Friday, May 28th

Getting to Know … Sharon Dominick

Smiling Woman Holding Funny Greeting Card

 

Sharon Dominick, a GCU artist since March 2018, has a creative and unique approach to photography. Her images, coupled with her sharp sense of humor,  make for imaginative greeting cards.

 

Sharon Dominick Photography Greeting Cards

 

How long have you been involved with photography?

I have always loved taking photos and had a number of point-and-shoot film cameras since I was a child.

 

How long have you been selling your photographs online?

Since December of 2002 when I stumbled across a website called iStockPhoto.com during a Google search about how to sell photos.

 

What sparked your interest in photography?

Although I’ve always loved taking pictures, having my first baby is what really sparked me to learn how to take it more seriously.  I wanted to have great memories of those precious early years.  Nineteen years later, I still have my camera in my kids’ faces as often as they will let me, lol!

 

How do you control the animals you photograph? Do you have any funny stories to share?

Shooting animals is always an interesting task!  With my cats, I always have a bag of treats and a palm leaf or a stick toy nearby for entertainment.  As for shooting animals in general, the only way to get a few good images is to shot fast and shoot a lot!

CatShoot02

What are your favorite subjects to photograph, animals or people?

I really enjoy the challenge of shooting animals.  People are fun too and way more cooperative, but there is a different kind of satisfaction of discovering that you got an adorable shot even though it felt like the session was mostly a failure.

 

We need to know more about your top models Pringy and Lucky.  Can you share their stories with us? 

Lucky came to live with us in January of 2014 after we made a stop at the Beaver County Humane Society here in PA for my daughter to drop off some donations that she collected for the shelter.  We already had one cat, Mittens, and really were not in the market for another.  But we decided to “just look” anyway.  He had only been there a week and he was so vocal that we could not ignore him.  We visited with him in a separate room and fell in love, so we adopted him.  Mittens was not happy about it and still isn’t to this day!

 

Pringy (which is short for Pringles) was born to a feral cat on our deck in April 2015.  I discovered some strays in my backyard, so I started putting food out for them.  When winter came, I put a Rubbermaid shelter in my deck so they could survive the winter. In the spring, one surprised us with kittens in her shelter!  My daughter used to sit on the deck and snack on Pringles chip and one of the kittens took a liking to her and would snack on her chip crumbs.  Hence, how she got her name.  We knew we had to do something or the cat population in our backyard would explode, so we captured the mother and two of her kittens and thought we were going to get new homes for all of them.  Of course, my daughter was in love with Pringy so we kept her.  The mother and other kitten are doing great in their fur-ever homes as well.

 

We understand some of the photos are of you.  How do you pull this off?

In the beginning, when the technology was not as good, it was a little tougher to model for my own pictures.  I would use a stuffed animal to focus on, hit the timer on the camera, run around and toss the animal and stand in its place.  Now, my camera has an app and I can control everything while in front of the camera making it so much easier.  It is challenging, but I enjoy it.  Especially the silly characters that I create.

 

Your more recent submissions deviate from your first collection of fish-eye people photos.  Intentional change of style or an evolution?

In 2019, I made the decision to stop renting commercial studio space as I was not utilizing it enough to justify the cost.  I had it set up to throw my camera on a tripod and shoot away at any given moment.  The fisheye shoot is a complex one requiring lots of space and lights.  It’s a little harder to pull off at home so I don’t do it as much.  That, plus Greeting Card Universe has inspired me to try drawing and illustrating again, something I always enjoyed doing for fun.

 

Are you formally trained in photography or self-taught?

Mostly self-taught, with a couple of non-credit classes that helped get me started.

 

What’s your equipment set up like?

Since I’m working all from home now, I keep a strobe with a softbox in my office so it’s ready to go at any given moment.  I have a stand and lots of colored backdrops that I drag to my living room for a shoot.

 

What editing software do you use?

I subscribe to all of Adobe’s programs.  I mostly use Photoshop, Fresco, Illustrator and Premiere.

 

How much time do you typically spend on post-processing?

It all depends on the project.

 

Tell us a little bit about your prop collection?  Is it small enough to store in a closet or do you need a storage shed?  Is it organized or in chaos?

Lol, this is a great question!  When I had the studio space, I would buy props at the drop of a hat knowing I had the space for them.  I kept them in several Rubbermaid tubs, somewhat organized.  I also had a couple of clothing racks full of costumes.  I did not realize how much I actually had until I had to have a sale and get rid of it all.  Now I have a couple of boxes of miscellaneous items.  I shop at Goodwill often with my son to help him find stuff for his eBay store, but I often find cool things to bring home for myself.  So, one of the boxes is starting to overflow.  Might be time for a new box!

Is there anyone who has influenced your interest in photography and your style?

My fellow iStockers artists from the early days of the site were such an influence and inspiration on my style and desire to improve my photography.

We’ve seen your work shared on book covers, magazine articles and more. How are you alerted when your image is used in a project?

Unfortunately, the buyers are not required to share how they use my images, so I often go on a wild Google goose-chase to find them.  The coolest way to find them is organically.  I love when I’m watching my favorite shows and they just pop up on the screen, or spot one while browsing a magazine.

 

How do you come up with your creative ideas?

They come in different ways, whether it’s inspiration from current events or just grabbing my camera and just seeing what I come up with.  Sometimes I will get an idea for a card design that almost feels like it was “downloaded” into my head!

 

Offering images on stock sites and creating greeting cards are two very different things. What advice do you have for stock content submitters who want to leverage their images on greeting cards?

It’s a tough balance because they are two totally different animals.  To be honest, I currently have been creating about 75% of my shoots based on ideas for card designs since discovering Greeting Card Universe.  I really enjoy creating humorous images and while they were extremely popular as stock images a decade ago, they are not as much anymore. So, I was extremely grateful to find Greeting Card Universe as a new outlet for some of my goofiness!  My advice is to focus on one type of creating at a time and see how your content can fit into the other format.

 

Besides GCU, where else can your work be seen?

All my photographs and video clips are available exclusively though iStock and Getty Images.  I have stores on Zazzle, Card Isle, Society6, Fine Art America and a few others I am currently testing the waters of.  But GCU is by far my favorite for cards!

 

Please list the URLS of your social media sites:

Website: http://SharonDominickPhotography.com

Facebook: facebook.com/SharonDominickPhotography

Instagram: sharon_dominick_photography

Twitter: sdominick

 

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One Response to “Getting to Know … Sharon Dominick”

  1. Sharon says:

    Thank you so much for the interview and for being such an awesome place to be a part of! <3

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