Business Name: Julie Igo Photography
Where are you based out of? Clarksville, TN
Are you currently a part-time or full-time photographer (videographer)? full-time photographer
What is your predominant photographic specialization? Families/Couples and Boudoir
What camera(s) do you currently shoot with?: Canon 5D Mark IV
How would you define your style?: Full of warmth and love; bright yet moody!
What motivated you to become a photographer?
Oh phew, this is kind of a hard question! So I was an Army medical service corps officer for five years and then I injured my hand (I’m OK but have a nerve injury and a permanent “hooked” finger) and I was medically retired due to it. Since my husband was still in the Army, I was kind of lost of what to do now that I was no longer in. We had just moved to a new location and I didn’t know what to do with my life. I thought I would go back for a second masters degree to become a PA, but I quickly realized my heart wasn’t in school and that I was miserable. One day, I saw my (well actually my husband’s LOL) old canon rebel T1i DSLR camera sitting in my closet collecting dust. So I picked it up and started taking photos of my son (who was about 1.5 years old at the time). I had always loved taking photos growing up but never considered it as a career. I became obsessed because it brought me so much joy. After a lot of reflection and practice, I realized I wanted to bring others the same happiness I felt from seeing photos of my son and myself/fam bam. And the rest is kind of history… I decided to pursue the dream in Jan of 2018!
What is it that you try to convey with your work?
For my family/couple sessions I want to convey that the chaos of everyday life is beautiful. While I love a photo of everyone smiling for the camera, I’d much rather see the connection in a family… I want to see mom dancing in the sunset with her husband as the little kiddos are, well kiddos. I want to see tiny little hands holding dads. I want to FEEL the love of a family. And more importantly, I want them to know that their lives, their stories, and their family is beautiful and that their story is important to tell.
For my boudoir work, I want to make a woman realize she IS beautiful. This sounds SO cliche… but hear me out. So boudoir kind of gets a bad rap and people think it’s just naked photos. It’s NOT. My goal is to show a woman (and more specifically, a mom who has forgotten) that she can be sexy.. and bonus if that’s without being naked in lingerie on a bed! Mom’s seem to be the worst offenders with negative self-talk, believing that because they are a mom, they are not allowed to feel beautiful and sexy. That it’s somehow too risqué to want to feel this way. To me, THAT IS BS! Just because you’ve had a kiddo or two doesn’t mean that you can’t still flaunt what you got (either in public or just for yourself/partner). Boudoir can be a way to get back the confidence and spark in oneself. To remember that you are a woman outside of just being a mom. I love seeing a woman realize she is ONE HOT MOMMA when I show her the photos. It’s so awesome empowering a woman like that!!
How do you accomplish that?
For families/couples, I do the unposed posing system! So basically I will pose them with positions only and then I will give prompts to get genuine interactions between them all. We do a lot of games and movement to capture this. I love genuine expressions so I very hardly have them just standing and smiling at me (although I always get that shot since grandma always wants one LOL). I also get REALLY close and fill the frame. I remember seeing a quote or some piece of advice to do this… fill the frame with what’s important. I know as a momma, those little faces and hands, kisses and snuggles.. well those are important! So, I really make sure to get those shots and all those little details. I don’t let chaos faze me, and I embrace it and laugh and play along with the kiddos while snapping, which puts everyone at ease. Having something for families and couples to do makes genuine expressions that much easier to get!
For boudoir- I make sure to reassure often! I do lots of demos with the pose for how I want it to look. I then will show the gal the back of my camera throughout the whole session so that she feels confident in how hot she really is! I also do NOT photoshop or liquify or anything so that they know that it is 100% authentically them… hearing them say “holy crap, I can’t believe that is actually ME!” is so awesome and I love being able to say, YUP GIRL IT’S LEGIT ALL YOU!
What do you do during a session or wedding day to help make your clients feel comfortable?
I TALK. Nonstop. I am always talking!! I feel that if I am cracking jokes and filling any awkward silences then they forget they are having pictures done and they loosen up because they think of me as a friend instead of a photographer. I really work hard before any session to chat with them extensively so that they feel they already know me well too!
What is your most memorable accomplishment so far in your photography (videography) career?
I think making it to the final round for shoot and share’s competition was pretty awesome for only having picked up a camera one year prior to entering. Oh and also I had an emotional family reunion get shared on lovewhatmatters.com which was so cool (and the session was just filled with all the feels! The dad didn’t know he had a son from the Vietnam war and it was the first time he met him after his daughter did a 23andme test! So amazing!).
What is one important lesson you have learned during your career?
Ok, so obviously I can’t tell short stories or pick just one thing so here’s a few: Always stay humble and kind. I strive to be nice to everyone. I try to give myself grace when I feel I suck (which is quite often.. this tortured artist thing is so true LOL). I’m never too big for my britches and will help any and everyone who asks me for it. I try to remember that you can be the ripest juiciest peach in the world, but there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like peaches. And that there will always be people who try to take advantage of you, so be sure to be kind but also confident in yourself so that you don’t give away too much of yourself (you need to have a full cup left to pour from too)!
Which Photographer Supply Company products do you currently use?
The Azteca strap!
How have Photographer Supply Company products helped your business?
I love how my strap is “so me.” It’s fun and a pop of color and I feel like it helps people to realize I am how I hopefully appear online (which is hopefully bubbly, fun, nice, and down to earth)!