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low down, throw down with skye hardwick edmonds: work of heart

welcome 2011!!
i'm super excited it's time for our first low down, throw down of the year!
and what a way to start it off with skye hardwick edmonds of work of heart photography!

there aren't enough kind words in the dictionary to say about skye.
i have followed, loved, drooled and been in awe of skye's work for years.
it truly is a work of heart. she is all heart and it shows in every single image of hers.

she inspires, she teaches, she listens....she cares.
i am so, so excited to introduce you to skye...

Name: Skye Hardwick Edmonds
Business name: Work of Heart Photography
Location: Southern California
http://www.workofheartphoto.com & http://www.workofheartphoto.com/blog

Tell us one sentence to describe your photography:
Oh I’ve been avoiding answering this type of question for years! {wink}

What's one thing that everyone should know about you?:
I’m an introvert. Introverts are so misunderstood. (Yep) I am a lot more quiet and reserved than people expect (no swinging from the chandeliers), but when it’s time to teach, etc. I bring it.
Introverts are my absolute favorite to photograph as I find they are the most soulful. Perhaps it is because I speak their language.

How long have you been doing photography and how did you get started:
This April will be my seventh year in business. Holy cow! Time flies.
Like many photographers, I have always loved photography, but it was never something I thought I could do as a career. As a matter of fact, I was in my second year of college pursuing a degree in writing when I finally had my wake up moment of "this is what I am supposed to be doing". I have never looked back.

If they made a movie about your life, what would it be titled and who would play you?
Unsure on the title, but I’d love Amy Adams to play me – even though we look nothing alike!

What change are you looking most forward to in 2011...both professionally and personally?
Professionally, I look forward to finally taking the leap and launching into the commercial photography market.

When you take pictures just for you, what are they of?
I’d venture to say the images I take “just for me” are about the same kind of images I take for my portrait clients, only they are usually of my son. When I photograph clients I am tuned into what they hope to get out of our session together, but all in all I (almost) always shoot “for me”.

If you were given $500 today, what would be the first thing you would do?:
Save it as there are a few lenses I have my eye on. Of most interest -- the new Nikon 85mm 1.4G

Where do you go to find inspiration?:
I find inspiration in so many places. I love to be inspired, crave it. Inspiration is something I must actively pursue; it won't hunt you down (usually). Funny thing is I don’t go to other photographer websites or blogs for inspiration. I find heaps of inspiration on Etsy or prop shopping at antique stores. Something about the elements (props) that can be used in a session just floods my mind with ideas. Even color palettes can inspire me with new ideas.

What is your best post processing tip?
Start with a good image (in focus, good exposure, etc.) as your foundation and build from there. Photoshop is like makeup on a naturally beautiful face -- you apply it to bring out even more of the beauty that is already there. Yes, from time to time we all "fix" an oops in Photoshop, but that shouldn't be the norm.

What would you tell someone who is just starting up a photography business?
Wait until you are consistently getting good results before launching a business. Counting on "lucky shots" or a few good ones in the mix isn't enough. When you are consistently getting good exposure, good variety of expressions, nailing the focus, etc. then look into the next step.

What color paint is your bedroom? Why? What about your bathroom?
Ugh, white and white. I'm in a transition house -- we are looking to buy our first house in 2011.

What equipment do you use and if you had only one lens to use...what would it be?:
I shoot with the Nikon D700 and my favorite lens is the 50mm 1.4G -- it rarely leaves my camera. Although I'd make room for the 85mm I referenced above.

Do you have a hidden talent? Or a stupid human trick?
No stupid human trick, I’m afraid. As for hidden talent, I love to sing.

What was your first paid session like? Were you nervous? Did it turn out how you wanted?
Oh that first paid session. {Laughs} I believe that was the first and last session where I offered a complimentary print with the session. That’s all she ended up walking away with.

Should I mention she dressed her son in a Hawaiian printed shirt AND shorts. If that wasn’t bad enough, she also pulled out a stuffed Mickey Mouse holding a surf -board. Yes, I have pictures to prove it, however, they are somewhere in storage (thankfully).

What music do you love? Do you have a favorite song of all time?
I like music that is more uplifting and positive. I don’t care for songs that describe other people’s sex or party life. No thanks.

Favorite song? Right now it’s, "Make You Feel my Love" - Bob Dylan (love Adele's version) My husband sang this to me at our wedding this past October.

What is at the top of your wish list right now?:
A new house with a yard.

Tell us the best advice that you have ever received (photography related or life in general):
Read your manual. Keep it simple. Keep tabs on the late night editing. Learn to say no. Always be teachable. Know who you are. Stay who you are, at the same time be open to the right kind of change. Master lighting. Don't wear low-rise jeans on a shoot (I've learned this one on my own).

If you had an entire Saturday to do whatever you wanted...what would you do?
Prop shopping in Santa Monica.

When you look back at your life, what are you most proud of?
My son, and how far God has taken me from where I thought I was headed or worth.

How do you get a connection between you and your client?
First things first, I connect with the parents. Children pick up on the cues and feelings of their parents, and if their parents are comfortable and feeling good about our session, that plays a role in how the children may feel. Plus, I feel it is important to give a child room to size me up and see I’m there for fun.

If I rush a child into anything but a basic introduction, I will have to work harder to connect with them. When I chat with their parents first, the child and I can exchange smiles and glances; then I’ll stoop down on their level, introduce them to my camera, and ask questions about themselves.

Kids love to talk about themselves. Ask them what their hobbies and favorite things are, what they watch on television, and create further conversation off their answers. A child can always sense when you are talking at them, rather than to them, so don’t be afraid to put the camera down and talk, face to face.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Living in the country with a big organic garden, a slew of farm animals, and plenty of land to do my sessions.

And lastly.....when we started the maternal lens, all of us filled out this questionnaire and shared our answers....now it's your turn :)

What is your favorite word? Persnickety. I just like to say it. Try it for yourself.
A word I love because of what it means is "grace".
What is your least favorite word? squat.
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? beautiful light, worship music, a good book.
What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally? unrealistic expectations, unforgiveness, a negative attitude.
What sound or noise do you love? My son or my husband's laugh. Best there is.
What sounds or noise do you hate? Car alarms.
What is your favorite thing to say when you get mad? It varies. Depends on the kind of mad we are talking about.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I'm happy right where I'm at.
What profession would you not like to do? Anything featured in that show Dirty Jobs. I don't handle overly dirty too well. Especially stinky dirty.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Well done, good and faithful servant.


  1. Gorgeous work and great answers! Thanks for this awesome share!

  2. Melissa1/06/2011

    Thanks for sharing, Skye. I'm so familiar with your work, but didn't know much about you. I really enjoyed your answers.

  3. Andrea Klein Photography1/06/2011

    LOVE Skye! Great interview. Thanks TML!!

  4. Beautiful photos, very soulful! Thanks for sharing =) p.s~ Get the 85 1.4G, best lens EVER.

  5. Love the last question and answer! Made me tear up because that's an aspiration worth striving for. =)

  6. I've been a fan of Skye's gorgeous work. It's great to see her featured here.

  7. I love her work!! Love love love it!!

  8. Anonymous1/06/2011

    that is awesome - Sky is my first favorite Angie Monson my second favorite photographer in the world.

  9. truly beautiful work!

  10. Victoria1/06/2011

    I had chosen Skye for a low-down! Glad she's the first for 2011! Loved her workbook! ;)

  11. Wow Skye!!!! The final answer brought tears because that's what I was thinking before I read your answer! I know that's what I want to hear as well!!!

    Beautiful work as always!!!

  12. She is a gem. Great interview. Thanks, Skye and TML.

  13. As someone who would like to be a child photographer, I loved reading this. Thanks!

  14. Anonymous1/06/2011

    Great interview. Love her work, inspired by her work, appreciate her conviction and testimony too!

    PS Bought her workbook and have read it from cover to cover...great help!

  15. Skye is awesome! Such an inspiration. I got chills from parts of this interview. Love her soulful spiritual side!!

  16. Can you tell me who sings the song for your daughters bday video?

  17. skye you are so wonderful and inspiring as always. come to boston please!!! thanks so much for being part of TML - xo

  18. I enjoyed this interview, and her work is truly beautiful.

  19. Skye - this was a wonderful interview and lovely photos - you are inspirational! Thanks!

  20. I've been an admirer for quite some time, but that just sealed the deal. What a wonderful person. Thanks for sharing!

  21. This was sweet and heartfelt... full of soul :)

  22. Found you~~~via pinterest :)
    I love your picnic shot!
    Nice to meet you,

    Kay Ellen

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