Guest Judge//Andrea Moffatt//Little Story Studio

We are huge fans of this week's guest judge, Andrea Moffatt. Andrea is the person behind the lens at Little Story Studio and her images are a great representation "Story Telling" photographs. In addition to turning out exceptional photographs, Andrea hosts a very informative and fun Facebook group that is dedicated to story telling imagery. Click the link below to join Andrea's group!

FB Group: The Stories that Make Us

1. Tell us about yourself...

Hi! I’m Andrea Moffatt- mom to two boys, elementary teacher on extended break, avid reader, library advocate, gardener, and oh, - probably something we have in common- passionate photographer! I own Little Story Studio and I shoot a small number of documentary family sessions. I’ve also been teaching moms to use their DSLRs and phone cameras in my local Mom’s Story workshops for about 3 years now. My first online workshop will happen June 20-30: A breakout with Clickinmoms called The Stories that Make Us. 

2. What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now?

I’m not sure what to say ignited my passion because it happened a few years before my first child was born, while I was still teaching elementary school. I guess it could only be described as a yearning to make art. My mom and dad are an artist and craftsman and sisters are each talented artists- maybe my heart just knew that art would make me whole. 

I love the second part of the question, because while my kids certainly inspire me sometimes, I mostly photograph them to hold onto our Now and to bottle as much of their childhood as I can. But my actual my passion is fueled by a myriad of things- most of them little everyday details, changing light, seasonal changes…. beauty wherever I can find it, I suppose!

3. What’s in your camera bag right now, what do use the most? the least?

I shoot with my Nikon D800 and vacillate pretty evenly between my Sigma Art 35 and 24 (yes! I’m one of those who actually “needs” both!) I love my Lensbaby Edge 50 too. When I want to pack light I love my Fuji xt2 with the 23 1.4 lens. I don’t shoot much with my Nikon 85 1.8 or Tokina 100 macro but I’m constantly looking for ways to stay inspired and both are pulled out now and then for that reason.

4. What’s your dream project or shoot?

I would love to take on a long term documentary project documenting something I’m passionate about- like a local literacy cause. Photography is so powerful and can move mountains in ways that sometimes words can’t. If I could connect with the right people at the right time, I think I could marry my two passions and make a difference that way.

5. What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer?

I always hesitate to leap the next thing that I know, deep down, I need to learn. Then when I do it I think, why didn’t I do this earlier? It’s not that hard! For example, when I was learning, I spent entirely too long in my aperture priority comfort zone. I made up stories to keep myself there - why did I need manual when I could get perfectly good pictures in aperture priority? (Turns out- there were a whole LOT of reasons I needed manual). I did the same thing with flash and video. I’m still doing it with photoshop. I know that I can only learn one thing at a time, but for the important skills, I wish I that once I named the Important Thing I know I need to do next, I could just do it, with no hesitation or spinning of my wheels. But, alas, I’m human!

6. If you had $500 to spend on photography...

How should you spend it?

A new flash (I bounce flash rarely but when I need it, I really need it. And mine is sort of broken. I mean- it randomly fires in unsuspecting people’s faces, including mine. But other than that it works.)

How do you wish you could spend it?

A huge photography education binge! $500 is really not enough for the amount of classes I want to catch up on. Education is the gift that keeps on giving- and once you learn it (and really own it) no one can take it away, it can’t break, and it won’t wear out.

How would you really spend it?

The flash. It’s the responsible choice. I *might* spend it on a flash + a fun new lensbaby lens to sweeten the deal! 

7. Is there any one thing you wish someone had told you at the very

beginning of your photography journey?

Of course it would first be: Don’t compare your journey to others’, but since I’m sure you have heard that one before, my second would be: There’s no shining, glorious end point in this journey. I used to look at some of my favorite photographer’s work (this was way back in about 2008ish) and just swoon with envy and think, “If I could EVER get there I will have arrived.” Turns out, there really is no arrival. Just lots of bends in the road that reveal whole new landscapes with brand new challenges. When you stop thinking you have more to learn is where your journey will end.