Featured WV Photographer: Sam Sparks

May 28, 2021by quentinjmurphy0

The older I get the more I realize how precious certain relationships can be. As a photographer we tell stories and sometimes we forget about the other artists we work along with.

These are their stories, ENJOY!

Tell us a little about you…

What type of photography do you do most? And what do you enjoy most and why?

I shoot portraits the most, generally of Seniors, and honestly they’re my favorite! I enjoy making others feel beautiful, and reminding them that sometimes less is more. These days people struggle so much with finding self love, so when I’m given the opportunity to boost someone’s confidence, you can bet I’m all in!

What is the most challenging part about being a photographer for you?

I feel the most challenging part about being a photographer is finding the right people to surround yourself with. When you have a community full of others who are following the same dream you are, self doubt tends to creep in and take over then you find yourself comparing your work and questioning your abilities. It’s important to remind yourself that your journey is different than theirs, and that we all start somewhere. 

Describe your photographic style? How did you develop your style?

I would say my style is warm and inviting. I think all those years ago when I started my journey I aimed more toward natural colors, like blues and greens, I struggled getting the idea in my head into an actual image. Once I discovered presets it gave me a foundation of what I wanted my photos to look like, but after endless buying, searching and tweaking I did give up on presets and started from scratch. Not to mention I fell in love with golden hour! It took a lot of changing, learning, and time to develop the style I have now, but I wouldn’t change any of it for a second. 

Describe a typical day in the life of you…

A typical day in my life consists of coffee, lots & lots of coffee, dogs, and did I mention coffee? Depending on the day I’ll shoot early, but I usually shoot in the evening and I’ll go until the sun is GONE! After I head out in the morning to take my niece to school, I scout out the surrounding areas for new spots to shoot, and head back home! From there it’s sort, edit, and send out galeries. Once I’m done shooting, and home I’ll send out a thank you message to my clients. I feel like it’s important to break the ice, even after it’s been broken. Every day is a new adventure though, don’t get me wrong! I love spontaneous trips, and spontaneous clients. You never know where I’ll end up!

What is your best photography tip?

Take your time, and time for yourself. Sometimes I feel like I can take on the world, and I’m sure I can, but it’s important that I don’t try to. The endless amounts of days that feel like a drag, all because I burn myself out on doing what I love – comes at a cost. It’s so great to have the opportunity to be your own boss, but it’s also incredibly challenging to manage sometimes. 

Make sure you pace yourself, and know your limits. 

What was your scariest moment as a photographer?

I feel like the scariest moment for me, as a photographer, was going full time. I didn’t know when, or if I could even do it. I had been shooting for years alongside my retail job. While I had so many people who supported my work and what I did, I was also faced with those who filled my head with discouragement, and doubt. It was something I talked about often, and wanted to pursue, so when the day finally came I didn’t know what reactions to expect. I was closing a chapter of my life to write a whole new book, and it was so terrifying at the time, but I’m so beyond thankful I made the choice to go for my passion. 

Favorite photographer to follow right now and why?

My favorite photographer to follow right now is Melissa Loren. She’s created some really beautiful artwork for families and couples! Her colors send me into a frenzy and inspire me to make others smile. Her work is so warm and creamy, no matter the photo. She’s crazy talented! 

Place you want to shoot on your photography bucket list and why?

One place on my bucket list is definitely Zion National Park, but who’s isn’t? That place radiates amazing vibes I want to experience. I know any photo taken there would turn out stunning! 

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