Friday, September 16, 2011

citybirds chirp: kristi mcmurry

 hi everyone and happy friday! i am really happy to have kristi mcmurry here with a little photo interview. she is a wonderful blog buddy and an excellent photographer whom i commissioned to take a few shots of my citybirds treasures. she also has a great etsy shop filled with her own work and you can also chat with her about shooting your etsy treasures too! enjoy!

 1.where do you live?
I live in West Tennessee, between Memphis and Nashville.

2. why do you blog?
I mainly started blogging so that I could share pictures of things I was doing and hopefully inspire others to try new things. I’m also a very future-oriented person (I’ve already got a nice retirement fund going), so I want to look back when I’m old and my memory is fuzzy and remember what I did as a youngster. Pictures help me recall things, so hopefully my blog will serve as my “memory holder.”

3. when did you start photography?
I convinced my high school yearbook sponsor to let me pick out the camera that we would use on staff. I think I used that camera more to take my own personal pictures than I did for yearbook :) A year later, I graduated high school and bought my own dSLR. That’s when I started really trying to learn about photography. I learned most of what I know from college photo professor, Jim, and from my friend/mentor, Heather.

 4. what is your favorite thing to photograph?
 Oh...this is hard. I think still life (like my miniatures and product photography) would be my favorite. I just enjoy having complete control over the entire situation. Weddings would be a close second though because I absolutely love interacting with the people at weddings.

5. what cameras do you use and do each of them serve a different purpose?
 Professionally I use a Canon 5D Mark II. It is reserved for anything I’m getting paid for and occasionally stuff for the blog. I have a Rebel XT as a backup body (in case my 5D gets dropped or broken in the middle of a shoot), but I never use it. I also have a Canon Powershot s95 (like Cristie!) which I use for general day to day photos, vacations, etc.. It’s perfect for that because it’s compact but it still takes pictures comparable to my dSLR. Plus in saving my dSLR for professional work, I’m extending it’s life.

 6. what does your camera bag look like?
 I have a hideous backpack thing that I carry if I need to carry my laptop. Otherwise, I carry my favorite fringe purse and keep my extra lenses in there. Eventually I want a bag to carry my lenses in that (a) won’t tear my neck and shoulders to shreds and (b) has dividers.

 7. favorite thing to wear?
 My gold rush bracelet from City Birds, of course! haha...really I do love it. Clothing-wise, my skinny gray/brown pants (I’m wearing them now). I just love that the color is so versatile because it’s sort of brown, but not quite. I always wear them with a loose top though, so my butt doesn’t scream for attention all day.

 8. what is your favorite pastime? 
This is probably just on my mind right now because of the amazing weather, but I love to sit outside to read a book or chat with friends. This week has been absolutely PERFECT for that. 70s and sunny :) 

 9. favorite thing to eat or make?
 I will always and forever be a hamburger girl. I think my dad instilled that love in treat as a youngster was him cooking hamburgers. Unfortunately I don’t know how to grill and George Foreman just don’t cut it. I have to rely on the men in my life to make me a good burger. My boyfriend, Rhett, makes the best burgers of anyone I know (but shhhhh don’t tell my dad).

 10. take a picture of the ones you love
 A collage of several pictures of me and my sister. It would be impossible to get a picture with everyone I love in it...I feel kind of bad for not including my boyfriend, but he won’t let me take his picture! haha. But my little sister is one of the people I love most in this world.

11. any tips you have on how to become a better photographer?
One of the biggest things is to learn technique. Learn what gives a photo that nice blurred background, or what time of day is best to shoot. That could be through taking a class, practicing, online tutorials, etc. I saw a great suggestion from a photographer to newbies: don’t use Photoshop when you’re starting out. The worst thing you can do is over-edit. If you find yourself saying “oh I can fix it in Photoshop” you need to stop and figure out how to improve your technique so that Photoshop isn’t neccessary. I’d love to elaborate on this question, so anyone can email me with questions if you want :)

thanks kristi!! hope you all enjoyed the interview. if anyone wants to be a part of citybirds chirp, let me know!



  1. She's a really cool photographer! Thanks for sharing, I'm checking out her etsy shop right now.

  2. Yay! Thanks for letting me be on your blog :)

  3. i love kristi's photos - they make me want to move to tennessee! but california has first dibs... ;D

  4. I'm so jealous of her photography skills. I've never taken amazing pictures, but I'm finally starting to try a little harder. Once my schedule calms down a little bit, I'm hoping to get lots of practice by enjoying the beautiful Fall with my husband & our cameras.

    Thanks for the tip on how to get better. I'm going to try & read a few books soon to help out.

  5. her photos our lovely, great interview. so great she's had wonderful people to learn from and has been into it since high school.

  6. Aw, another Tennessee girl!! Thanks for sharing...I love learning about new people. :)


  7. this is why I need to move to Tennessee.

  8. Thanks for sharing, this was really interesting! I always enjoy reading about photographers and how they work!

    xo L


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