Kim Dalton's picture
Crew Mom

Who's in the Crew? - Spotlight on Beth Madison

NAME: Beth Madison - http://www.bethmadisonphotography.com/#!/page/182739/home

WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Stamford, CT. It's about 45 minutes from NYC. It's a diverse, fairly big city adjacent to several quite wealthy towns in Fairfield Country, CT. It used to be a commuter town for NYC and still is, but has grown a lot and become a business hub itself. I grew up here. After college, I moved to NYC/Manhattan where I lived for 16 years before meeting a Stamford guy. We got married and moved back.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SHOOTING HEADSHOTS? 10 years shooting headshots. 12 years in business.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU LIKE TO SHOOT? Children, babies, newborns, families, dogs. I've also done both family life events, corporate events, and product shoots. Children and dogs are my favorites after headshots. They have no self-consciousness! All you have to do it catch them being themselves!

WHAT IS YOUR LIGHTING SETUP FOR HEADSHOTS? I now use Peter's flex kit in either the triangle, parallel or men's lighting set-up. I saw the flex kit one year, wanted it the second year and bought it the third year.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER PH AND THE HSC? I discovered Peter first and PhotoPlus Expo held each October in NYC. I saw him both demo'ing on the exhibition floor, and also I took a seminar that he gave.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO JOIN THE CREW AFTER YOU FOUND IT? The first year I saw him, I bought his book. The second-year I saw him, I joined the Crew (October 2017) but did little with it. I just set up a rudimentary profile and did nothing else. They had just ended the Wingman program and I didn't understand what to do. The third-year I saw him, I spoke to Alaina and asked her how to use the site. She was wonderful and just told me to start posting and get involved. That's when I really started to be a full and active crew member. I couldn't believe how much I got out of it once I started to be active and involved! Being a member of the crew has been the biggest factor in helping my skill level grow. I look back on my old work and can't believe how much I've progressed. I now notice details I never paid attention to before. It's trained my eye and helped raise my photography to a whole new level. It's the best investment I ever made.

WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU? I can't wink! I have to use a finger to hold one eye shut when I shoot.

WHAT'S ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOU? Well, I don't know if this is something I wish people knew about me, but I think it's an interesting bit about how photography has influenced my life...

After my mom died years ago, when I was just transitioning from being an amateur photographer to starting a business, I used photography to help me heal. I was doing fine art photography back then. I spent a full year finding small mundane, beautiful things and photographing them. I was focused on the kind of things that we pass by every day but are usually too busy to notice. We had a dog (a black lab named Bounder) who I would walk in the woods with twice a day. I used photography to prompt me to notice and appreciate all the everyday beauty around me. It helped me be mindful, in-the-moment, and grateful. I collected all my images into two self-published photography books that I called "A Closer Look" and "Days Above Ground: Noticing Life". I also wrote poetry during that time. I self-published a poetry book called "A Walk in the Woods".

28 Comments

Jon Meadows's picture
Mentor

Beth Madison do you have links for the books?
Love that you hold your eyelid closed while you shoot! I want to see a picture of you doing that while shooting!

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

Sure, Jon!

My first book, "A Closer Look," will be available on Amazon in three days. I'll edit/update this post then with the link.

Here's my second photography book:

https://www.amazon.com/Days-Above-Ground-Beth-Madison/dp/1714563936/ref=...

Here's the poetry book:

https://www.amazon.com/Walk-Woods-poems-Beth-Madison/dp/1451502303

You know, I just realized that I don't hold my eyelid closed anymore!!! I totally used to do that, but somewhere along the way, I just began keeping both eyes open and shooting like that. I never even realized it until now! So I guess I lied in the profile, LOL. Maybe I should have talked about my SF background instead...

Isolde Baylor's picture
Protégé

This Bio is so great - it really captures your warmth as a fabulous human!

Hearing the bit about not winking makes so much sense now. I had this un-reconciled mental image of your subtle finger move when we were shooting together at Mania. So maybe you do it more when you're nervous (or relaxed) but the whole camera not working thing was freaking you out !

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

Thanks, Isolde!! That's fabulous, that you remember about my finger!! Maybe when I stopped to think about it, I didn't do it... or something. LOL. Now I don't even know if I still do it or not. Yeah, I've never been able to wink -- wish I could!! It's a cool thing to be able to do. I'd also love to be able to raise one eyebrow -- love that kind of "Spock-ish" expression, but, no. Can't do that, either. :D

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

Here's a link to my first book, "A Closer Look." https://www.amazon.com/Closer-Look-Beth-Madison/dp/1714615812/ref=sr_1_2...

Amazon sets the minimum price for these, so they're pretty pricey! Let's just say that I'm not depending on the income from any of these three books, LOL!

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

(Boy, I didn't realize that the day I made three posts about selfies would also be the day that my "Who's in the Crew" would be posted. It's like Beth Madison day around here!! Sorry to spam all you folks!)

Gary Rhodes's picture

Amazing...I recognized you as a gifted individual, but never appreciated your depth. BTW, you've heard me say that I am from Dutchess County , NY and that I use to drive 84 (?) to New Britain and Hartford until we were married in Granby and moved to Colorado shortly after. :)

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

Thanks, Gary!! That's so kind!

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

By the way, pictured above is an older headshot. I got my headshot done by The Man himself, Peter Hurley, at the Intensive in October, and that's now what I'm using as my HSC images.

Jon Meadows's picture
Mentor

Come on, Kim Dalton.

Kim Dalton's picture
Crew Mom

I used what I had access to, Meadows. She hasn't updated it on FB yet apparently.

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

Yep, guilty as charged!

Kim Dalton's picture
Crew Mom

sorry, Beth! I took it off your current FB profile image. I'm asking for them when people submit their answers now.

Peter Roelofs's picture
Protégé

Hi Beth!!

This is awesome.... So nice to get to know you a little better. We've chatted here and in the crewcasts before, and I noticed you to be an open funny and nice person I would love to get to know better...
Really cool to now read about you so much more in this: 'Who's in the Crew ?'

Love to talk to you soon... here, in the crewcasts, or when we are posting shots for critiques.

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

Thanks, Peter!! (Do you get tired of being called "Peter R"? What, you mean there's another Peter around here??)

Peter Roelofs's picture
Protégé

Hey Beth.... Peter R is just fine..... ( for here I mean,... not if we ever meet in real life. ;) )

I heard about this guy.... P. Hurley.... have you seen him around here?? :))

Patrick Infante's picture

Great story, great inspiration! Keep up the wonderful work you are doing!

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

Thanks, Patrick!!

Chris Noakes's picture
Associate

I love this.

Carmen Klammer's picture
Protégé

Wohooo Beth! Wonderful to see you featured here! And yes, totally want to know how photography has influenced your life!
A couple of years ago my project was to create Retreats with Yoga, Horses and Photography as a Healing Art. I did one in Greece. Do you know God Is at Eye Level: Photography as a Healing Art by Jan Phillips? When I first started working on the retreat I didn't even know that photography as a healing art was a thing, then I found out that Italy is actually leading in this! I connected with Judy Weiser, one of the earliest pioneers of PhotoTherapy, Therapeutic Photography, Photo-Art-Therapy and we were working on doing a retreat together (in the end it didn't go ahead). I still think I want to go this way ... using photography for healing, especially for women who have a distorted self-image.

Carmen Klammer's picture
Protégé

oh, and your headshot is just ACE! who took it?

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

Oh, and for sure, that's a Peter Hurley headshot, yup! Taken at the October 2019 Intensive in NYC! Thanks, Peter!

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

Thanks, Carmen! Oh, I didn't know about Photography as a Healing Art, or about God is at Eye Level, or about photography use in-or-as therapy-- but I'm really happy you clued me in!! I'm going to look those up right away. They're right up my alley!! Sounds just like what I have been doing for myself.

Photography is all about seeing -- stopping to really see, about noticing the world, and also about turning it around and looking in, about seeing ourselves in a new light (LOL, light, get it? 'Cause photography is all about light).

I think photography is actually pretty deep, in a philosophical kind of way. It involves all of this: Stopping to notice; perception; mindfulness; awareness; really seeing, seeing light and color and patterns and texture; finding, noticing, creating or declaring something as Art; capturing the world as it is; saying Look At This. It forces us to really engage with the world and with people in it.

I'm thrilled to hear that others think this way, too. I'm excited to learn more about all that you told me. Thanks!!!

Carmen Klammer's picture
Protégé

yes, I also had no idea that it was actually a thing! only found out about one month before my retreat lol (then got really nervous as I hadn't had any training in that thing ... ) (this was it if you're curious https://www.divineretreats.co.uk/the-happiness-project-retreat/)

Chris Marxen's picture
Mentor

Love this format Kim Dalton ! Are these posts public? They should be.

Jon Meadows's picture
Mentor

Oh. That’s a good idea, making them public!

Carolin Thiersch's picture
Associate

Great format Kim! And thanks for sharing your story with us Beth! It is so great to have you guys in the crew!

Beth Madison's picture
Protégé

Yes, big thanks to Kim!!! What a great idea this was!