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Student Spotlight: Meet Vanessa Burns

Looking for portrait photography inspiration?  Look no further, Vanessa Burns with Vanessa Burns Photography is a portrait photographer that takes stunning photos using awesome lighting, style and of course…lots of super cute subjects!

Vanessa is a student in the Cozy Clicks Perfect Portrait Course and such an outstanding photographer.  Everything she posts is sharp and creative! Take a second and read a little more about Vanessa and how she might be able to help you as a new photographer.  I think you’re going to be seeing much more of her!!


Describe your photography journey.

My photography journey has definitely not been traveled on a straight road! I have loved taking photos ever since I was a child. I definitely became the self-proclaimed “family photographer” and for years was counted on to capture moments during family gatherings, birthdays and holidays. Shortly after the birth of my first daughter, my trusted point and shoot camera died a very slow and painful death. This lead to my husband gifting me with a Canon Rebel T3i, which then lead to a few community photography courses in order to learn how to use it! To be honest, the community courses didn’t get me very far, and I had to figure a lot of it out on my own. And I loved it! I soon started volunteering as a photographer for various special events ( Awards shows, Film Festival parties, Baptisms, etc.), but still didn’t know the ins and outs of my camera. So…two years ago I circled back to (very) part time formal studies and began classes at a nearby college where I am currently enrolled.

What type of photography do you enjoy the most and why?

I absolutely love shooting children’s sports. This began last year, when my daughter started playing outdoor soccer. I would shoot the entire game and then provide photo galleries to all the parents. As I start my small photography business this summer, I’m hoping to now make some money doing the same thing! I also enjoy shooting portraits ( family, children) on location or in studio!

What do you think your biggest struggles are as a photographer and what do you do to overcome them?

Confidence is probably my biggest struggle. I am a perfectionist at times, and felt like I wanted everything to be perfect and know everything before I could possibly charge people money. The thing is, the learning never ends and if I keep that mentality I’ll never earn a dime! So this year I have really charged forward, building my website, continuing with photography classes, and learning through Cozy Clicks – all things that have made me feel ready to start earning.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a brand new photographer?

NEVER give up. If this is something you want to learn as a hobby or profession, follow your heart by using your head. It doesn’t matter that there is a lot of “competition” or that you don’t know where to start, or that you aren’t 20 anymore. Ask questions, and when you don’t get the answers, ask someone else! I have had a lot of support in my slow and winding journey, but it hasn’t all been smooth sailing, and that’s okay! The key is to stay positive, and continue to be open to learning and improving.

Tell us a little bit about the gear you use.

I have my good old Canon Rebel T3i with a 50mm lens and in the past year I have added a Canon 6DMarkii, a 70-200mm Sigma lens, and a 24-70 Sigma lens. Next on my list is an 85mm ...a girl can dream!

Tell us some ways or places where you continue to learn more about photography (or editing)?

I continue to take classes at Sheridan College here in Toronto and while the classes have been incredibly helpful, there are no editing programs that suit my needs. Even online with the hundreds of tutorials out there, I could not find the guidance to learn how to edit photos with the desired result I had in mind…until I found Cozy Clicks. I continue to practice my editing as taught by Emily with the Perfect Portrait Course, and am happy to have found a community with Cozy Clicks where I continue to learn from other photographers, Emily’s various blog posts, as well as her direct support. I have finally started to learn a workflow that fits with my vision!

Above photo ©Michelle Collis

Where can we find you? Do you have a website or social media channel where people can follow you?

Yes! My website is www.vanessaburnsphotography.com and I am on IG @vanessaburnsphotography
Take a minute and go support Vanessa! Take a look at her site and give her a follow over in Instagram! I think you’re going to find all kinds of inspiration!

To read about even more students in the Cozy Clicks courses check out all the student spotlight articles here!

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