Member Monday Featuring Deborah C. Johnson

What we love about this week’s Member Monday is the spirit and passion that Deborah C. Johnson brings to her images. She captures the feeling of a weekend spent unplugged from devices, and present with loved ones. We’re so happy to have her featured to tell her story!

About the Photo

The title of the photo is Oak Island Sunset. It was taken at Oak Island, North Carolina, last summer. My family spends a week at a friend’s beach house on Oak Island every summer. It’s one of those great family traditions that date back to when our daughters were small, and now it includes our granddaughter and grandson. The beach is our Zen place, that quiet spot where cell phones don’t exist, there are no distractions from work or school, no one ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door, just sun and surf and lots of family fun and laughter.

Gear and Software

I shoot with the same Canon Rebel T4i I bought when I decided to take up photography five years ago. I took the advice of a lot of Kelby One members and bought good glass to go with my entry-level DSLR camera and haven’t regretted it a day. I think I used my favorite lens, my Canon 70-200mm for this particular photo. I’m a Lightroom user when it comes to post-processing. Occasionally I’ll use Photoshop, but I do most of my work in Lightroom.

Photography Preferences

I think of myself as primarily a portrait photographer. Even when I take landscapes or flower photos I approach it the same way as I do the portraits. It sounds a little woo-woo, but to me, there’s a certain vibe or story the subjects in portraits have inside them. It is my job as a photographer to find it and bring it to life.

Someone once asked me what it is about photography that makes it so appealing. To explain it I used my favorite photography quote, “Photographers are time bandits. They capture the temporary and allow us to hold it for a little longer.” Not sure who said it, but that pretty much describes me and how I see myself as a photographer—Time Bandit. Have camera; will capture.

Photography Inspiration

Landscape photography is probably the thing that most scares the bejeebers out of me when it comes to photography. So I was pretty blown away when this particular photo was chosen to be featured. Like a lot of people, when it comes to landscape photography—to paraphrase an old cliche—I often can’t see the trees for the forest. I yearn to have the vision of Matt Kloskowski or Moose Peterson or Rick Sammon.

Yearn is probably not a strong enough word. I would go down to the crossroads, I thought it would help take landscape photos like those guys. But in the meantime, I’ll keep taking classes at Kelby One and learning all I can from these awesome artists.

Favorite KelbyOne Class

I have taken so many terrific Kelby One classes over the years. If I had to name my favorites they would probably be Melanie Kern-Favilla’s flower photography class and any of Kaylee Greer’s dog photography classes. These two ladies rock! In fact, I got so hooked on flower photography after taking Melanie’s class that I took the plunge, developed my website and started a VERY small photography business. Thank you, Melanie, and thank you Kelby One. 

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You can check out Deborah’s flower photos and portraits on Instagram and on her website: