Autumn hull

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Autumn Hull's studio is in Valencia, California, where she gracefully mixes photography with raising children. She built her business with $300 and a credit card, and it took a while to "figure out what I was doing," but now she is thriving. She has been featured on two national television shows, and she teaches an online workshop answering participants' questions by e-mail. Some of her workshop advice is distilled in this chapter. To learn more, visit www.autumnhullphoto.com.

What is your background?

I took a basic photography course in high school and another in college as a hobby. I experimented with portraits, borrowing friends and family. After college, I worked as a production assistant at Walt Disney Feature Animation and later at Sony Pictures as a recording coordinator. When my son was born, my husband bought me a Canon Rebel, and I was hooked. My son was six weeks old for his first baby portrait, and the pose, exposure, and lighting were dreadful. It was frustrating to see what I wanted in my mind and be unable to produce it.

I took a short photography course at a community center and recovered much of what I had forgotten. My images began to improve, but they still weren't what I envisioned. I read books by celebrated portrait photogra

I started trying to duplicate images in Geddes's book. Though I never came close enough, I learned a lot about posing and lighting, and those experiments helped me find my own photographic "voice." Seven years later, about 90 percent of my subjects are children under the age of five; the rest are older children and families.

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