This month we are honored to introduce one of our affiliate photographers, Tangie Sheets, of Life Reflections by Tangie.
1.Tell us about how you became interested in photography.
I became interested in photography as a child. I remember being fascinated with cameras, and when I was about 8, my grandmother gave me my first Brownie camera. I carried that thing around everywhere and was so proud that I had my own camera. I mostly took pictures of my sisters making silly faces and of my dog, and as I grew up, I just always wanted to have pictures of every important event and all the important people in my life. When my husband and I had our first child 15 years ago, that’s when I really began becoming obsessed with photography. The way the light would hit my daughter’s face fascinated me, and I began to learn all I could about exposure and f-stops to try and capture the perfect image.
2. Can you tell us how you learned about TSF?
I first learned about TSF through Facebook. My friend, Susan Posterro, was working with TSF at the time and Susan and I went to preschool together. We hadn’t seen or talked to each other in years, and were so excited to connect through Facebook. Over time, she saw that I was a photographer, and she introduced me to TSF and I was so humbled and inspired by the Foundation and all that they were doing. I jumped at the opportunity to be able to use photography in my community and nearby areas to bless families. Little did I realize how much they would bless me.
3. What has photography taught you about yourself? About others?
I think photography has taught me that I am an artist. I don’t think I would have thought that of myself before. I see the way my images have developed into my own style over time, and I realize that they are revealing my style, my artistry, me. Its kind of an interesting thing to notice about yourself. It has given me a confidence in some ways, though I think as artists, we wonder if anyone will like what they see ~ it’s a bit risky to put your own self out there like that. 🙂 I have also learned that I love finding little pieces of people’s personalities and being able to show it to them in an image.
I have learned that people will shine if you let them, if you help them. I love it when I see a high school senior or a child come into a session looking so unsure about what is about to happen, and then, a little later in the session, I am able to show their mom an image from the back of the camera and they say, “That’s it! You caught her.” I’m not sure how it happens really, or what the scientific formula is, but it is kind of magical how people begin to shine, and their smiles and eyes light up my lens. We all have stories that make up who we are, and they make each person so precious and unique. It is an amazing, honoring thing for me that people would ask me to capture a part of their lives, their story.
4. What gets you excited about a shoot?
I think maybe this changes over different times in my life, but right now, finding gorgeous light gets me excited. And meeting new people. I have met some really fabulous people through my little business, and I treasure that.
5. Best location you’ve taken photos?
This is a tough one! We lived in California for 5 years, and there were sure some gorgeous beach locations! I think two of my favorite places, though, were at two different people’s rural homes in California where they had beautiful wildflower meadows and palm trees with the mountains in the background. Breathtaking.
6. What have you gained from your experience as a TSF affiliate? (Personally and professionally)
I definitely treasure the families I have met through TSF. Every time I have left a TSF session, I do believe I have left a little piece of my heart behind. I have met some of the most generous, caring people, and even through our sometimes brief encounters, they have taught me so much about gratitude and grace.
I love that TSF has given me the opportunity to use my photography to be able to give valuable gifts to these families. I think everyone should be able to have photos to hold cherished memories for a lifetime, and TSF has helped me realize even more how true this is, and how precious life is.