My name is Courtney, and I am a professional boudoir photographer. I’ve been obsessed with photography pretty much my whole life, and I’ve been shooting professionally since I started my own business back in 2004. Unfortunately, I never developed a passion for running a business, so in 2015 I jumped at the opportunity to move to Nashville to become an associate photographer for someone else’s studio! Now, I get to do only the things that I LOVE to do every day (shoot and edit), and my amazing, badass boss, Jamie, takes care of all the business-y stuff. It is literally a dream come true!
Film for Play. Digital for Pay.
While I have always shot professionally with a digital SLR camera (currently the Canon 5D Mark IV), I still love to shoot with film cameras as a hobby. I started shooting film again back in the early 2000’s when I discovered the world of Lomography. I bought a Holga and a Lomo Fisheye camera, and I was instantly hooked!
After taking a several-year hiatus from shooting film (which I will get to in a second), my passion for it has recently been re-ignited, and now my obsession is back with a vengeance! I love that I get to shoot boudoir sessions digitally throughout the work week, but then also play with my film cameras on the weekends just for fun!
Why the Hiatus from film?
My personal life took a huge nosedive in 2009 when I lost my husband to suicide. I really struggled in the year that followed with losing my love for photography, mostly due to the fact that I had fallen so behind with editing weddings that a handful of unsympathetic clients made my life a living hell. I seriously considered closing my studio doors, getting a full-time desk job, and never touching another camera again.
Thankfully, though, that didn’t happen. Instead, in 2010 I decided to start a 365 Project, which is when you take one self-portrait per day for an entire year. I thought it would be a good exercise in creativity, and it would be a photography project that was 100% for myself. Thankfully, working on that 365 Project completely restored my passion for creating photos, and by the time it was completed, I was excited and eager to start photographing other people again!
Unfortunately, I became so focused on revamping my photography business that my beloved film cameras took a backseat for the next several years. In fact, I didn’t pick up a film camera again until last summer in 2018!
Getting my film groove back
While I absolutely LOVE shooting with a DSLR and I LOVE the dream job that I currently have, I was starting to miss having a creative outlet for just myself. Then, in the summer of 2018, Jamie and I flew to Canada to teach photography workshops at a boudoir photographers’ retreat called Camp Do More, and it was there that I sat in on a fellow photographer‘s workshop where she asked the question, “What would you love to shoot, even if you knew that NO ONE ELSE would ever see it?”
I didn’t even have to think about it. My answer was film.
My desire to dive back into film photography was instantaneous. However, rather than just snapping photos on my Holga again, this time I wanted to REALLY sink my teeth into the world of film photography by trying various analog cameras and learning about all the different film stocks and shooting techniques.
Currently, I am shooting with a Canon EF 35mm camera, a Mamiya 645J medium format camera, and my “new” Pentax 6×7 camera, which I absolutely love. So far, I’ve mostly stuck to shooting what I know and love, which are boudoir-type portraits, but I’ve also started branching out a bit and taking photos of other things rather than just people, such as nature and still objects. Eventually, I hope to be inspired to focus my film photography on various specific projects, but for now I’m just enjoying the learning process and practicing on anyone or anything that will hold still for my camera.
So, why editingdust.com?
A long time ago, in a land far, far away, I used to keep journals, both on paper and online. It was a great way for me to work through my thoughts and problems, and I enjoyed recording special moments in my life. Much like film photography, though, my writing kind of fell by the wayside many years ago. So, I figured as long as my love of film photography is being resurrected, it might also be a good time to get back into journaling/blogging again. Thus, this website was born! (The name refers to the fact that my film photos are actually digital scans of the negatives, and so most of the editing I do is just using Photoshop to remove any dust that was present on the negatives when they were scanned.)
Thank you very much for being curious enough to check out Editing Dust. Please feel free to say hello through my Contact page. (I love meeting new people, especially fellow photographers!) You can also find me on Instagram @courtshootsfilm.