From names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez to Zac Efron and the Jonas Brothers, she has made a career photographing teen celebrities for publications worldwide. Rena’s vibrant, captivating images of happy, energetic teen celebrities have appeared in such publications as People, US Weekly, Blender, Popstar!, Tiger Beat, Bop, and Disney Adventures. She has worked commercially, photographing kids campaigns for Fore! Axel and Hudson and Fore N Birdie, as well as, editorially for Total Girl, La Petite, and Babiekins. Rena has been featured on the [Framed Show], in publications such as Rangefinder and Digital Photographer and was a speaker at ImagingUSA 2013. Rena’s authentic, playful and laid back personality lends to creating an atmosphere that allows for great moments to happen.
Rena, what camera do you use and what is your favorite lens?
Canon 1Ds Mark III and 5D Mark II. My favorite lens is the 70-200mm 2.8 ISL
What has been the most helpful critique you ever got on an image?
An important bit of advise I had received when I initially began pursuing commercial and fashion editorial work, was to shoot ‘real moments’ rather than just portraits.
What 3 words would you use to describe your style?
Vibrant, Authentic, Happy
Where do you pull your inspiration from?
I think you can find inspiration anywhere, you just have to look. I have found inspiration looking at other photographers’ work, illustrations, art, movies, books, songs, poems, an outfit can inspire me, colors, props, you name it. I enj
oy keeping up on fashion magazines, commercial and fashion photographers.
What is one specific way that you balance work and family?
That can definitely be tough at times especially when your ‘job’ is something that you really love and enjoy. you can easily lose track of the hours you spend on the computer and neglect the people and things that are the most important in your life. I find that if you try and keep to a schedule and set ‘work hours’ for yourself then that helps. I also try and set aside a couple days a week where I don’t work at all (if I can) especially Sundays so I can go to church and spend time with my family.
Best biz/photo advice?
I think it is fine to look at other photographers work and ask yourself what is it about their work that you like but not try and copy them. Find your own style…also you don’t always have to fit in with the standard either. Just because everyone else seems to be doing it, doesn’t mean you have to too. Find what drives you and makes you feel excited and inspired and shoot that!
What have you learned the hard way?
One thing I learned as a photographer, is to always shoot variations of each ‘look’ for your commercial/editorial clients. I did a photo shoot with a celebrity where they were wearing a hat and I failed to get any shots without her wearing it and the magazine ended up hating the hat! Needless to say, after kicking myself for not getting any shots without the hat, I had to spend quite a bit of time in post removing the hat and replacing it with the top of her head from other looks. Always get a variety from each outfit as you never know what the client will end up liking and how it will look within the layout of the feature.
How does your business deal with the rise in photographers. What have you done to standout and compete?
Who you are as a photographer can be what sets you apart form the ‘competition’. Who I am (my personality, being fun and easy to work with, etc.) is equally important to my photography.
Where have most of your 2012 clients come from (besides WOM)?
Most of my clients have been from me just getting out there and making connections (for my celebrity, commercial and editorial work). I also do actor headshots and those has come from agent and manager referrals.
What has been the best workshop or convention you’ve attended so far?
I really don’t know what has been the best but probably the most memorable would a convention in San Diego back in 2003. I had just started pursing studio photography and went to a workshop by celebrity photographer, Jerry Avenaim. It was great to see how other photographers worked, to hear their stories and learn editing techniques they use. I believe that there is always room to grow as a photographer and something new to learn.
What is your most popular product?