Santa Barbara-based photographer and all-around creative genius, Miranda Kelton, has been on Meanwise since the beginning. We had the opportunity to have a chat with her for the first post in our “Meanwise User Spotlight” series. You can check her out here: http://mirandakelton.com/
Meanwise: Where are you from?
Miranda Kelton: “I’m from and am currently based in Santa Barbara, CA. — but have lived a variety of places including Anchorage, Phoenix, Seattle, and Los Angeles.”
Meanwise: What initially interested you in photography?
Miranda Kelton: “My journey into Photography has been an interesting one, and I’ve spent many years pursuing other creative fields as well. Photography is a good balance of raw creativity, design, technical knowledge, and business know-how. The best photographers (in my opinion) are knowledgeable about other creative career paths as well (Graphic Design, Makeup/Hair/Costume Design, Film Production, etc.) Once I settled on Photography as my medium of choice for career and creativity, I found that I was really able to apply a lot of the things I’d learned in the time I’d spent in fashion retail & graphic design to make more visually appealing images. As a Photographer, I get to wear so many hats…I’m never bored!”
Meanwise: What genre of photography do you specialize in?
Miranda Kelton: “I spend most of my time shooting Portraits — but I love creating Fine Art & Fashion Imagery as well when I have the opportunity. I’ve recently been doing a lot of Personal Branding work for small businesses & individual clients, which is a super interesting little niche. Personal Branding is a blend of traditional Headshot Portraiture & Lifestyle imagery…I work with clients one-on-one to create a set of images for them that they can use specifically as visual branding/marketing content on their websites & social media profiles.”
Meanwise: What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
Miranda Kelton: “Don’t be afraid to branch out and ask questions! If you want to learn new techniques, go practice them. Be resourceful. If you can’t afford fancy gear, figure out a creative way to fake it to achieve the effects you want. Be smart and learn how to prioritize what is most important in order for you to progress. Try new things on your own time — if the images turn out badly, it’s okay. Try again, and try it differently. Your uniqueness is what will set you apart from someone else competing for the same gigs as you.
I’ve found that people like to say, ‘It’s hard work! Perseverance! Talent! That’ll get you places!’ True as that is, that’s not all it takes: you have to be creative & clever in more than just your skills as a photographer. If you apply a huge portion of your creative thinking to your marketing and networking strategies, it really gives you a leg up. There are so many people competing for gigs, and often it’s the photographer with the charisma and the business sense who gets the job. Don’t just work hard, work smart too!”
Meanwise: Have you had other creative pursuits in the past?
Miranda Kelton: “I have! Originally I planned to go into music, then wanted to work in Graphic Design, then wanted to be a jewelry designer…just to name a few! All are things I still dabble in, but the thing I love about photography is that it allows me to incorporate many different mediums of creativity into a final product. I get to be a director, hair & costume stylist, and a designer all in one — and love it.”
Meanwise: Why do you like Meanwise?
Miranda Kelton: “I like Meanwise because it really opens up the world of professional networking — you’re seeing diverse content from creatives both in and out of your particular career field. Some of the best opportunities come from places and people you might not expect, and it can be easy to get stuck in your own little bubble and forget to reach outside of your immediate business connections to look for new possibilities!
I think Meanwise really has the potential to not only function as a place to build a visual resume & portfolio, but also to help creatives connect with and refer clients to one another as well.”
You can check Miranda out on her website, Instagram, and Facebook.