Profile-Betsy Schipper Photography
"When you capture that perfect moment, person, or place it can really put you on cloud nine. There is no other feeling that compares to it."
I wanted to make sure that one of my first profiles was on Betsy Krikke whose magic you will find sprinkled throughout this blog. She is a thoughtful and creative intellect who shares those gifts through her photography. It's a journey to follow her carefully curated portfolio...whimsical landscapes one day, charming wedding details the next.
Aside from her beautiful work, it's the person behind the camera that will inspire you. Insanely sweet, imaginative, and inviting in a way that makes you feel instantly comfortable. Prime example=me wanting to wear a tulle skirt and heels while romping around the woods and her being ALL FOR IT. She takes the art seriously and that foundational vision is represented in her personality as well as her images. I'm honored she took the pictures for this site along with carving out some time to answer my questions.
When did you really discover your love of photography?
Soon after I graduated high school on a trip to Italy and Switzerland. The color, light, and history drew me in...sort of like I was being summoned to capture this moment in my life. During this time, I needed an outlet for some of the darkness I was going through. Photography gave me a means to find something beautiful in the depressive state I was in. I can remember sitting in Hagar Park for hours photographing grasshoppers and caterpillars. It slowed down my thoughts and really gave me sincere appreciation for all things surrounding me.
What kind of sessions do you offer?
I offer a range of services. Newborns/maternity, kids, families, seniors, a handful of weddings, product shoots, animals. I love meeting people so when I find someone who has a unique look, I typically follow up asking if I can photograph them for some creative work.
Obviously all sessions bring something special in their own way but what is your favorite type of shoot to do?
Photographing children has to be my favorite. Kids are unpredictable...I love the challenge! I can't tell you how many times I have had to run and chase a child down; those are the best shots.
*For the record, Betsy is fab when it comes to wrangling littles. We had family pictures taken a couple summers ago when all of Doug's family was in Michigan. At the time, it was four kiddos under the age of 5 and she was great with them.
Your photos tell a great story especially when exploring new areas. Favorite travel destination?
Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to St. Thomas to visit some family. I couldn't get enough of my surroundings. I would wake up early to photograph everything: birds, lizards, plant life, the way the light came through to hit my morning coffee mug, or sea glass my cousin hung from her wall. I was inspired...so overwhelmed with the need to capture the essence of the island. Not to mention, downtown St. Thomas was a historic wonderland of colored doors and cobblestone alley ways. Carmel, California has to be another favorite. This artsy town had me photographing everything I came across. The people are wonderful; I would move there in a heartbeat.
What are three words your family or friends would use to describe you?
People-person, individualistic, passionate
When you aren't behind a camera what are you up to?
When the camera is down (which is not often) I love to snowboard, hike, host dinners, run, paint, sketch, decorate, and collaborate with my husband on new projects.
-Side note: Betsy's husband is also crazy talented. Hopefully more on him in the future #powercouple
One of those rare days comes around and you are completely free...what's on the schedule?
Run with my pup, sit in a hammock with a good book, lunch with my mom, and a little shopping at our favorite boutiques. I would finish up the day with cocktails, my close friends, and husband.
Favorite local goodness here in Grand Rapids?
So many favorite places. I would have to say the Frederik Meijer Gardens is one. I could live there! My husband and I spend a lot of time at their summer concert series or strolling the gardens. In the winter time it's my sanctuary; I could sit in the big greenhouse for hours spotting birds and soaking in the smells of each flower. I also love visiting Horrocks, Mercy Supply, Rowster, Mokaya, Black Lamb, and the GRAM.
-I've included links to the places she mentions in case you would like to check them out! Good stuff.
My biggest inspiration has to be (simply, but powerfully) light. I can't tell you how often I will notice a ray touching something or bringing to life what I would have never noticed. Watching the sunrise over the Tetons gave me courage and consistency that I specifically needed at that time in my life. Waking up early at my in-laws cottage to paddle the canoe on the lake and watch that first light cut through the fog stirred something so deep inside of me. Time and time again, light has revealed so many beautiful things that inspired me to keep creating and capturing.
What has been your favorite discovery in being a photographer?
My favorite discovery would have to be attention to detail; taking the time to notice my surroundings. It's easy to go places, get caught up with the business of life, and ignore your surroundings. Photography slows me down. It is also a means of gratification. When you capture that perfect moment, person, or place it can really put you on cloud nine. There is no other feeling that compares to it.