This is a guest post courtesy of Tiffany Gurholt of Tiffany Gurholt Photography.
1. How did your storytelling journey begin?
My journey began when my son was born 12 years ago. I got my first Canon Rebel a couple months after he was born. I shot in automatic mode and edited on my phone using apps such as Snapseed. Years later, I took an in person class on how to shoot in manual. The editing came much later because the teacher in me is also a lifelong learner, and I’m always wanting to learn something new. I resigned from being an English teacher in 2020, and that is when I really had the time to put into learning all things photography. Even today I still purchase edits and am always looking to learn new things.
2. What is your workflow from the moment you have an idea to the moment that idea comes to life?
I’m all over the place with this one, but it’s usually something vintage, and my ideas usually begin with an outfit. From there I pick a location or background (if shot in a studio). I’m in Wisconsin, so we’re indoors much of the year because of the weather. Then I plan out accessories and hair. I use Pinterest for ideas. I create an idea board and gather everything from poses to makeup. If the clothing gives me a certain era feel, I’ll just gather everything I can from the 1970’s (for example) and go from there. However, sometimes I see a spot, pull over and shoot completely unplanned. I’m both extremes.
3. Any advice on how to achieve that beautiful painterly look?
I love to use the oil paint filter to give hair, clothing, and the background a softness. Also, I use a lot of dodge and burn. The key is to start low and build up.
4. What’s inside your camera bag?
I usually just grab my camera and go. However, in my bag (it’s actually a rolling case) right now is a sigma art 24 lens, a battery, some lens cleaners, cards, a nifty fifty, my 70-200, and my old camera body (a canon 6D). My 85 has been living on my camera (Canon R5) lately.
5. What are your favorite editing softwares?
For years I stuck with lightroom because I opened photoshop once, and it was so overwhelming I closed it down and never looked again. A good friend encouraged me to try again, and now I do light adjusting in lightroom, but 99% of my editing is done in Photoshop.
6. What’s the hardest thing you had to overcome that made you the photographer you are today?
Imposter syndrome! Sometimes I still feel like I’m not good enough. There will always be that one hater that tries to bring you down, but for that one, there’s 100 giving you praise and encouragement. I came from a profession that is all about helping and learning, and not all photographers share this mindset. I have realized that not everyone will love what I do, but if I’m proud of it, it’s good enough for me.
7. Describe your dream session if your budget was unlimited.
For my daughter’s 9th birthday, her friends raided her closet. They all wore fancy dresses to Build a Bear and Crumble Cookie, and they thought they were the coolest kids around. I’d love to get a boat load of Anna Triant dresses and a hair and make up team. Then I’d invite young girls to a styled “you are beautiful” session. It would be amazing to shoot it at an iconic location of course.
8. If you could have dinner with one artist that has influenced your photography/art , who would it be and what would you talk to them about?
I love MK Slowinski photography. I’d love to know more about their lighting, make up, and editing. Watching a session and then learning how they edit would be a dream.
9. Tell us some wise words you live by.
You need to have thick skin, something I still struggle with. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, never compare your work with someone else, and there’s always something more you can learn; never stop learning. Most importantly, something that doesn’t only apply to photography, in a world where you can be anything, be kind.
This article was featured in Summerana Magazine | January 2023