Feature Friday//Darling Mine//June 2nd, 2017

Last weeks theme was possibly my favorite so far, it brought out so many wonderful images. The winning image was a beautiful capture by Samantha Petrushak of Darling Mine Niagara Wedding Photography. She answers a few questions below and shares some of her favorite images. 

Please tell us about yourself…

My name is Samantha, I live in Niagara Falls, Canada with my two awesome and quirky kids, my fiance and our new border collie pup. I primarily document weddings but shoot lifestyle portraits for past wedding clients as a way to continue their story.

Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words?

Honest, Emotional, Connection

I strive to document the personal connection in any wedding or session. That intimate bond my clients have is what makes the little moments important and unique to them. The photographs should be real and true to who they really are, full of life and love. 

What sparked your passion for photography?

I was always one to have a camera nearby while growing up but it was being the cliched mom with a camera that set it into motion for me. I come from a creative family (a grandmother who is a certified folk art painter, a brother that works in the film industry, and a sister who is an art director at an ad agency) and found my place behind the camera. The longer I am in this industry, the more of a need I find to document and immortalize the little moments.

What's in your camera bag right now? 

I’m a primes girl so mostly lenses! Between my two D800 bodies, I almost always have my Sigma 35 1.4 and my Sigma 85 1.4. I also love my Nikon 50 1.4 and just recently picked up the Sigma 135 1.8 (it’s a dreamy lens!). For weddings I also bring along my Nikon 105 macro for details and my reception lighting.

darlingmine snapmaven006.jpg

What is your dream shoot or project?

There are so many, I feel like I’m constantly dreaming. I love the idea of being able to give back and portraits feels like something I can give to people to help them through harder and emotional times. I’d love to be able to document someone’s health journey or be able to work in a hospital/hospice. I feel for myself that its important to feel grounded and present in order to feel thankful.

What are some of the misconceptions you had about photography and photographers at the beginning of your photography journey? Have they changed, and how?

I think when someone gets into photography, there is that idea instilled that everything must be perfect and stiff. I found myself falling out of love very quickly for family portraits and realized I was unhappy because even though they were ‘pretty’, it was never REAL. I changed my direction to shooting in that candid approach and really got to know my clients prior (which is why I’ve also started only photographing past wedding clients where that relationship and trust is already built).

What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning?

Find yourself and don’t worry about everyone else. Never stop learning and practicing!