Meet Christine, owner/photographer of 9th Cycle Studios:
I am originally from Australia, but moved to the United States about 6 years ago. I married to a wonderful American man, and am slowly assimilating to the culture. By that, I mean I say "awesome" and "like" WAY too much. We have no children, but plan on getting a dog (or three) at some point.
I started photographing things very early on. I don't remember who gave me my first camera or when, but I do recall taking one to school as early as 4th grade. I couldn't wait to get that roll of film developed, and put those photos in my album. It was always very important that I capture every memory I could.
No one ever told me how to use a camera. I just experimented until I found a way I was comfortable with. I now incorporate the use Photoshop, and always enjoy finding new ways to enhance or change the original mood of the photo.
I primarily use a digital Panasonic FZ47. This is only a recent addition. Before this, I had to make do with a VERY cheap Canon point and shoot. I also have an old Holga camera. I love the effect these cameras have, and how unpredictable they are. I often wish that I could make this plastic toy camera my primary one, but it's not at all cost effective. (*Sigh*).
My subjects are all over the place. Usually, I'll take a long walk and just photograph random things. I can be inspired by angles of a building, shadows being cast, the time of day etc. Sometimes, I stage my photos to illustrate a certain concept. It all depends on my mood. Some people say that having a defining style is very important as an artist, but I don't entirely agree. I would like to be cohesive, to a point, but I also like to reflect the shifting moods I have as a human being. That's why some photos are bright, some are morbid, fun, sad and everything in between.
I joined Etsy in September 2011, and it's been a fun ride so far. I put a lot of work into networking and promotion, and find myself spending a lot of time on the site. So far, it seems like time well spent. And, it's a fun time. I meet many interesting and creative people, I get to make treasuries to promote other artists and I get the thrill of seeing people admire my work.
If I could offer any advice to people starting out in photography (or anything they're passionate about) it is to persevere. I was dejected for the longest time because I had low end equipment, not capable of all the flashy work I'd seen with other photographers. Now, however, I'm glad. It taught me to work with what I've got, and make the best of it. More importantly, have fun with it.