This is a guest post courtesy of Dyana of Ingemi’s Ultimate Studio
Hi Dyana, tell us all about Ingemi’s Ultimate Studio. How did your storytelling journey begin?
Ever since I can remember, I loved any and everything to do with art and creativity. I live in a very small town and my sister and I decided to open a small studio. I got my degree in photography in 2001 and we opened our studio where we kind of did a little bit of everything, from photography to dance classes. But, when covid hit, we ended up having to shut down our home away from home after 12 years. It was really emotional at first but, I’m a firm believer that when God closes one door he opens another. My passion for photography has always been in artistic composites, so this change motivated me to focus on that and get my work out there as a creative fantasy composite artist.
What is your workflow from the moment you have an idea to the moment that idea is completed and ready to be presented to your client or your audience?
After I have a concrete idea, I start planning my composite background. Between my own photos as well as stock images, I create a layered background and save it so I can reuse it or make changes later. Once I have my background completed, I prepare any props and costuming I will need then I plan the angle and light I will need for the subject. I also will take “just in case” shots of the subject. I organize my gear, reach the location, try to make the client feel comfortable before shooting, and then use great communication and visuals to create the poses I may need. After the session, I transfer my images immediately, send them to Lightroom and begin the culling and color-correcting process. I export my images and start putting my creation(s) together in Photoshop!
How do you make clients feel comfortable in front of the camera?
Communication for sure! I send a questionnaire to all my new clients and get to know them beforehand. During the session I talk to them often, giving them lots of prompts and compliments to ensure their confidence and get the most natural shots possible.
Any advice on composites for those that are just starting?
Pre-visualize your images. Composite photography is rewarding but time-consuming, so, planning and preparing will help the process go quicker. This is a way to express your vision, so take your time, use your imagination and have fun.
What’s inside your camera bag?
Canon Mark 5D ii
Canon 24-70 mm
Canon 70-200 mm
Canon 50 mm
Godox V1 flash
What are your favorite editing softwares?
Adobe Photoshop and Topaz Gigapixel AI
What’s the hardest thing you had to overcome that made you the photographer you are today?
I would say self-doubt was something I had to overcome. I think being my own worst critic pushes me to keep learning and growing as an artist because I always want to do better. Also, in the beginning, I found that balancing work and family was a struggle. But, now that I am focusing more so on composite photography, my daughters are often my subjects, which not only helps in the learning process but gives me much more quality time with them as well.
How do you deal with unhappy clients?
Luckily I haven’t had experience with an unhappy client. Though, if I did, as I said before – communication would be key. I would listen and try to present a solution to the problem. Handling a situation with integrity is so important to me.
If you could have dinner with one artist that has influenced your photography/art, who would it be and what would you talk to them about?
There are so many amazing photographers out there. As far as who initially inspired me with composite photography, I would say Tara Lesher and Vanessa Rivera. I would want to talk with them about their creative process and any advice they feel would help me grow as an artist.
Tell us some wise words you live by.
Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, just take another shot.