Absolutely Wonderful Anne Kitzman

As a makeup artist, you meet so many different talents, personalities, and characters.
The most memorable people you meet are either:
(a) Absolutely Wonderful
(b) You prefer not to say, for professional reasons, but would rather not ever work with those people again.

Of those “Absolutely Wonderful People” I’ve met in my journey as a makeup artist, is Professional Photographer Anne Kitzman.

Copyright Anne Kitman

I met Anne Kitzman during my very-short lived residence in Dayton, Ohio through another great photographer Robert Coyle. Anne was the breath of fresh air I was looking for in Ohio while looking for someone to collaborate with, and we instantly “clicked.” We worked on two photoshoots before I left Ohio, and together, created and captured beautiful images that I am proud to show off in my portfolio.

Even though I have since left Ohio, we still stay in contact regularly and I truly do miss working with the wonderful Anne Kitzman. I figured the best way to thank her for working with me is to feature her in my blog in a “Fabulously Kimberly Interview!”

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a professional photographer, a member of Professional Photographers of America. I specialize in Glamour, Boudoir and Bridal Portraiture in my studio work. I also shoot images for inclusion in my stock photography galleries which are available at 11 agencies and I have sold over 80,000 stock images to date. I am a reviewer for a stock image agency, which means I review incoming images from other photographers and make the decision as to whether or not they are included into the agency library. I teach private photography classes: learning to use your new digital camera, posing techniques for photographers and new models, wedding photography tips and tricks and the ins and outs of stock photography.

You can see some of my work on my website: http://www.annekitzmanphotography.com/

A short history of me:

I’ve been taking pictures since I was a child. My mother gave me her Brownie film camera one day and allowed me to take a few pictures of my 9 younger brothers and sisters and I was hooked. I purchased my first SLR film camera when my own children were babies, back in the early ’70s and I took pictures of everything they did. People commented that I “had an eye” for photography and soon I was shooting pictures for friends too. I read everything I could find in the library on photography (back then there was no internet). Finding very little information, I even read the tiny print on the film instruction packs, trying to figure out ASA and depth of field. I ended up simply learning by doing. With encouragement from one of my sisters, I entered a picture I took of my daughter flying a kite into a photo contest held by our local newspaper and received an honorable mention. Wow, someone other than my family thought I was good! It encouraged me to learn more and keep shooting.

What inspired you to become a photographer?

To answer the question “what inspired me”, I don’t know, there is no simple answer. I’ve always had a camera in my hand it seems. When I was a little girl in 3rd grade at Sacred Heart school in the small town in Michigan where I grew up, the nuns told us that everyone had a gift from God, every one of us had one special thing that we could do. Some people had the gift of a beautiful singing voice, some the gift of writing beautiful stories or music, others could fly airplanes or teach and the list went on. I thought about it really hard, and at 8 yrs old, felt bad because I thought I didn’t have a gift from God, maybe he forgot me or maybe he ran out of gifts by the time he got to me because I couldn’t think of one thing that I could do that was extraordinary. I went through most of my life thinking I didn’t receive a gift until one day the realization came to me that my gift was the gift of sight, of being able to see and capture emotion on film. These days it’s digital capture and my camera equipment has changed but I still work the same.

How would you describe your style, and what do you like to shoot the most?

My style… For years I didn’t think I had a style until someone said to me that she loved my style of photography. I guess style is something that is seen by others, I don’t know. I just shoot what I love and what looks beautiful to me … maybe that’s my “style”?

I love to shoot portraits. I love the emotional interaction between the subject of my portrait and myself while making eye contact with them through the lens. It’s an entirely different connection than looking at someone while having a conversation with them. Looking at someone through the lens is very personal, very intimate. It’s like seeing into their soul.

Being that you have had such a successful career as a photographer- What are your personal keys to success as a photographer?

In no particular order … just what literally POURED out of my mind while typing! 😉

* Keep on learning, knowledge is everything.
* Practice, practice, practice, shoot something every single day.
* Read everything you can find on the subject.
* Befriend other photographers and share your knowledge.
* Don’t take what others say personally; everyone is a critic but not everyone knows what he’s talking about.
* Realize that there will be stumbling blocks on the road to success and find a way to get to the other side of them, don’t allow them to stop you from reaching your goal.
* Stay positive, have a good sense of humor, smile a lot and have fun.
* Don’t give up! Be courageous. Don’t listen to the noise in your head that says “no, you can’t do that”.
* Be brave and step out of your comfort zone.
* Do what you love and love what you do and do it with PASSION!
* Pray. Thank God, the Universe, every day for everything you have.
* Show up every day as your best self and get the energy moving.

I feel so honored to have been able to work with you, what tips can you give my fellow makeup artists friends in helping photographers capture “the perfect shot”?

Thanks, Kimberly … I enjoyed working with you too and miss you now that you’ve moved.

To answer you … Ask questions and listen to the answers. Really listen. Come to the shoot with an open mind, ready to take direction. Don’t try to take over the shoot with your ideas unless the photographer tells you to do whatever you want and she’ll photograph it. Remember that most times the photographer has a specific look in mind and has hired you to create it.

What advice do you have for aspiring photographers?

Throw away that “point and shoot” digital camera and purchase a good SLR with a decent lens. Read the manual a dozen times. Then read it a dozen more times. Get familiar with your camera, know what all the buttons do and where they are. Then find a professional photographer who offers photography classes and learn from someone who knows what he/she is doing! Remember that not everyone who says he is a photographer is a “professional” photographer. There are so many amateurs out there, some even own expensive cameras. Remember that the photographer makes the photo, not the camera.

What plans do you have in the next 5 years in terms of your photography?

That’s a great question and I’m going to answer it from a different perspective. I’m going to answer as if you asked me 5 years ago because I am currently at the end of a 5 year plan that is now coming to fruition. If you asked me 5 years ago I would have said that I saw me moving my home studio to a location away from my home. And the time is here! I am so excited to announce that I have found a place to settle in for awhile, in a really great location, smack in the center of the Wedding District and the Arts District in Covington, Kentucky. It took two years of searching before I found exactly what I was looking for! I move into the new studio space on April 2nd, 2011, in just a couple of weeks! I will be focusing on Portrait Photography but will offer photography classes and workshops as well. I’m so excited to begin this new adventure!

As for my next 5 years … first I’ll settle in and celebrate and then I’ll think about it.

Thanks Kimberly, it’s been a pleasure to work with you! We miss you but understand that you must follow your dream and if your dream is in CA, then you go girl!