When did you become a photographer? 

Twyla: I purchased my first dslr 2 1/2 years ago but I had been taking really terrible out of focus photos for a while before that.

What inspires you to create?

Making connections with people. I become pretty invested in people’s stories and interactions as I’m getting to know them and as I watch them throughout the shoot. I love surprising them with stories they never realized were being told during our time together. I can’t tell you how many times someone has left a shoot fearing we didn’t capture anything. I just smile.

What’s in your gear bag? 

Nikon d750 and a Sigma Art 35.  Some gum, usually a toy car or dino my kids left for me.

Do you have a favorite lens/camera?

See above.  I don’t shoot with anything else, but I would really love to get my hands on a tilt shift.

What’s your favorite type of food? 

Sushi and Tacos. Food folded up in other food.

Do you have any other hobbies? 

Sometimes I try to get really good at swimming and running.

How do you like your coffee? 

In my mouth.

What’s your favorite movie?

The Silence of Sleep.

Where are you from? 

Kansas.

Do you have a defining moment in your career? 

Probably the moment I realized I was out doing exactly what I loved and I was the only one who could decide what I thought was beautiful and powerful.  I used to get pretty nervous before shoots and then it suddenly occurred to me that I was the expert at what I liked.  It’s important to shoot a lot so you can trust yourself to find beauty anywhere with anyone.

Tell us about your vision, what’s your style of photography? 

I like to think about my shoots as people enjoying their last day on earth together.  Where would you go? How would you express your love to those closest to you? What wild things would you want to do and who would you share them with?

When you’re in a creative rut, how do you get unstuck? 

Take more photos!  Shoot at a totally different time of day in a completely different type of location than I’m used to.

How much of a photograph do you pre-plan and how much editing do you do after? 

I usually have some sort of vision inspired by my subjects and locations, but it’s more of a feeling than an actual image. I try to infuse the session with this feeling letting my subjects and the beauty of the world around us continue to inspire me as we shoot!

Balance is important, how do you balance photography and your personal life? 

I don’t really.  I just accept that some days I will be intensely focused on a project and then I will have days that I don’t look at work at all and just enjoy my family. Inspiration and focus for work come in spurts for me and I find I work best when I don’t force myself to do anything I’m not feeling.

What’s your best piece of advice for another photographer?

Shoot what you feel.  You don’t need to look all around you for inspiration, look within and connect with who you really are. Translate the emotions you’re trying to evoke into actions for your subjects.

Who influences you?

Love for my fiance, children, family and friends.

What would you tell someone who’s wondering if they should come to Over Yonder? 

Come hang out with me!  I have so much to share with you and I can’t think of a better place than a cozy cottage in the mountains!  I’ll bring the whiskey.