Cassandra Michelle Photography - Elopement Photographer - Get to know me!
I hope everyone had a very happy holiday season, and hopefully no one got too chocolate wasted! I am going to start out my new year with an introduction blog! I know last year I was so bad at blogging, it was almost embarrassing. BUT THIS YEAR THAT IS GOING TO CHANGE. My New Years resolution (one of many) is to blog at least once a week maybe twice if I’m feeling ambitious! Well, let’s start off this introduction blog with the question that all photographers get asked everywhere they go…
“How long have you been doing photography?”
Yes, it is a very vague question, so it’s going to get a very broad answer. I started getting into photography in High School. I took all 4 years of Photography classes, and honestly I was always really into it but I could not convince myself that I could actually make a career out of being a photographer. At the time I thought it was such a saturated industry “everyone has a camera, what would make me any different?” I asked myself. So, after convincing myself I wasn’t good enough, my Senior year of high school I took all kinds of prerequisites for nursing. That DID NOT go over well. I failed AP bio and it definitely made me cry at least twice (if you took that class you know) and I could barely keep up in the other classes. I have always been a hands on learner, not a book learner. A year went by, I graduated, and all I learned was that I DO NOT want to be a nurse. At this point in my life I was 18, and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew was that I am not good at school no matter how hard I tried. After graduation I decided to take a year off, completely lost with no direction, I picked up my outlet (my camera). I started to photograph my friends and family. That lead to me reaching out on my instagram for models and couples that wanted free sessions so I could build a portfolio, there was no way I was going to actually take the year off. I had to do something that could benefit my future! After building my portfolio, in 2015 I got my first paid senior session. And once I started shooting seniors it didn’t stop!! I continued to photograph seniors mainly up until fall of 2017. I love to travel to the unknown (to me) and had already been traveling for 6 years with my parents photo op company (I will explain in a later question). Then, one day it just hit me. I CAN GET PAID TO TRAVEL AND CAPTURE LOVE IN GLORIOUS PLACES LIKE MOUNTAIN TOPS AND WATERFALLS?! That same day I went online searching for workshops and I found @dawn_photo’s 2017 Fall Wander Workshop and it changed my life for the better. After that workshop I completely rebranded and almost completely switched to photographing couples and weddings! So to get back to the actual question, I have been “professionally” doing photography for 3 years now. I’ve been holding a camera since I was a Freshman in High School (THAT’S LIKE 8 YEARS AGO I FEEL OLD!!), and I have been photographing elopements/weddings and couples for a little over a year now!
“Where are you from?”
23 years ago I was Born in Hammond, Indiana. After that I moved around different parts of Northern Indiana until I was 8 years old, and then we moved to Bloomington, Indiana! I am very happy to call this the town where I grew up because I wouldn’t have met the love of my life (we met in high school!) or be who I am today without it. But someday I would love to go out west. I am going to be so cheesy right now but “The mountains are calling, and I must go.” Thinking possibly Colorado, Montana, or Utah right now!
“What kind of gear do you use?”
I have two Canon 5D Mark IV’s and my go to lens is 35mm Sigma 1.4 lens! But I also carry my 24-70mm Sigma around for wedding ceremonies, home sessions, and landscapes!
“How did you get into travel photography?”
As I stated earlier, I have been working for my parents photo op company since I was 15. Celebrities come to the comic cons to do autographs and photo ops, and we do the photo ops. I could go way in depth about how it all works but that isn’t exactly why I brought it up. When I went to Dawn’s workshop I realized I needed to create that travel portfolio to get people to realize that they could hire me outside of Indiana. So, anytime we went to a city for comic cons that were semi close to a National Park or just somewhere beautiful I would schedule a shoot with someone I knew from Instagram, rent a car, and drive to the closest rugged landscape to capture their love. Once I built that portfolio and posted them all over my social media people began to realize that I do indeed like to travel and that even though I live in Indiana I am willing to travel to them, where ever that may be. So I’d say the key to getting paid to travel is to actually travel on your own first! Travel was already a huge part of my lifestyle! Not only because of the comic cons, but Levi and I also love to go backpacking and camping. We had taken cross country road trips across the U.S. before I even started traveling for elopements/weddings.
“What is your ideal session?”
First off, I’m not sure exactly what that means…. But I am going to answer this to the best of my abilities.
After we chat and get to know each other I always start my sessions off with a little shpeal.
“I am going to start the session off with just saying I really like candid photos. I will be telling you prompts and directions but I mainly want you guys to be in the moment. Looking at each other, talking to each other, tickling each other, poking each other, anything that creates laughter is a win in my book! Obviously I will get a few smiling looking at the camera photos for mom and grandma, but other than that I want you to pretend like I am a fly on the wall.“
Basically my ideal session would be a couple that isn’t afraid to be themselves, and let’s that shine through their images. Because that’s what it’s all about right? And it would definitely be outside! Natural light is my one and only love when it comes to lighting.