“Every time I’m asked to do a shoot or get the chance to capture something, I look at it as an act of worship,” says Kandis Spurling.
When I visited kandisspurlingphotography.com, it didn’t take me long to realize that Kandis was both a passionate and genuine artist. It’s shown in her work and proven when she speaks.
“When you look at my photos, I want you to feel like you are in the moment that’s been captured. I don’t strive for technical perfection, I strive to show raw, real, authentic, beautiful emotion. I want to show that life is beautiful, no matter what stage you’re in. I believe that little, every day moments are worth remembering because, in the end, the little things may truly add up to be the big things. When you see my photos, I want you to take a step back and realize that the simple moments are absolutely beautiful,” she explains.
Can you tell us some more about yourself?
I grew up surrounded by creativity. My mom was (and still is) a scrapbooker & card maker, a singer, a wedding coordinator and a florist. My dad has always been into taking photos, (he used to do wedding photography) mixing sound at our local church and singing. I was homeschooled and was always doing crafts and doodling and attempting fashion design. I also lived in Italy for a little over a year and was immersed in the romantic, artistic culture there. Looking back, I realize that’s what got me into photography. At 15 years old, I picked up a camera and started shooting for fun. I took a photoshop class and my passion really took off. At 16, a friend gave me her old DSLR and I dove head-first into the world of photography. It’s been almost 4 years and I haven’t looked back since!
What is your weapon of choice?
I currently shoot with a Nikon D5100 and D5200. I have a few lenses, but I prefer to shoot with my 50mm 1.8 prime lens whenever I can!
What are the inspirations that motivate you to shoot?
What DOESN’T motivate or inspire me to shoot? Honestly, I find inspiration everywhere.
I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for almost my entire life and I find constant inspiration in my surroundings… it’s hard not to be inspired when you’re constantly bombarded by beautiful forests, perfect light and breathtaking mountains all day. Music is incredibly inspiring to me, too.
There are a lot of instagram feeds that I love, too. It’s so hard to narrow down my favorites, but Benj Haisch’s instagram feed (@benjhaisch) is top notch and I’m constantly inspired by his work. I could literally look at the photos he’s taken all day long. They’re beautiful, real and simply fantastic. This Girl That Boy Photography’s photos (@tgtb_photo) are SO gorgeous and different- any time I see their work, I have to slow down and look a little longer than usual. There are so many more I could list, but I’ll stop at two!
I think my biggest motivation and inspiration for my work is my faith. Every time I’m asked to do a shoot or get the chance to capture something, I look at it as an act of worship. I’m not doing it for myself or for my benefit but for an audience of One. Yes, I want to do my best for my clients and for myself, but in the end, God’s opinion in the only one that truly matters. It’s all for Him.
Beautiful words. Are you a self-taught photographer or were you formally educated?
I’m mostly a self-taught photographer. The only real training I’ve had is a photoshop/photography class I took in high school. The teacher, Debbie Rumpza, is a fantastic teacher and she has continued to patiently answer any questions, provide advice and let me accompany her on a few shoots so that I can continue to apply what I’ve been learning.
I’m a part of a few incredible local and international Facebook groups that are a huge help. The members are always offering workshops, tips and encouragement to help their fellow photographers along in their craft. These have been an amazing and indispensable resource as I continue to grow as a photographer!
I’m also currently enrolled in an online course at The Photography Institute and will have a diploma from them when I complete my studies there in late September 2015.
When it’s time to shoot, how are you feeling? What are you thinking?
Before a shoot, I get super excited, a little bit anxious and feel incredibly privileged. It’s always an honor to be chosen to photograph something. It means that someone has seen my work and believes that I can capture their moments in a meaningful way. And that means the world to me.
What’s your favorite image at the moment?
This photo is currently my favorite. It’s not technically flawless, but it captures what it was like to be with these girls in that moment. We laughed SO hard that day that we were near tears! It was truly one of the best days I’d ever had and I can look at that photo and be transported back to that exact time in a second. That’s why I do what I do- to preserve moments.