Lindsey Thorne Inspirational Story

"I've been having a lot of fun lately using mundane objects to create visual interest in my photos. Used for this photo was a plastic water bottle with a few drops of water inside to reflect light. Image created with the Canon EOS 6D Mark II and Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L." ©Lindsey Thorne, Hair & Makeup by Madison Miller

I picked up my dad’s 35mm film camera when I was 16 and I never looked back. That was the best decision I’ve ever made. My dad was a commercial photographer for a short time before turning to graphic design and illustration, so it runs in the family. There’s no other medium that fulfills me quite like photography, it is just how I see the world. I’m always composing images in my head, I’m always seeing how people and objects are wrapped in light. I frequently lose my train of thought while telling a story because I snapped a photo in my mind. I have to make a choice on vacation, to bring a camera… or to not bring a camera. I'm an introvert, a selective perfectionist, self-disciplined and a procrastinator. Hi! My name is Lindsey. I’m a wedding and portrait photographer.

"Less is more. My bathroom shower is lit with a window, so I threw a white scrim up to make the light impossibly soft. Image created with the Canon EOS 6D Mark II and Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L."

In the beginning of my career, I was hyper focused on making work that fed my ego, that made me feel like I was somehow superior because of what I could do technically… using more artificial light than necessary, forgetting that people would rather look happy, genuinely natural and attractive in photos than having at least three strobes firing. Forgetting that natural light is the most beautiful light. Not until half way through my 8 years of business did I learn (from two amazing photographers and close friends, Tara Welch and Jenny DeMarco) that the best way to serve my clients is to take myself out of the equation. Be humble, have a servant’s heart. As the commissioned artist, we are the catalyst between our clients’ vision and the final product. They hire us because they like us, our style, our past work, and they like how we problem solve. All we are as artists are creative problem solvers. They admire our perspectives and the way we interpret the world. But at the end of the day, they want us to tell their story. Their wedding or portrait session is not about me. I’m there to tell their story the best way I know how. My professional advice is required, but my personal taste is not. It doesn’t matter if I like my brides dress or her venue. It’s not about me. It’s about her. It’s about me as the artist being experienced, flexible and professional with a good attitude to take her expectations and exceed them. All she knows is what she’s already seen, so it’s my job to blow her away.

"I make black and white images sparingly lately. Color has been so important for the history of the photo, but there will always be times when an image is so much more powerful in black and white. Image created with the Canon EOS 6D Mark II and Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L."

Two words: customer service. It took me several years to admit to myself that my talent and creative vision would only get me so far. What would set me apart from my competitors is my demeanor, professionalism, transparency and reputation. I saw a photographer speak at WPPI in Vegas several years ago about how every mistake is an opportunity. This resonated deeply, and I have since come to better understand that everyone is human. We all make mistakes, and what matters most is how we handle the aftermath. Maintaining integrity is incredibly important to me because living authentically is the only way that makes sense. And the most fulfilling part of this job for me now is my client’s reaction. I highly recommend having your clients view their images for the first time with you. The honest feedback and critique, if you don’t take it personal and can truly listen, will completely transform your work.

"Another tool I use to create texture in images is sheer fabric. This image is lit with natural light, diffused with and shot through a sheer curtain. Image created with the Canon EOS 6D Mark II and Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L."

Taking breaks from shooting is vital for inspiration. I didn’t understand for the first few years of my career how quickly I could get burned out from shooting too much. I pushed myself to the limit in 2016 and I was ready to quit weddings. I decided to take more than a month completely off after that, no emails, editing, social media…completely unplugged. What happened after that break was an evolution in my work. When I step away from photography and focus on artists in other mediums; musicians, painters, sculptors and bakers (yes, that’s right), my subconscious has time to download and process the last few months of creative effort. I don’t tend to follow too many photographers because honestly, my brain is a sponge. I will absorb the work I see and regurgitate it when I’m brainstorming for myself. Mostly, I love finding inspiration in my subjects, it feels the most pure. It's so much more fulfilling to know that I created work my clients love because I took the time to understand them. For them, these photos are history. I don’t take that lightly.

I'm not super techy, and frankly, I’ve never been one to jump into a conversation about new gadgets. I believe a good photographer should be able to make beautiful imagery no matter the gear. However, Canon has always come through for me. I must pay homage to how rich in color and contrast the lenses are, especially while viewing my Canon images compared to my second shooters Nikon images. I’ve been shooting with the Canon EOS 6D for over two years and I adore this camera because of the weight, the rich colors, the full frame sensor and the Wi-Fi. I LOVE being able to send detail photos to the vendors and a sneak peek to the couple during dinner for Instagram. I shoot with two cameras during weddings with the Holdfast money maker (switching from one camera to two was a game changer) so the weight is a big deal. I am trying to save my body so I can still move in 50 years, not beat it up with the heaviest equipment I can find. The only lenses I use are the Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM (my hands-down favorite), Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM, Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM and sometimes the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM when in tight spaces. The one thing that has held me back with the Canon EOS 6D was the frame rate per second. And that’s where the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II comes in… to be honest, the colors of the Canon EOS 6D Mark II are not as rich as its predecessor, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a little tweak in my editing work flow. The 45 point focusing system and 6.5 fps blew me away, as well as the ISO range and the 3 inch HD Vari-angle touch screen… mostly because they managed to keep the body so compact! I plan to make the switch from my Canon EOS 6D’s to four of these bad boys ASAP. All the images in this story were shot with the Canon EOS 6D Mark II and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM in my Austin studio.

"Moment driven portraiture has become my new favorite challenge. My clients come to me because they are not models and do not know how to pose. It is important to make myself vulnerable so that they feel comfortable enough to let me in. Image created with the Canon EOS 6D Mark II and Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L."

Photography created a life for me I wouldn’t have thought possible, although I wouldn’t have accepted anything less. I work to live, I do not live to work. The perfect balance between work and play is half and half. I do not subscribe to the idea that I have to be a slave to my job. I do not subscribe to a lot of things. I was lucky to find photography at such an early age, there was no alternative. This was it. If I have a super power, it’s making decisions, not making photographs. It was deciding to pursue a career that didn’t promise job security. It was deciding to move to NYC immediately after college to immerse myself in a competitive market to see if I had the chops. It was deciding to be mentored, to learn from someone much wiser and experienced than me. It was deciding to keep getting better, to never plateau. The most successful people I’ve heard talk about their achievements say they did not make it big overnight. They kept their heads down, worked hard for years and practiced endlessly until one day the opportunity struck. I believe it was Annie Leibowitz who said when asked which of her own photographs was her favorite, “My favorite photo I’ve taken is the next one.”