With much excitement we are excited to introduce Michelle Kane of Michelle Kane + Actions.
Michelle Kane is a self-taught professional photographer, specializing in kids, teens and seniors photography. She is the creator of two successful suites of easy-to-use, yet powerfully versatile Photoshop Actions, designed to help other photographers and photo editors find and define their signature looks. The Creative HeART and HeART & Soul Photoshop Action sets have each received excellent reviews and are popular among Photoshop professionals.
Michelle developed and taught an intensive Photoshop workshop where she helped other photographers improve their shooting and editing knowledge and skill. Following this, she offered online and in-person mentoring sessions where she was able to teach in a more intimate one-on-one setting. Michelle continues to share her knowledge by offering online editing information through her website. Visitors are able to access helpful free videos and detailed tutorials that she has developed.
Michelle Kane has gained a large following and is known to be very giving, paying it forward by sharing her knowledge and encouraging others to succeed in their business aspirations. She has been featured on a number of photography related websites, some of which include The Maternal Lens, The Creative Mama, Rock the Shot, EW Couture, Velvet Owl’s Women In Business Series, The Fab Photog Blog, and Moms Who Click.
Why do you think honest critique on your images is important?
Without quality, honest critique of our work, it’s very difficult to grow and mature as an artist. Meaningful critique can open our eyes of understanding to see problem areas in our techniques that could benefit from refinement and polish. Not only is it important to hear WHAT we could be doing better in our work, but more importantly, HOW we can improve and evolve as artists. There’s also a lot of underserved back-patting online on blogs and Facebook. Sometimes, people need good ol’ honest and unbiased constructive critique to advance their craft
What camera do you use? Favorite lens?
5D Mark 2, 135mm 1.2
What has been the most helpful critique you ever got on an image?
When I first started, I was trying to be very contemporary and put a heavy angle on a lot of my compositions. It was extremely helpful to realize that you can in fact go overboard with angling the camera, which is very off-putting and distracting. Shooting straight or close to can actually be a good thing.
What 3 words would you use to describe your style?
Warm, Rich, Creamy
Where do you pull your inspiration from?
Lately, I’ve been looking at a lot of editorial magazine layouts, album covers and European ads. I also find music very integral in establishing a mood, which leads to a look.
What is one specific way that you balance work and family?
I put a huge value on my time with my family. If I’m not making enough money to justify being away from my kids and husband, I don’t do it. I charge a fair price for my time and talent not only for the quality of work I provide, but more importantly, so it’s worth my time away from the ones that matter most.
Best biz/photo advice?
Establish a good network of friends in the photography world—local or online. You may not want to or be able to be chummy with other local photographers, but you need to find that connection and camaraderie with other like minded people. This industry can be difficult, and having trustworthy, honest and reliable photographer friends is essential for keeping your sanity and saying encouraged.
What have you learned the hard way?
It took a while to learn that gaining “fame” and recognition isn’t everything. Spending too much time seeking out the approval of others… people to justify your work as a photographer isn’t what it’s all about. While it’s wonderful to be recognized and admired, it’s more important to receive that kind of attention from my own children and husband. I recommend putting more time into personal, real life relationships instead of superficial online ones where if you’re honest with yourself, you’re probably just trying to hear nice comments about your work. I’ve found that is what is lasting and what truly matters in the grand scheme of things.
How does your business deal with the rise in photographers. What have you done to standout and compete?
I simply do what I do. I try not to concern myself with the other photographers or the influx of new photographers in my area. I focus on what makes me unique as an artist and photographer and seek out clients that value those things and book me not simply because they need pictures, but because they love my unique artistic stylings and want my creative vision to come through in their photographs.
Where have most of your 2011 clients come from (besides WOM)?
Most of my clients come via word or mouth, but the ones who don’t always say they found me online through a Google search and loved my website. I think a strong web presence is essential.
What has been the best workshop or convention you’ve attended so far?
I think WPPI has been the best convention I’ve attended, mainly for the networking aspect of it. There are SO many fabulous photographers in one place, you can’t help but meet and learn from one another. The trade show itself has many noteworthy speakers giving valuable presentations without having to pay extra for classes.
What is your most popular product?
4×8 accordion books
Michelle’s Photo Critique Class is SOLD OUT…but you can still purchase a silent seat HERE!