then you obviously haven't commented on one of her blog posts or in any way made it onto her radar screen. Do it now. She WILL lift you up, right when you need it).

    OK, that's my top five. I feel sure that others could chime in til we had a top twenty. Because she is just. that. good. xoxox, dear friend... you are one of my favorite people in the world... EVER. I <3 you!

  17. I will visit her. That was an awesome interview. Thanks Becky times 2!

  18. Ok I am in complete and utter fullness. That hair on Kaishon...Its my babies hair when they was pre teens in its fullness. its kinky curly loveliness.I loved them. I loved us....Your photos the face of that son and those who love him spoke volume. I dont know Becky but she and I have somethings in common. Ya know what it is? ...We love brown boys that love us .Thanks for makin me get teary eyed and puttin me in a place to remember my grownup sons and days gone by.So Becky Im goin to your page I will become a follower and I wanna continue to see the photos you post so I can see the pictures that tell the storys of your life .~Meme

  19. Becky!!!!!!!!! Your interview was AMAZING!!!!!!!! You are a truly beautiful person girl, inside and out, and talented to boot! You are unique and that my friend is very special.

  20. I love her answers, she seems so real. I am headed to check her out....

  21. I started reading Becky for the same reasons as you .....I think she is so amazing and that we can all learn something about joy from her. Thank you for helping us get to know her a little bit more!

  22. Nice, I enjoy reading the interview. Thanks for sharing this Ma'am. :)

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  23. I loved reading this interview. What a wonderful introduction to Becky and her gorgeous photography. Thank you for sharing.

  24. Becky!!!! You are NOT going to believe this and I almost still can't. What a SMALL WORLD... and I'm so serious when I say that.

    I have to tell you when I read your blog post title - I read the name... Becky Leatherman, and I said to myself "I know a Becky Leatherman"... and in reading and seeing pictures - I began to recognize her sister (Betsy) and brother (Johnny)...

    I had no idea Becky had a blog (I LOVE IT!!!) before "meeting her" through you. Here is the kicker... I'm actually related to Becky. We're actually third cousins. I have great memories... I remember when we were younger - more times of "getting together" at reunions and what-not. It's been so long - that I've seen here or her family.

    This was a great surprise today!! Of course, now I'm her newest follower. ;)

  25. I have to agree 708% with Pam(Life by the Creek) about Becky's special talents!

    Thank you for doing an interview with Becky. I love Becky... but your interview made me love her even more! I struggle for words to describe her and for me, she'll always be the "wonderfully real" Becky (emphasis on the wonderful) to me.

    "If I shoot something and it isn't technically a great picture but I got a special moment it goes down as a winner in my book!" - That is just part of what I love about her.

  26. What a find Becky ~ she is fantastic!! You know how much I love pictures and taking pictures but I am not a good people picture taker ~ I can shoot the crap out of a flower but people ~ nope, nadda. I guess I have to play more and learn by doing. Love reading interviews with people that just love taking pictures as much as I do.

  27. This was a fun post, Becky! I love what she said about finding the beauty in everyone--and how sad about overhearing photographers talking about an ugly couple (on their wedding day no less!!) :( This was a fun read!!

  28. Yay, Becky (Farmgirl)! Thanks so much for doing a long-overdue Becky (Life w/ Kaish) interview!! Becky's little corner of the blog-universe is such a sweet, encouraging place. I adore her :-).

  29. Great post...great pics...what more could you ask for... on a side note.. made the pasta sauce...ultra yummy

  30. Aww, I've always loved Becky and I'm so glad you interviewed her! What a special time for you both!

    She just really truly "gets it" about people... and I just love her for it!

    And her kiddo? :)

  31. What a wonderful interview of an amazing lady. Love it!

  32. oh what a gorgeous girl...thank you for the chance to get to know becky more. i'm off to read her blog.

    ps i think i'm late to the show, but you what i'm discovering? the world is chock-full of awesome beckys.

  33. I know I already commented, but I just had to add that this:

    "I believe every person is beautiful. Every. Single. One. And I love finding that. One time I heard some wedding photographers complain about having to shoot a wedding with an ugly couple. It broke my heart. Everyone has beauty within. I truly believe that and I think it shows in my pictures. I think the day that any photographer thinks in their head 'I am shooting an ugly couple, or an ugly baby, or an ugly family' is the day they should stop. If you can't see beauty in everyone then this isn't the right field. People are beautiful. All kinds."

    Is echoing in my ears. That statement sums Becky up in so many ways...

    I completely agree, and she said it so eloquently...

  34. I love Becky because of her beautiful heart...I cannot help but smile whenever I read her posts and look at her photo's...she is a stand up woman with the biggest heart and full of fun to finally see an interview of her...I am very thankful to call her my friend.

  35. what i love the most about this is her talk about finding everyone beautiful and then shooting them that way. Oh and that maybe one day I need to switch to nikon.

  36. I love Becky she forgot to mention her "talent" for being so loving and such a big encourager!! I had thought the same thing about her photographer interviews. Actually I was thinking, "All these interviews, doesn't anybody want to interview her?" And YOU did it and I am glad!!! Applause to both of you. Becky has actually asked me before to add a picture to Global Community which I would have NEVER done if she hadn't given me that giant push. My pictures are strictly amateur, and she never sees that. She is amazing, if I was a kid I'd ask her to adopt me.

  37. This was great!

    And Lissa, I'm thinking about switching to Canon!

  38. I've been fretting
    about my pics for
    our homework on Tuesday
    all DARN day....took a break
    to pop over and so glad
    that I did. After visiting
    Becky, I am feeling much
    lighter and less inhibited
    about my pics and this
    THING that I'm attempting
    called photography. Thanks
    for the introduction, B!
    See you Tuesday.
    xx Suzanne

  39. I love this, because so many of us are NOT professionals, but LOVE taking photos. It is so much about capturing the moment, not missing the real life event because you're hiding behind a lens either.... such a great balance. Such a lovely interview too.

  40. love her.
    she always leaves the greatest and most encouraging comments...

    I'd say one of her other special talents is the gift of encouragement.
    great interview!~

  41. Beautiful!! Love her philosophy on taking photos...and on beauty:) Thanks for introducing Becky to us, Becky!

  42. This is beautiful!! I love Becky too, she is just so real and sweet. She always leaves me the best comments....and she is working so hard to make a difference in the lives of children. Gosh, I am so glad you did this....I love all her interviews, but an interview ABOUT her??? Awesome!!!

  43. This was just beautiful..very inspiring! I love Beckys way of "seeing things"...she loves the "natural", the "beauty" that is in peoples inner and outer layers, and I love her "honesty", and it shows in all of these photos and in this interview.
    Thank you Farmgirl Becky for this beautiful revealing of a very special lady!!
    Im heading over to Beckys now :)

    With all my heart...Deborah

  44. What a great interview Becky! :-) I just love you and your pictures!

  45. i love that you turned the tables and interviewed her! :)

  46. Becky, when I click on your email button my computer won't do anything. Can you give me your email address? Mine is if you want to send it that way or if you send it in a comment, I won't publish it.
    Ky xx

  47. Lovely photos! I can certainly understand why you like her blog. And I totally agree with her - almost every single person is beautiful in some way.

  48. Beautiful interview and beautiful photos. The photo with the two hands and the lemons is gorgeous!

  49. I loved you before Becky, but not I love you even more!!!

    If you can't see beauty in everyone then this isn't the right field. People are beautiful. All kinds.

    Just want to shout an AMEN!!!

    And Jesus. Kaishon. *sniff* You definitely have the right outlook on life, my friend.

    Love love love you!

  50. Love this! That shot of the dandelion might be one of my favorite shots ever in the history of the world.

  51. Even though I have never met Becky IRL, I can honestly say she is one of my favorite people in the world. It is so evident in how she treats others, that God truly takes center-stage in her life. Thank you so much for interviewing and highlighting such a wonderful person.

    Becky, I love you dearly!!!

  52. I have always wanted to post an interview with Becky, but my blog receives zero traffic. Glad to see someone who actually gets viewers interviewed one of my best friends. I met Becky through I Heart Faces. I am the worst blogger in the world, and I am equally bad at keeping up with blogs. Becky started showing up in my comments, and I felt like she was truly interested and not just trying to get me to "follow back". Somehow we started talking more. A couple summers ago, my family and I were headed to NJ to see my brother, and I spur-of-the-moment decided I would drop by to see Becky. My husband thought I was INSANE. :) We had a great day together, eventually were roomies for an I Heart Faces workshop, and are good online and IRL friends. There are so many positive things about Becky that she doesn't talk about. Becky's bubbly, sweet attitude is not online persona...She is a gem. Becky is a giver and kind to everyone. So glad you interviewed her. :)

  53. Becky really does leave THE best most encouraging comments for others. Love love her for that.


Thanks for taking a minute to share your thoughts. I love hearing what YOU have to say:)


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