An Interview with Photographer Courtney Sample of Krue Creative –
Happy Friday guys and gals! The in-laws and co. are headed up to visit tomorrow for my oldest son Jaiden’s birthday. They got a hotel this time so we shouldn’t be too cramped. About today’s post, I recently met a Birmingham transplant who is about my age. Besides being an awesome photographer, Courtney Sample is also an awesome freaking chick. We had dinner, went to the grand opening of American Threads and did a photo shoot at one of my favorite spots in Birmingham, a street downtown called Morris Avenue. What you will see here is the first of two looks, this one is definitely more boho than the second. Courtney owns Krue Creative, her photography company and has over 10 years experience in the field. I just love these photos and can’t wait to show you the other look we shot. Keep reading to see the rest and read my interview with Courtney.
CS- My Name is Courtney Sample and I recently relocated to Birmingham, AL with my husband. I have two fur-babies, a love (not the talent) for gardening, a shopping addiction and enjoy anything that lets me use my creative juices; decorating, painting, photography, fashion, DIY, etc. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, that said, if you disagree I am still going to love you! His number one teaching is that we should all just love our neighbors! (Here is Courtney’s personal Instagram account and the Instagram account for Krue Creative.)
THHB- What originally got you into photography? Why did you decide to pursue it?
CS- WAY BACK in high school I took a photography elective class that got me started down this road. In college I worked for another woman who had a wedding photography business. After that I began doing freelance work on the side. I was never great at school but for some reason I really enjoy learning how to better myself at photography. That pushed me to purse it as a career.
THHB- Do you have any photographers or photography styles that inspire you?
CS- My two inspirations are both blogger/lifestyle/fashion photographers. John Hillin is a photographer out of Nashville and works on blogs like “Happily Grey”. The other I actually found because she does the photography for Lauren Kay Sims’ blog, her name is Angie Garcia. I love Lauren and the look of her photos so after a little girl crush stalking I found her photographer, Angie!
THHB- What is your favorite photo you have ever taken?
CS- This is hard. I have taken photos for so many things; weddings, family’s, food, buildings, bloggers. I don’t really have a favorite.
THHB- What do you look for when taking a great photo?
CS- I really pay attention to lighting, the location, colors and what is in focus. Especially with bloggers, everyone has their own color scheme, style, vibes, so trying to think about how it will look once on their page is important. I like to talk to people about what their look is or see their mood board for inspiration. I want to keep the photos in line with their brand. Also with fashion photography the outfit needs to be in focus, after all, that is the purpose of the photos. With families or couples sometimes you just want their faces or hands in focus while everything else is blurred. That has been my biggest change when moving into blogging and lifestyle photos – focusing on the entire outfit.
THHB- What do you want your clients to take away from your work?
CS- I want them to feel confident, pretty and happy. After all, fashion is how you express yourself, so feeling like they look good in the outfits they chose helps everyone’s confidence. I never want to take pictures that people feel aren’t flattering or make them feel self-conscience.
THHB- What are some projects or ideas you have for future shoots?
CS- I want to travel so I would love to do a shoot overseas. Europe has so many historic buildings and backdrops; I would love to do a project there.
THHB- Where are your favorite spots to shoot in Birmingham?
CS- I am still working on this since we just moved here a couple of months ago. So far I really like going to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Morris Avenue downtown. (Like in these photos!)
THHB- Now let’s talk fashion and beauty since this is a fashion blog after all. First off, do you like fashion? Beauty? If so, how would you describe your style?
CS- I LOVE IT! (In fact I am working on launching my blog that will include some of my own personal style. If I had to describe my style I would say California-girl meets Flower Child, ha. It really depends on the day though. Sometimes I like all black, sleek, sophisticated and simple – other days I want a floral, flowy, bell sleeved dress. I try to keep a lot of basics and then some unique pieces to layer or wear on special occasions. But like I said, it really depends on the day and how much pizza I ate that weekend (Bloated = a flowy top, ha) and where I am going (I like to be comfortable and warm #sweaterweather).
THHB- If you have a fashion icon- who is it and what about their style is it that you love?
CS- I follow a lot of people but as I mentioned earlier, I totally have a girl crush on Lauren Kay Sims. I love all of her basics, but she also always has amazing accessories, booties, cardigans, etc. Even her workout clothes are cute!
THHB- Go to hairstyle? Make-up?
CS- I pretty much always have my hair in messy waves/ beach curls. Its super fast so it cuts down on time when getting ready. Plus my hair holds curl well so it usually lasts at least two days (less washing and less heat on my hair). My make up is pretty natural. I’m pretty lazy and usually put on the bare minimum in the parking lot before I go in somewhere also because as I’ve gotten older I am trying to take better care of my skin. Part of that means not keeping make-up on my skin all the time. I usually do a bit of under eye concealer to brighten up, some bronzer to contour, blush, eyebrows, eyeliner and mascara. Maybe lip color but in the winter especially I mostly use chap-sick with an SPF.
THHB- You have 5 minutes to get out the door looking presentable, what do you throw on?
CS- Black skinny jeans, a neutral top (sweater or something flowy), floppy hat and booties.
THHB- What are your 3 favorite items in your closet?
CS- 1. A black sheer long sleeve shirt with cut-outs at the top – it goes with everything!
2. My “Flying Monkey” bell-bottom jeans – they are stretchy and great for pizza (that’s how I gauge things) but not so stretchy that halfway through the day they don’t stay up anymore.
3. My black floppy hat – I just think you can make any outfit more stylish when you add a floppy hat.
THHB- With Winter finally here in the South, what trends do you love for this freezing cold season?
CS- Oversized sweaters, hats, booties with the v-cut down in the front, leggings, navy overcoats.
I hope you guys enjoyed my interview with Courtney Sample of Krue Creative. Be sure to check her out for any of your photography needs!
Wearing Free People Stella Flares and bodysuit with a Volcom wrap, Zara hat, Mossimo platforms, a handbag by The Sak, a Pendleton bandanna, HelFyre sunglasses and a Daniel Wellington watch.