Featured Photographer: Janis Connell

Your Name: Janis Connell

Type of Camera:  Nikon D7100

What do you love to photograph the most?   I retired from Corporate America in 2014 and am now living my dream of traveling (mostly by RV) and photography. I love being outside and exploring new places and photography is a natural offshoot of that. I have a goal of seeing every US national park before I die. Our national parks are amazing and so are the lesser known monuments and historic sites. In 2016 we visited nine national parks and we were in Great Sand Dunes National Park on August 25, 2016 when the National Park Service turned 100 years old. My goal with photography is to capture a sense of the places I visit so I can share these wonderful places with others.

What is one thing you have learned that has improved your photography?   I think the concepts of composition and design have had the biggest impact on my photography.  I have never considered myself an “artist”, but studying photography has allowed me to explore that part of myself.  Over time, I have gained confidence in my skills and have started exploring my creativity both through photography and mosaic art.  I now find it easier to trust my instincts and see where my creativity will lead me.  Sometimes you just have to start with one small idea and work out from there by trying different angles and perspectives.

What catches your eye?  Start with that.

Advice you’d give to others wanting to grow in their photography skills:  To grow in photography, make sure you have the technical and fundamental composition concepts mastered.  Then go on some photography workshops.  I found my skill level increased dramatically with the first workshop I took (with Kevin Gourley!).  There’s nothing better than spending dedicated time shooting with a professional photographer by your side to help you.  If conditions are not great, you are forced to get creative.  And, you will learn a lot from the other workshop attendees.  So much fun!

Kevin's book "30 Practical Tips for Better Photographs" is available in print and on Kindle devices!

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