Molly Gilholm loves good light, adventure and couples that love to laugh and have fun. Even looking at her "then" photos, you can tell Molly has always been drawn to light. She noticed this early on and really zeroed in on this concept and learned how to use it to perfection.
How did you learn photography?
I picked up my first camera and started playing around in 2007! I was 14. It was in my backyard. I learned by practicing and reading all I could online. I was really into the Flickr community back in the day, and always loved looking and admiring all the conceptual self-portraits. There are a few photographers who I still follow to this day, who I started out knowing of through Flickr.
I got my first DSLR in 2010, It was a Nikon D60, and I was in love. I brought it with me every single day to school, taking photos of my friends, flowers, cats, whatever I could. I was always really interested in playing around with different editing techniques, and have always loved photoshop.
I took black and white film photography all through high school, and although I never excelled in the darkroom I really value my time there because it taught me how cameras work. I remember the moment it clicked that the same techniques I used on my film camera (the light meter, ISO, etc) could be applied to my digital camera. Suddenly manual mode was something I felt confident doing, and that raised my photography to the next level.
I was also super lucky to have grown up with a dad who was a videographer, and generally into photography and the latest technology, and an uncle who shot Nikon and pirated me my very first copy of Adobe Lightroom (shhh don't tell).
What year was your then photo taken in?
All these "then" photos were taken in 2011 when I really started going for it! I was a senior in high school.
What did you do to better your photography skills?
I looked at insane amounts of other photographers work, and tried to figure out how I could emulate the aspects of the photos I liked. Mostly how other photographers harnessed the power of natural light. I have always been really OCD about how I use natural light, and it's always the first thing I think of when I am taking a photo before posing, styling, etc.
Once I spent enough time lurking other people's work, I wrangled all the friends I could, bought clothes at the Goodwill outlet, dressed them up, and shot away. I have always been equally interested in art direction and styling, so coming up with conceptual ideas was half the fun for me, and still is. I have graduated to working with models from agencies, but the same idea and fun is still there. Buying prime lenses was also a major turning point in the way I shot and the way I looked at a frame.
What is one piece of advice you would give to a new photographer to help them excel in their craft?
The feeling of not being good enough, or not being satisfied with your work is the only thing that's going to make you keep going. The second you sit back and think about how amazing you are and how everything is perfect is the moment you stop being an artist.
Check out more images from Molly below.