Currently residing in Bethlehem, PA, with her husband, two children, three dogs and one cat, Heather Rodburg finds herself lucky to be surrounded by so many beautiful locations with access to such dynamic subjects. “My photography has given me the motivation to seek out new experiences, meet and interact with people whom I might not ever have met, and notice and appreciate the simple, beautiful things in the world around me.”
WPPI: What made you first decide you were going to be a photographer?
Heather Rodburg: Looking back, it was probably the moment I dropped calculus to take Photography 2 in high school. I have a BA in English and an MS in Instructional Design, but photography has always been part of how I view the world. My interest in photography has ebbed and flowed over the past 20 years or so, but I have actively been involved with photography for the past 6.
WPPI: What do you primarily photograph?
HR: I photograph children but have recently branched out to also photograph dogs. I am actively involved with fostering for a local dog rescue, so I have subjects readily available. Not only do I have fun photographing them, I have the added bonus of my images helping these dogs to find permanent, loving homes. Luckily all the children I photograph have wonderful homes!
WPPI: What is your favorite lens to shoot with?
HR: My go-to lens tends to be the Nikon 85 1.4 as it gives an almost magical quality to images, but is still compact and light enough to not get in the way when constantly moving and engaging with my subjects. However, I also add the Nikon 24-70 and 70-200 to the mix when shooting a studio setup.
WPPI: Do you still shoot with film?
HR: Not anymore, although I did shoot and process black-and-white film when I first started photography. I often joked that I was going to build my own darkroom when I owned my own home. Fortunately, much to the relief of my husband, digital technology and Photoshop came along. A computer takes up quite a bit less real estate than a darkroom.
WPPI: Who are your greatest influences in the art world?
HR: I am not sure that there is any artist in particular, but I have always been drawn to the works of Van Gogh and Norman Rockwell. I had the opportunity to visit the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and I still remember the excitement of being there and seeing his amazing works in person.
WPPI: Do you do anything before a shoot to prepare yourself?
HR: Most of the time, it is a matter of running around gathering the toys, candy and bribe gifts necessary to get through a session, as well as checking that my batteries are charged and I have my memory cards. I like to have a variety of props available that are appropriate for the location as I never know which might work best with the child’s personality or mood that day. Sometimes just the right prop will actually draw out the child’s personality and help them relax. I also try and scope out a location ahead of time if I have never photographed there as it helps me assess the light and mentally figure out the flow of the upcoming session.