Breath of Fresh Air: Meet Portrait Photographer Angela Navarette

Written by Artie The Panda

Angela’s optimistic-meets-realistic take on life serves her well as a portrait photographer. Connecting with her subjects is important, and when you’re photographing joyful high-school seniors one day and corporate executives the next, you need to adapt your personality accordingly. It also helps to slow down and breathe.

Bringing Out the Best

Having received her first digital JamCam in 2012, Angela has been shooting and learning ever since, and she’s now a PPA Master Photographer as well as a Certified Professional Photographer. Angela blends natural light and strobe lights to create the best imagery for her clients. She also is a big believer in taking her time and allowing herself to create.

Texas State of Mind

Angela is a fan of Frame Destination’s Wood Frame Profile 852 with Crescent 8Ply RagMag Museum mat boards and Non-Glare Acrylic. “It is my favorite presentation for custom fine art portraits, giving that museum-quality touch,” says Angela, who lives in Plano, Texas, not far from our headquarters in Dallas. She adds that her frame orders are “processed so quickly and cut so perfectly, all I have to do is put it together into a beautifully finished product.”

See More of Angela’s Work

For a peek at Angela’s full body of work, visit her online portfolio. For a glimpse into how she got started and which tool is her favorite on a sunny day, read on.

Now for Artie’s Eight Q&A with Angela Navarette …

1. What is your background; how did you get started?
I was a stay-at-home mom with two kids after a long career as a technical writer in the Dallas area. My automatic film camera broke and my husband bought me a small digital JamCam when digital was just emerging. I just kept getting better, more advanced cameras as they came out. My kids were my models as I learned how to shoot manually and understand light. People started noticing my artist’s eye and asking me to take their portraits. I thought to myself, “If I’m going to take portraits, I need to learn how to do it right.” I took my first professional photography class in 2012 and I’ve been taking portraits ever since!

2. How important is it for a photographer to “connect” with their subject?
Oh, it’s so important to be able to make a connection with your subject. Often I have very little time with my subjects, but need to be able to evoke who they are in those few moments. I do my best to make them feel at ease while gauging their personalities. Eyes, posture, and expression are important to the subject’s friends and family in making an instant connection with the portrait.

3. What has been a formative experience or the best advice you’ve received within your career?
The best advice I have received is to slow down and breathe, haha. It seems silly but it is so true. There are so many things we have to think about as photographers, including the technical use of our equipment, the artistry of composition and color harmony, and connecting to our subjects. It’s a lot to take in all at once, and you can’t do any of it if you don’t slow down, breathe, and allow yourself to create.

4. What ways does your work reflect your personality?
I think my work shows that I am a generally happy person. I love bright, saturated colors. I like smiling — I smile a ton! I crack of lot of jokes. I’m easygoing and optimistic, but realistic, too. I think my work also shows that I have a serious side, and it’s quite all right to show your serious side now and again.

5. Creative blocks, do you get them? If so, how do you overcome them?
I DO have creative blocks and I try to combat them by looking at works of others I admire in this industry. Attending an art show or watching a movie helps me to get creative. Going for walks and exercising helps, too.

6. What is your most indispensable tool? (Not counting the obvious, like paints, brushes, canvas, camera, etc.)
At this point in time, it is my Hoodman Loupe. I need to make sure my photos are CLEAR when I take them, or we have just wasted a ton of time together! I love my loupe, especially when shooting outside on a bright day.

7. Do you have a new project you are working on, or a new passionate idea?
I’m always learning and striving to do better for my clients. I am currently enjoying working on lighting techniques in my studio and using gels in my portraits. It’s fun to add those pops of color.

8. What “fad” gadget do you most regret purchasing?
Hmmm, I don’t really buy equipment based on fads. I buy for need, so I constantly make calculated choices that I know will help me do better for my clients. I know that sounds boring, but it’s true — especially for a generally animated, spontaneous person like me!


Angela Navarette Photo

All artwork and/or photographs used in this post are subject to copyright held by the featured artist.

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Last Updated October 27, 2020

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