Behind the Lens Interview with the Pros: Carol Freeman
Who was that a-May-zing photographer behind the Birds & Blooms Extra feature “Every Day in May” (pages 36-39, May issue)? Carol Freeman sits down for a little Q & A with the Birds & Blooms editors.
When and why did you begin taking pictures of birds?
I majored in Graphic Design in College with a minor in Photography. My passion for bird photography started when I ran my graphic design company. One of my first clients in 1990 was a bird store called Upstart Crow (sadly no longer in business). The owner and his employee were avid birders and would tell me about all the wonderful birds they would see each weekend. I was intrigued and had to see these birds for myself. They were nice enough to help me ID them at first and to suggest good field guides to take me further.
What’s one good pieces of advice that you learned through firsthand experience?
Wow, where to start! So many things are learned through experience. For me I like to travel light, one camera, 2-3 lenses and no tripod. I also study the subjects I am going to photograph. I learn their habits and habitats which allow me to get closer and get better photos without stressing out the wildlife. Chasing birds never yields satisfying results. If you sit quietly for 15-20 minutes, wildlife will often come to you.
Do you have a treasured piece of advice that was given to you?
If it’s worth taking one photo, it’s worth taking two (or three, or four…), so often the first shot is out of focus or not framed properly. Take some time to explore the subject, take both horizontal and vertical shots. This moment will not last and there is no way to recreate the magic another day.
What inspires you?
The diversity of nature. I am amazed at the colors, textures and variety of subjects to photograph.
Why do you take pictures?
I love nature, I love being a witness to the beauty that is all around me and I love to share that with others. If people see a photo of something beautiful they are more likely to want to know more about it, when you know more about something, you can connect and relate to it better, when you connect to something you are more likely to want to preserve and protect it. This is the only earth we have and everything we use, breath, eat, and drink, is here because the earth has provided it. I don’t ever want to take that for granted!
Where can people find more of your work online?
My website: http://www.carolfreemanphotography.com/
Team Green (my nonprofit): http://teamgreenweb.org/
Chicago Tonight Interview: http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2012/01/26/photographing-endangered-species