Pentax DSLR User: Kimberly Edwards Interview
We interview Kimberly Edwards, a photographer who loves her Pentax for portrait photography.
What camera do you use and why do you use it?“I use the Pentax K-7, I chose it because it was the most camera for the money- I love the in body stabilization and the weather sealing. I love the fact that I can take a walk in the rain without having to worry about my gear, and that it can take a fall. Unfortunately I have put my camera’s build to the test, and fortunately it passed with flying colors!”
“My Pentax 50mm f/1.4. I love the ability to get clean low light photographs without having to raise the ISO to high noise levels. I also have a Sigma 28-300 that I use quite often, it is very sharp and I appreciate the range.”
Do you have a favorite lens?
How old are you and what area of photography interests you the most?“I’m 37 and people photography is what really interests me. I shoot everything from cultural events to weddings to formal portraiture and I am happy as long as I am able to interact with people. I love the idea of “freezing” a moment in a person’s life that can be revisited years later. I know that sounds romantic but it is my favorite thing about photography.”
Why do you use Pentax equipment?“I use Pentax because of the superb build and also the weather sealing. I was photographing a St. John’s night voodoo ceremony in New Orleans a few weeks ago and it started raining. All the other photographers there were scrambling to cover their equipment with plastic bags etc., but because I had my K-7 mounted with a weather resistant lens I was able to just simply keep shooting. I’ll admit that I was thrown some pretty jealous looks.”
What made you pick the subject that you work on?“I brought my portfolio to my “art mentor” to review a couple of years ago and he looked through it carefully and said “But there are flowers, landscapes, architecture, animals, people and…this thing is all over the place!” Then he gave me the best advice that I’ve ever received, in photography at least, he said “Shoot what you love most and only what you love most and then your work will flow and be coherent.” From then on I focused almost exclusively on photographing people.”
Is photography just a hobby or do you get paid for the pictures you take?“Sometimes I get paid, sometimes I volunteer because it is a cause I believe in, and other times- especially cultural events- I do for my own enjoyment. I do really like to get paid though- more paying customers would always be welcome!”
When did you start to be interested in photography?“Just after my divorce but I almost hate to say that because it sounds so “Eat, Pray, Love.” But I needed a way to “re-see” the world so I took an art class, then I found out that I just don’t get along well with paint, I’m way too messy for it. Then I borrowed a friend’s digital camera and it just felt right to me. That was about five years ago and I’ve been taking photographs ever since.”
What piece of equipment can you not be without?“My camera. You can always find a way to work around having the wrong lens but if you don’t have your camera with you then you don’t have any chance of getting the shot.”
If you could take a picture of just one thing what would it be and why?“Can it be a place and event? I think a wedding in India- that would be my first choice. I can’t imagine a more beautiful or colorful event and I would feel incredibly privileged to be able to be a part of it all.”
Any photographers who you admire and why?“My list is really long so I’ll only elaborate on the living photographers if that’s okay. I admire (and follow via social networking sites) both David DuChemin and Gavin Gough- they are both travel photographers so I’m incredibly envious of both of them. I only recently discovered Mr. Gough but his work is beautiful. I also enjoy Tracy Clark’s (from Shutter Sisters) work because of how she captures so much loveliness in simple domestic settings. Oh, and Nigel Parry, his portraiture is perfection. I'll stop now, I promise.”
Do you have a favorite image if so what is it and why?“Mr. Gough did a series just a couple of weeks ago of a calligraphy master working in his shop in China that I loved. But my favorite all time image, I’m sad to say I can’t remember the photographer’s name but she is local here in New Orleans, was of an older woman at a fancy restaurant literally squealing with delight when her birthday cake was brought out. She was surrounded by her family and you could see the joy in the frame. I’m not embarrassed to admit that image made me cry, I want to be that happy when I’m in my 80s.”
If you could go anywhere and do anything, what would you do and why?“My most sacred dream is to be a travel photographer. I want to go to Mongolia and Morocco, Mozambique and Macedonia, also Italy, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Estonia…just everywhere. What would make it perfect is if I could do it for an NGO or the photographs could be used to help raise global awareness, understanding, and a deeper appreciation of cultural differences, and even more important, similarities.”
Thanks to Kimberly Edwards for taking part in this interview, to see more photos visit her website: http://www.kimberlyspins.com