Today we’d like to introduce you to Sierra Campbell.
Sierra, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My dad was a photojournalist, and I grew up going on assignment with him and developing in the darkroom. The smell of fixer and developer will always take me right back to my childhood! After I got married and moved to California, I worked for the Orange County Business Journal for a few years. Eventually I started thinking about what I could do on my own time so that I would be able to stay at home with my (future) kids. I started taking pictures of my friends and family members, and that organically spread by word of mouth… and here we are now! Four kids and 12 years later! At this point in my career, I primarily photograph newborns.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
What I love about professional photography is that it makes you feel like you can reach through the picture and touch your kids’ face, and remember those feelings you had at that moment. It’s the closest thing to time warp we have. I find that the moments in between the posing are the ones that make the biggest impact… a quick kiss to the baby’s head, laughing at each other or yourself, forgetting you are in front of a camera. I love the images that aren’t so posed, more real.
One image I took that means more to me than most is when my cousin Elizabeth Smart had one of her babies and I flew to Utah to take newborn pictures. 15 year prior, Elizabeth was kidnapped, abused and held captive for nine months. It was one of the darkest periods in my life, and to see her standing in front of me as an empowered, strong woman with a beautiful little baby and a big smile on her face made my heart want to burst.
I’m currently taking pictures of each of my kids in their sports clothes, and the other day my four-year-old was in her tap shoes and leotard. She’s a spicy one and was giving me such a hard time, I called it quits after a few minutes and was really frustrated. Later that day, I downloaded the images and LOVED them! It’s so HER! A pouty dancer is so classic, and it means more to me than a perfect posed smile would.
There are so many times where parents are so stressed the entire shoot that the kids aren’t being perfect, I like to tell them to leave their stress at the door and trust in me to get what I need. I only need a second here or there to get a good shot, and I love their surprised delight at what images came from their “chaotic” shoot.
Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
I feel that my personal role as a portrait photographer is to refocus people on what’s really important in life… to focus on the good.
Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
Surround yourself with other like-minded artists and learn from them. If you find yourself in a creative rut, sign up for a class or mentoring session with someone you admire. Realize that you can always learn more and improve. Also realize that you are probably your own worst critic. I go from thinking “I suck” to “I’m pretty good” over and over again, and probably always will. I still get anxiety before every shoot, even 10+ years later, and I just have to remind myself that I know what I’m doing and trust in myself.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Instagram is my favorite was to showcase my current work. I do have a blog, Facebook page and website, but I admittedly give them no love.
I was so honored when Newport Center Women’s Health (OBGYN office) in Newport Beach contacted me and asked if they could redecorate their office with all of my work! It’s like my own person art gallery! Every time I go in there, I get overwhelmed seeing my best work over the past 10 years all over their walls!
My photography also decorates the walls of the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at the Irvine Spectrum in Irvine, California.
- Address: Aliso Viejo, California
- Website: www.sierracampbellphotography.com
- Phone: 949-246-5589
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: sierracampbellphotography
- Facebook: sierrasmartcampbellphotography
Sierra Campbell Photography