Photographer Lindsey Baumsteiger:
A Hero of Memories
Lindsey Baumsteiger is a photographer and private educator based in Central California. She is a graduate of the Brooks Institute of Photography who provides photographic lesson plans, workshops and group photo walks for photographers of all skill levels through her business INLIGHT. For Week #164 of the Photograph Your Love Instagram Takeover®, we were pleased to have her at the helm. Always the teacher, her posts featured a series of mini-lessons including Depth, Blur, Reflections, Black and White, Travel, Timing and Concept with great advice and beautiful images. I asked Lindsey to share more about her journey as a photographer and I know you will enjoy getting to know her better here.
Where did you grow up?
Just a little bit inland and south, in the suburban town of Simi Valley.
When did you get into photography and why?
When I was in high school, I began filling my need for art credits with a photography class. It’s funny actually, the first year I took photography, I liked it a lot but didn’t sign up for it again the next year. My photography instructor would see me in the halls and say, “Hey! Why aren’t you in photography this year?” and it was his kind heckling that got me to sign up for two photography courses the year after that. That year we had a new instructor, Karla Chouhan, who was a Brooks Institute alumnus. I thought (and mind you, still do think) she was one of the coolest ladies I had ever met. She had all of these tales of travels she had taken, people she had photographed, and life she had lived. She seemed grounded in herself and in her craft. That kind of confidence was tantalizing to me at that period of my life where I was just learning how to get comfortable in my skin, recognize my own skills, and honor them! She was different than all the other teachers in the way she dressed, walked, and talked. To me then, it felt like she had a secret that kept her so cool; and what I realize now is, she is an artist and I hadn’t yet met a sincere artist. It changed me. I wanted to be like her. One day I was crying in the matting room because I was feeling overwhelmed about my life path and where I wanted to go to college. She found me in there and said something along the lines of, “Maybe you should go to Brooks? You’re good at this. I could see you enjoying it”. I took her words of advice and did exactly that. It’s true that the way you interact with the youth makes an impact on their lives. It’s important that we all approach the youth with open ears, hearts, and respect because every turn they make, they are looking for influence and guidance. I was definitely one of them, and I feel fortunate to have had some trustworthy mentors at those formidable ages in my life.
How would you describe your shooting style?
Romantic. I like to capture things in a way that reminds me of the story around that space at that time. Photography, to me, is full of romance. What is more romantic than saving a moment in time so that you can share it with other people? As a photographer, you are like a hero of memories! This is the place I pull from when I am making photographs for not just myself, but for my clients, and when I teach other people how to make photographs.
What kind of gear and technology do you use; and how does this influence or impact your work?
I am a huge proponent of making pictures, period. However that happens on whatever you choose. I see a lot of my students grapple with the concept that maybe their photographs would have more meaning if they had nicer gear or updated their lens. Eh… not necessarily. There’s a disconnect happening in this train of thought. Your photographs represent how connected you felt to a place and subject in time. If you feel your photographs are missing something, it might be your presence. All that being said, for my personal work I enjoy using analog processes. Mostly because I like the tactile approach and the way it slows down my process. I know a lot of people see that as a negative (having a slow process), but I learn a lot in the time between. All things beautiful need space for breath and reflection. I have a Large Format Shen Hao 4x5 Field View that I have been using for a conceptual fine-art series that has been my main focus for a little over a year now. My aunt gifted me her old Nikon F100 35mm camera which is my main squeeze these days. I bring that camera everywhere! I love, love, love capturing daily life on 35mm film. Working on film keeps me in check. I pick and choose the photographs that I make more particularly, I am restricted at times by ISO or color tones, and I learn a lot about patience. Sometimes, I have the luxury of working in a darkroom. Which makes me extremely happy! Watching prints come to life in the developer will never, ever get old to me. There’s magic in some of these older, analog processes and it keeps my love for photography young with the wonderment of a child. When I photograph digitally (which is mostly when I am doing work for clients), I have a Nikon DF, which I love because it’s built like an old 35mm camera. I mostly use a fixed 50mm lens on both my digital and analog camera. I like the resourcefulness that comes from working with a fixed focal length lens. You start to become more agile, tactical, and yet, comfortable. I always recommend my students try going out for a day (or if they can bear it, a trip) with just one lens and see how the “limitations” become freeing.
What photographer or artist has had the biggest influence on your own photography?
I would say my mentor, Douglas Vincent. Hands down. That man is a phenomenal photographer, and I don’t just mean in the sense of the final output (his prints) being stunning to look at. I mean in the sense of his appreciation for process and the capacity photography has to hold space for learning on many levels of your being, not just artistically but spiritually. I met Douglas not too long ago at a time in my life where I was seeking a more artistic and meaningful approach to my photographic work. I have learned from him that your work reflects how you decide to see the world. Not just documenting what is, but photographing what you believe could be. This change in perspective has drastically changed my life and photography.
What motivates or inspires you to continue taking pictures?
Magic! Every time you go to make a photograph, there are many elements that must align in order for something to be made. The light, settings, subject, focus, intent, and the conversations between all those things have to hit the same mark. I mean, you’ve been to dinner with a large group of people right? When that many individuals are sitting around a table chatting there is always mass confusion and something will spill at some point, but it feels so good when everyone raises their glass to cheers and time stands still in appreciation and awareness. Photography is how I cheers to being in the present moment. Photography is how I cheers to believing in my lucky stars to the point where I truly trust that many worldly elements would collide just so that I could, if even for the glimpse of a second, experience this life in harmony.
Follow Lindsey Baumsteiger on Instagram @inlightphoto. Lindsey has also started a new Instagram handle where she is sharing her 35mm work and writings. You can find that under her artist name: @lindseymaible. To participate in one of Lindsey’s workshops, visit her website at inlightphotoworkshops.com.
Each week, a guest photographer takes over our Instagram stream as we spotlight photographers that inspire us…and that we feel embrace the meaning behind our tagline, #PhotographYourLove. As a business that process and prints photos, we see this as part of our mission. Follow along with us on the Photograph your Love® Instagram Takeover @colorservices