Today’s featured artists are not only really great photographers, but also my friends : )
Erin and Jeff are pretty much awesome. I had the pleasure of meeting them at PartnerCon 2009 (and hopefully this year again if I go!) where they hosted a little workshop for about 25 other photographers. They taught all of us so much and were so open, I just love that. And I’ll never forget how Erin rocked some 3-inch heels for the entire shoot! She’s awesome. You can see some of the photos I took of our amazing couple, Zach & Jody Gray, by clicking here. Erin and Jeff also took time out of their busy schedules to come up to Seattle and speak to the Tacoma Pictage Users Group (PUG!) Their presentation was titled, “Keepin’ it real in a Rockstar World” which I learned a lot from! I love these two because they are real. They never try to act like something they are not, and in this industry…sometimes that is hard to find. Their blog is filled with all types of goodness so you must check it out. Not only do they have some sweet photography, they also share some amazing recipes with the world every Sunday, which makes me believe I have a small chance at cooking every now and then : )
Erin and Jeff, thank you so much for being a part of the Featured Artist Friday’s! I hope you all can gain some inspiration from these two and for any photographers out there…their blog is FILLED with tons of awesome tips and tricks for your business! Aren’t they the best?! Seriously. And now I will turn it over to this awesome couple!
Meet Jeff and Erin Youngren!
We are Jeff and Erin Youngren, a husband and wife team based out of San Diego, CA, that photographs weddings and engagements all over the US and beyond. We love creamy lattes, fuzzy slippers, good wine, long naps, cool couples, warm light, unique weddings, and our crazy cat Gracie. We’re addicted to 30 Rock and The Office, we listen to Coldplay and U2 way too much, and we always have Sam Adams in our fridge. We also love traveling, cooking, eating, sleeping, Jesus and each other.
If you could give one piece of advice to other artists, what would it be?
You are unique, and you are good enough. As artists, we know itʼs a constant struggle of self inspection and comparison to our peers, and with that often comes a feeling of not being good enough. You are. That doesnʼt mean there isnʼt room to improve (thereʼs always room to improve and get better) it just means that great work by others should, quite simply, inspire you to be better.
What inspires you Jeff?
Jeff: Iʼm inspired by photography that is completely unrelated to weddings. I love commercial photography as well as documentary photojournalists. When I need to be inspired, I check out the Pulitzer website and get lost in the images of the past winners & nominees. I take this inspiration and try to somehow translate that into my craft of tellingthe story of the couples, friends, and families that are present at the weddings we shoot.
What inspires you Erin?
Erin: I love great design, so Iʼm inspired by fashion and home decorating. I love to pull out my Martha Stewart Living magazine and study the photographs of food and home details, and I turn to my Anthropologie catalog for inspiration with portraiture and fashion. Iʼm also inspired by great videography and cinematography, so I turn to shows such as Blue Planet and This American Life. They help me see the world in entirely new – and beautiful – ways.
What do you two love to do when you aren’t shooting?
We LOVE to cook! The absolute definition of a perfect evening for us is turning on some music, opening a good bottle of wine (or two) and cooking a meal together, and sitting down to a long dinner. Weʼre not “foodies” but we love to try new things, so if you send us a recipe to try, chances are that weʼll for sure try it at some point! Also, we just sold one of our cars and replaced it with two Italian-style scooters, so weʼve been scootinʼ everywhere – often with no destination in mind. Itʼs such a freeing and mind-clearing experience after a hard day or week of working and shooting.
What would I find in your guys refrigerator?
Leftovers. We ALWAYS cook too much for the two of us, and usually one meal can be stretched across several days. In addition, we always have onions, peppers, and tomatoes in the fridge because theyʼre such a staple in a lot of the foods we love cooking. Oh, and sweet chili sauce. Jeff puts it on everything.
If you could photograph any person in the world, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be?
Jeffʼs Top 5: (Going with Living, possibilities are endless otherwise!)
I selected these people because I feel like theyʼre super interesting and/or influential and Iʼd simply like to meet them and spend a few minutes photographing them. 1.Bono 2.Seth Godin 3.Desmond Tutu 4.Steve Jobs 5.Warren Buffet
Erinʼs Top 5: I picked the first three because I feel like they are ordinary people that were/are in extraordinary circumstances. I would want to photograph them without their “stage” attire, in whatever outfits they wear around the house on a day off. I would be looking for the ordinary in them, whereas Iʼm usually looking for the unique or unusual inour subjects. The last two are simply personal wishes that can no longer come true.
1.The Edge 2.Princess Diana 3.Lady Gaga 4 & 5. My two grandfatherʼs (both deceased)
Jeff, if you could be superhero, what would your name and powers be?
Jeff: Oh man, this is hilarious. Ever since 6th grade Iʼve embraced my alter-ego inner-super hero which Iʼve self-named “Super Jefe”. What are my super powers, you ask? I would wear these uber-bionic eyeglasses that would allow me to gather enormous amounts of information in seconds through superhuman searches on Google. And I would be a rockinʼ DJ.
Erin, if you could be superhero, what would your name and powers be?
Erin: In high school, my friend and I were both tall and we were nicknamed the TwinTowers. I was Tower Number Two, and I would be one of those crazy stretching superheros that could stretch to any length.