Before & After with Maggie Sheffield

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This week’s Before & After is brought to you by BACON! Yeah, no, seriously . . . bacon.

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Maggie! Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Maggie Sheffield. I am a lover of Christ, Wife, & Mother.  I live in a little farm town in Oklahoma. My husband, who was my high school sweetheart, is a farmer and we have two beautiful kiddos, Drake (5) & Dru (3).  My husband gave me my first camera about 4 years ago. I literally had no intentions of starting a business from it, I just wanted pictures of my kids with a “good” camera.  I was a stay at home mom & about a year and a half later, I decided to really dig into photography.  I had help from fellow photog friends, inspiration from other photographers on social media and just practiced my rear off. I learn something new ALL. THE. TIME. I think that’s what I love most about photography. You always evolve, you don’t have to have one certain style, & I am constantly pushing myself at seeing things differently.  

By what artists/creatives are you influenced? What inspires you?

Tarah Sweeney is one of them. I have followed her work for a while & bought her E-Book a while back. I love her style and messy view. I am all over the place and I think she is too and I just love how she put that into her work and how she photographs her own children. I love the mood in her photographs and how she uses available light.

Mae Burke is another. I love how she photographs motherhood. Obviously, that’s one of the most important things in my life and to see her whole career be focused on that, I was just like WOW. I love that whole take on it. I love the raw feeling in her images and you can just feel the emotions for new moms.

Another thing I am influenced by is not a photographer, but a television show. My husband and I are obsessed with FARGO. I literally say on every episode, “Babe, pause it. Look how amazing that would be if it were a still image.” The tones are phenomenal, it is always gloomy & moody and I LOVE it. I get so much inspiration out of it after every.single.episode.

My husband and my kids definitely inspire me– My husband is the most encouraging person and literally- whatever I need, he makes sure I have it. He’s my free advertising! We can’t go to a store without him telling everyone about my photography! Ha!  My kids inspire so much of my photography. My favorite images are of them . . . biased? Yes. But, I think when you have so much emotion in your photographs and the ones that make you feel something. They’re always your favorite. I love looking at their images and remembering exactly what was going on in that moment. Something I’ll have forever. Can’t beat it.

Do you have  a vision in mind before going out and shooting? Tell us about about your workflow and how the vision comes to life before shooting and in post.

I usually don’t have a specific vision before shooting, maybe a few ideas or things to try, but for the most part, no. Sometimes when photographing my kids I do. I feel like I step outside of the box with them. I’m trying to put that into play on all of my sessions πŸ™‚  My workflow is super simple. I’m a wife & a mama and I literally don’t want to (CAN’T) spend my evenings at my computer editing all night.  

I shoot with a Nikon D4s and my main lens is Sigma Art 35mm 1.4. I also have a 70-200 2.8 that I love, but for the most part, my 35 doesn’t leave my camera.  I edit mainly in Lightroom. Photoshop if needed, but I try to avoid it, because I have no idea what I’m doing in there most of the time. Ha! I love my presets from VSCO and the new ones from Tribe Archipelago. If I can get one click & go, I’m a happy girl.

Now, tell us how this amazing image came together.

Okay, for real…. BURNT BACON. This has cracked me up! I’m not kidding.. We were cooking breakfast on Christmas eve morning and the bacon got a little burnt, so it was smokey in my house. We are all sitting at the kitchen table eating and the sun is shining through our door and the blinds. I’m thinking wow, that would be a neat photograph. I get up from the table without saying a word and my husband jokingly says, “Oh, man, I need to grab my camera for this…” (I said he was encouraging, I didn’t say he couldn’t be a pain!) My kids were kind of playing in the rays and then my son went back to eating and my daughter was standing there still and I said, “Dru, look outside. Tell me what you see.” Then I just started photographing her there. I knew I would love the images, but I wasn’t even sure I would post to Facebook. I imported into Lightroom and clicked on the Kodak Gold presets, tried the 101- bumped up the temp a little and I was like wow, that looks REALLY good with just that. (I’m simple, I told ya) I saved it and uploaded to Facebook & that is that. I’m BLOWN AWAY by all of the feedback. I was literally sitting at my computer about to log off Facebook and kept seeing all of the notifications from everyone, I had to give my husband an “I told ya so!”  

Thank you guys so much, I am so inspired by all of the photographers on this page and all of the photographs I see daily. You all push this small town girl out of her element and I love it.

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