Friday, October 14, 2011

photographer guest post

guess what? today i have a special guest, 
photographer Pey-Jing Mehrinfar of Li Mehrinfar Studios
who agreed to answer a few of my questions. 
as you know, i love photography, and since she is a super cool
and talented photographer, it was a perfect match:)

Here she is:

Hi Pey-Jing! Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Pey-Jing Mehrinfar of Li Mehrinfar Studios, and I shoot people and love every minute of it!

How did you get into photography?

I started playing with cameras when I was thirteen, during the era of film photography. Of course I did not know what I was doing, but I had fun. I was the paparazzo of my classmates, always snapping a picture to capture the moment. 

I purchased an SLR camera when I began college. Three years of being a violin major did not satisfy my artistic endeavors. Finally, I decided to take the leap and switch majors to photography. It is one of the best decisions that I have ever made.
I love that you were the paparazzo at 13! How would you describe your style now?

It’s hard to assign a specific category to my style, but I could say that I strive toward candid portraiture. I also love landscape and architectural photography, and if I traveled more, I would love to shoot more of both.

What or who inspires you?

It's not just Ansel Adams, who I do think, quite frankly, is a genius. It is also those like Bill Brandt, Annie Leibovitz, Irving Penn, Cindy Sherman, Edward Steichen and Alfred Stieglitz who all unlock a universe of artistic possibilities to me. The two photographers whose work has always stayed with me are Cindy Sherman and Alfred Stieglitz. Masterful is an understatement when describing their photography. Sherman inspired me to take more self-portraits. Stieglitz showed me the beauty of New York as well as the simple artistry of portraiture.

What kind of equipment do you use?

Buying my Nikon D700 in 2007 was one of the most pivotal events in my career. It changed the way I saw photography forever. But I soon learned that even with a quality camera body, expensive lenses would be crucial to my survival as a professional photographer.

What is your favorite lens?

I usually use my Nikkor 1.4/50 mm lens for portrait photography, although I have been drooling over an 80 mm for that same function. When it comes to wedding photography, I usually leave it up to my 2.8/24-70 mm lens. On the more rare occasions of needing a sense of grandeur such as landscape or architectural photography, I turn to my favorite lens of all time, the 2.8/14-24 mm ultra wide lens. Between those three lenses, I can usually do what I need to do.

What kind of lighting equipment do you use?

I usually use natural light for portraits, although if I had the funds, I would definitely get some strobe lights. For now, I settle with my flash that I attach onto my camera when needed. The awesome thing about light is that it is so versatile. As long as you have light, you have something to work with. I’ve found that working on a manual setting for aperture and shutter speed is the best way to get accurate light readings for photographs. To me, any other way is problematic. That’s just coming from someone who’s tried it all the different ways and prefers manual.

What editing material do you use?

Most of my “darkroom” alterations are done in Adobe Lightroom. Because of the versatility of Lightroom, I haven’t fiddled much with Photoshop lately, though I do use it to watermark my images and prep them for internet viewing.

What are the best and hardest things about photography?

I really enjoy taking people’s portraits because I see it as telling a story. Who is this person? What kind of personality will show through the lens? The most challenging part of portrait photography is working with people and drawing out their real personality. This can cause some degree of anxiety when shooting someone for the first time. Even though I know what I’m doing, I get butterflies. I just want to capture everything perfectly.

Wedding photograph poses a greater degree of difficulty than portraiture. I get jittery before shooting a wedding, but when I’m actually there, everything comes naturally, and I do enjoy myself.

When you're shooting weddings do you have to direct a lot of the pictures, or does it all just happen naturally?
Usually, when taking photographs of the bride and groom, there is a lot of direction that needs to be given. But once the general suggestions are given, I like to let the moment lead to a genuine representation of the couple’s union.
Do you have any tips for directing/making clients comfortable during a portrait session?

I like to joke around a little to get my subjects to loosen up a bit and maybe even catch them in a secret smile together.

It sounds like you have a great job! What do you love most about it?

It’s been a fun journey as a professional photographer, eating cake at weddings and capturing one of the most joyous times of people’s lives. Sometimes it seems too good to be true that I get paid to do this! It’s hard work, don’t get me wrong, but it is rewarding and such an adventure every single wedding or photo shoot.

I love shooting people and wouldn’t give it up for the world!

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me Pey-Jing!
I think you're a really wonderful photographer, and I loved hearing about what you do!


  1. Thanks so much for this fun opportunity! It's flattering to have such a creative person interested in what I do. I really have enjoyed reading your blog and am happy that you started it this year.