Meet Anna McEnulty, photographer and winner of The Killer Convo's "How Well Do You Know Midcoast Maine" quiz. She identified correctly that the this picture was Miller's Lobster Shack. Wanna play too? If you win, you get a spotlight on your artistic business or creative endeavor. So, here we go. Anna, meet everybody. Everybody, Anna.
Q: How long have you worked at being a photographer? Tell us one crazy thing you've done just to get the perfect shot.
I've worked on and off as a photographer for the past five years or so. I sell prints, postcards, and notecards of my images regularly. Recently I've been focusing more time on more commercial work. I think the most crazy thing that I've done recently to get the perfect shot was to go up three times in a little Cessna airplane in order to get a picture of Matinicus Island for a local book cover. We circled the island many, many times to try to get the right image. It was a pretty intense feeling, being so isolated between the sky and the water. Luckily all the pilots that I worked with were very wonderful and understanding regarding getting me in proper position for the shot.
Q: Every artist I know has the "jobby job" to pay the rent and bills while making art on the side. What is yours how to you motivate yourself to find the time to create?
In the summertime, my job consists of running a small campground in South Thomaston. During the winter months, I do tax accounting. For entirety of the year, I'm a stay at home mother to two little girls under the age of five. Photography is a way for me to feel complete as a person. I do not feel happy unless I have an outlet for my creativity. My motivation to create is that I want to be able to share with others how I see the world, and I want to be a complete person for my children. I aim to do something artistic every single day, even if it is just daydreaming and planning future shoots.
Q: So many familiar midcoast vistas have been covered and photographed by artists both here and from away. How do you find unique subject matter and manage to keep your images fresh?
When I wander around the Midcoast, I try to find photograph opportunities that others have overlooked. I explore places that are off the beaten path and aim to keep my compositions simple. I believe that simplicity in photography adds a bit of elegance and try to keep all the elements in my work harmonious. I also aim to capture a moment in time rather than focus on the generic iconic images of the Midcoast.
Q: You do portraits as well as landscape and conceptual photography. What is your favorite to work with?
The choice between portrait, landscape, or conceptual work is a hard one for me. I aim to treat all my work with the same idea, which is to promote the inherent beauty that I find in the scene. Portraits are wonderful to do because I love working with different personalities and judging how to best bring out inner beauty. Conceptual shots allow me a greater freedom, to compose images as if they were poetry. Landscapes are very popular in that they showcase the natural wonders which surround us all. I would say that my preferred genre of photography to take would be the one which incorporates aspects of all three types.
Q: Without giving away secrets, do you work with traditional lenses? Or do you like to experiment with computer manipulations of your originals? Which is more fun?
I do generally take my original images with traditional lenses. Lately I've been working with a Nikon D40. The transition to digital has been a bit of a learning curve; I am still refining my technique in order to achieve the same effects that I could create when I was shooting with film. I do experiment with different techniques involving filters, fog on the lens, and shooting through objects when I'm going after a specific feel in my piece. My post processing consists of using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CS4, but I don't like to rely on them to fix errors in judgment from the original images. I prefer to compose in the camera. However the computer is a nice way to augment an original image, to add to it tones which I feel enhance the vision that I am trying to present. I definitely would say that the thrill of composing and shooting an image is definitely more fun than the post processing of it. There is nothing that beats the feeling of having the shutter click and just knowing that you've got a great shot.
To see a gallery of Anna's work go to: www.annacecile.com
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The Killer Convo
This blog is a is a killer roundup of all arts, entertainment, brewery & distillery, food trucks, happy hour happenings in the Midcoast Maine. Feel free to email me anything about Midcoast arts, entertainment & the creative economy.