Photographer Interview – Betsi Ewing
The photographers we get to work with at Post Partner are our biggest inspiration. They’re artists and friends and we want to share their talent with everyone! Today, we’re talking with Betsi Ewing, of Betsi Ewing Studio and Oh Stella Studio, learning how she got started and why it’s so important to be in community with other photographers.
Betsi quickly became a favourite in the Post Partner studio when we began working together last year. Her images are beautiful and refreshing and capture so much movement and emotion in every frame. Starting out in the industry in 2000, Betsi’s worked has evolved and changed throughout the years. We are so honoured to partner along with Betsi as she creates beautiful images and uses her talent to create community.
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us Betsi!
Q1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get started in photography?
I’ve had a camera in hand for most of my life and have always been interested in photographing people. I started as a photographer with my high school newspaper and knew pretty quickly I wanted to pursue photography in college. I attended the Brooks Institute of Photography in California for one year and then made the move to NYC in 2003.
Six years later I was still living in Brooklyn and taking all kinds of photo jobs. I knew I liked photographing people the best but really had no specific direction. I was shooting bands, fashion and all kinds of random things. I found a gig on craigslist as a “second shooter” for a wedding with JacPfef and the rest was history. I had no idea you could be a full time wedding photographer! In fact, I think I had been to about two weddings in my entire life. I loved the combination of journalism, beauty, fashion, styling, it was all such a perfect mix of all my interests and Jackie was filled with all kinds of information and resources she was willing to share with me. I have found the wedding community to be welcoming, friendly, collaborative and supportive.
Q2. You have such a unique style, how did you develop that? What did you look to for inspiration?
Lots of trail and error! I get most of my wedding inspiration from non wedding sources actually. I’m obsessed with Fashion Gone Rogue and read it daily, it’s the best way to see what’s happening every minute in the world of fashion and editorial photography. I worked for fashion photographers Inez + Vinoodh for a number of years in NYC. They really taught me how to be an artist and run a creative business at the same time. They are ever evolving and creating new content, pushing themselves, trying new things, they are just filled with endless ideas and are so inspiring to me. I also love architecture, graphic design, and the obvious go to’s: Pinterest and Instagram. I’m a completely visual person, I love looking at an image or concept and taking away the little parts and pieces I like and making a photo in my own way.
Q3. Describe your work when you first started.
I started photography in 2000, SO, 16 years later there has been a MAJOR change in the industry and my own work has been quite an evolution! It began with lots of ruined rolls of 35mm film that I was processing myself and ended up here on my laptop. The world has changed so much, it’s a constant keeping up with technology and change. If I had my choice I’d just hang out in the dark room all day and be 100% hands on, it feels more home made + handmade but shooting digital allows me to take thousands of images on any given day and seamlessly deliver them to my clients.
Q4. Compared to when you started, how has your style changed?
I only shot film for the first 5-6 years of my photography life so there wasn’t must experimenting with post production and editing. I mainly photographed B&W portraits for years and some experimental weird dark room science projects too that I guess you could call “fine art” haha. I always had considered myself a journalistic photographer but now I’ve added in years of experience with light (I always prefer natural light) and an eye for styling and composition too. My style is also much lighter, brighter and more colorful now.
Q5. What advice would you give to a photographer who is trying to develop their individual style?
Shoot, shoot, shoot, experiment, push yourself, try new things and it will find you – you will find it.
Q6. You recently started Oh Stella Studio, a studio of wedding creatives. How important is it to be surrounded by other creatives in the industry?
It’s REALLY important! The only downside of my job is that I do a lot of it alone. I’ve wanted to start a collective studio for years and last year I felt was the time. I’ve met some incredible artists and everything started falling into place. We are a small group of documentary photographers and film makers bringing a unique and fresh approach to the wedding world. The Oh Stella Studio is a place for couples looking for something less traditional, more original and vibrant!
Q7. Why do you choose to outsource, especially with having a unique style?
I have gone back and forth about outsourcing since I started my wedding photography business in 2010. I am a meticulous control freak about post production so it was very hard for me to wrap my head around giving up that control. Then I photographed about 12 weddings in a matter of a few weeks and realized if I didn’t get some help that I might not LOVE doing this forever and I do love doing this so I want to love it, forever! I’m a strong shooter, I am in my happy place when I have the camera and I’m working. Sitting on the computer day after day, culling images and editing is not my cup of tea. I think assembling the best team requires being able to determine your mates strengths and delegate. I want to be the best shooter, not the best editor.
“I want to be the best shooter, not the best editor”
Q8. Dream wedding location to shoot?
Hmmm, I read this article in The Lane last year titled Unexpected Spaces and I’ve been obsessed with shooting a ‘cave’ wedding since then! Check out the article and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Q9. Top 3 interesting facts about you
1. I have moved from NYC to LA back to NYC and back to LA so many times in the past few years. Now that I’m working on both coasts (and lots of other places too!) I have a cute house in my home town in Michigan that I live in (when I’m not traveling) which is about half of each month. It’s my retreat between crazy trips and travel schedules. I get the best of city life and simple life.
2. My best friend Meredith will say “she’s the only one in the theater that didn’t cry during Titanic” I never cry during movies unless it involves animals, then I cry for days.
3. I have a fantasy of shooting music videos but mostly just if I could time travel back to the prime time of music videos and MTV.
Betsi, we love working with you so much, and are so inspired by the emotions and beauty you capture, and the images you create. Thanks for choosing us!