Leigh Caraccioli - A Still Moment...

by R27 CREATIVELAB on Monday, 23 February 2009

A few words from me... Rajesh, who were you expecting?

We've all seen well-shot photos. The ones that stop you mid-flow and just for a second take you on a little journey but what about the photographers behind the photo. The photographers that don't just press the button to release the shutter, but are a mother and wife, who run their own business and still have time to be an integral part of other ventures, guiding, teaching and encouraging.

I am, in case you didn't know, talking about the lovely Leigh Caraccioli, you can view some of her work by visiting her site which is going through a transformation very soon.

Click here to go to www.fleurdeleighphotography.com

Hay but wait there's more, you want to know about Leigh don't you and so lets start at the beginning...

You were born and then?
I was born on a farm, the middle child of Tom & Meg Herman and enjoyed a Mark Twain type childhood full of nature, mischief, and exploration. My family lived in a spacious newly converted green barn with a sprawling landscape. It was a magical place and former home of one of my idols Dayton, Ohio's Erma Bombeck, writer, humorist, and teacher.

Leigh on the other side of the camera
A younger me
My husband, Paul
College took me to the University of Georgia on a gymnastics scholarship where I studied journalism, experienced a career ending injury and transferred to The Ohio State University. I pursued my Master's degree in Creative Writing at Wright State University allowing me to teach Composition for two years. While I enjoyed the noble task of teaching, I was lured by the fast paced lifestyle of Sales & Marketing. I spent the next decade pursuing lofty sales goals and climbing corporate ladders.

My decision to start my own business in photography was cultivated by my husband, Paul, after my second child was born because it allowed me a stay at home career doing what I was already passionate about. Earlier this year, I added a second career as a Talent Agent for Talent Revolution by linking up with the visionary career networker Amanda Hite, founder, C.E.O. & change agent. I also am certified to teach in the Language Arts and substitute teach as often as possible.

Why Photography + what got you involved?
My dad had an old 35 mm that I adored. A picture is an economy of words so as a storyteller, photography appealed to me. Black and white photos are my first passion and I still have to make myself opt for color images occasionally. When my husband bought my first digital camera nearly two years ago. I realized what I wanted to be when I grew up. My path here was guided most by Paul, but also Amanda HIte, Darrin Ballman, Angela & Chris Caraccioli, and my IT creatives Chris Reed & Brian Peterson.

What was your first camera and what do you use now?
Camera one for me was a 35mm Nikon N65 I toted 6 years ago. Then I stepped up to digital, the future of photography, and began using the Nikon D50 with a kit lens. My bag just bigger with the new Nikon D300, various super cool lenses and I am thrilled with the results...and I am ready to add more!

How long have you been doing this?
Photography - 6 years, running a business - under a year. Momming - 8 years to daughter Pruitt (8) and son, Max (almost 2)

My daughter, Pruitt
My son, Max

Humans or nature, do you have a preference, if so why?
Nature doesn't pay me as well as humans and is only half as fun. *giggle* I love nature and capturing it on film, but seeking the personality in an individual and capturing that in a photo is my passion.

What inspires you within the photography field and/or outside?
The industry gives and fosters new people like me all the time. Freebies, help sites, mentoring all are commonplace and I have utilized them all. Without any formal photography training, things like free tutorials on how to post process in Photoshop MEAN something to me. My idol is Lindsey (Yates) Teal, PIF (Pay it Forward) Blogger. pifphoto.com who is all about giving in this creative industry.

Outside of the field, people who think independently, live robustly, and give back inspire me, like my father. My daily inspiration comes from Paul, my best friend/hubby, my kids, and stepchildren. I couldn't be more fortunate for my intellectual entourage at Talent Revolution. They are visionaries who amaze me.
My Family

Which other photographers and designers have caught your eye?
Out of the gate, Joyce Smith, Photography.com and Leah Zawadzki made my head spin with their talent for capturing youth and exuberance. Now a few of my favorites are Michael Norwood. He is the MASTER of the light. The emotion filled photos of Tiffiney at Momentscaptured4u.com, and few others I peek in on often are Matt Sloan, Chenin Boutwell, and Amelia Lyon. They all inspire me.

Hopes for the future?
To learn my trade further including post processing. To meet new fun people to photograph. To start dabbling with weddings by following some great photographers. To provide a great service to my clients and make a living at this thing that I love doing everyday.

What makes a good subject to photograph in your opinion and what would you say to the shy or nervous to help them while shooting?
For me they are all good subjects but brave, animated people (big & small) are my favorite. Hmmm. People aren't shy or nervous with me. My being an unassuming goofball usually puts them at ease. I think instantly, I know my subjects and that may make them feel comfortable.

A favourite of mine "Braid"

What's the oddest subject matter have you had to shoot or most memorable shoot?
When I photographed a young mother in advanced stages of cancer as a favor for my parents, I was moved. My Mom felt sad this beautiful strong mother had no photographs of her family so she set us up. Photographing a family who needed warm images for a legacy was both uplifting and gut wrenching. Seeing her two daughters, younger than my children, and knowing that I gave them photos that they'll have for the future made what I do make sense. I am committed to doing a few more gratis sessions this year. They are good for the spirit.

Jamie and her daughters

Future works / Do you have any creative works in progress/planned?
More cool photo shoots, a regular blog, and an overhaul on the website.

I see you're also involved in Talent Revolution can you tell me more?
After doing the photography for Talent Revolution, I decided to add a career. They were so awesome, and I was such a groupie they made me a talent agent helping jobseekers find their ultimate career lifestyle. It has been a business symbiosis that has been mutually beneficial and keeps me ultra busy.

What would you recommend to those new to the field of photography wishing to take it up?
Don't be afraid to fail. I learned more from trial and error than anything else. Keep trying. Keep learning. In the words of President Obama: we must "pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin again..."

Funny stories
I once caught strawberries on fire in the microwave...No really, there are too many to mention!!!

If any of our readers would like to get in touch with you what's the best way to do this?
Email me at leighcaraccioli@gmail.com
Go to Talent Revolution/LeighCaraccioli.
Follow me on twitter @fleurdeleigh
I am also on Facebook, Linkedin, FOHBOH

On behalf of Leigh Caraccioli & Fleur De Leigh Photography- you can download your exclusive desktop images by [clicking here]

Available in the following screen sizes 1280x960 | 1024x768 | 800x600 | 600x450

Thanks Leigh, for taking time out and sharing a little of yourself.

All images are provided and owned by © 2009 Fleur De Leigh |
Desktop images created by R27 | © 2009 R27 Creativelab with permission from Fleur De Leigh

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Best Regards Rajesh