Portfolio: Jenny Baumert

In the section “Portfolio” the “Bird In Flight” editors showcase photos of young photographers and ask them to answer questions. Today’s issue is featuring portfolio of Jenny Baumert, an underwater photographer from California.

In the section “Portfolio” the “Bird in Flight” editors showcase photos of young photographers, who work in various genres, and ask them to share why they decided to do photography, what objectives they are pursuing, who they learn from and what they learn specifically. In today’s issue, the portfolio of Jenny Baumert.

Jenny Baumert, age 26

Lives in California (USA), was born and raised in Kentucky. Attended Brooks Institute studying Cinematography, focusing on Underwater Cinematography. With the help of the photography Jenny tries to capture the symbiotic relationship of the ocean and humans. She mainly captures underwater portraits in unique manner aiming to inspire a love for the ocean and evoke a deeper connection between nature and humans.

When did you start doing photography?
I became a photographer about a year out of high school when I started taking deep interest in shooting events and shows. I gained knowledge by shooting as many music events, festivals and gatherings as I could. Then I got a temporary opportunity to work as an apprentice in a studio learning more about lighting and the technical aspects of photography along with photographing events throughout Lexington, Kentucky for a few local magazines.
What do you most like to take photographs of?
I’m into all kinds of photography, I enjoy experimenting with different formats, lenses and with lighting in particular. However my main focus is underwater photography; water is one of the most exciting elements to shoot in, its completely unpredictable and extremely technical. Your subject is fighting against the elements to give you the perfect pose; the clarity of the water is effecting your entire image, lighting becomes more complex in the water and the best part of it is that it proves to be an entirely new experience each and every time.

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Why do you think that photography is your destiny?
When I shoot I feel a rush of creativity along with the excitement of being in the water – I haven’t gotten that feeling from anything else I’ve done. Seeing what I’ve designed – let it be the lighting, the wardrobe or the surrounding set of my idea – come together in front of me and I capture that one perfect moment; its unlike anything else.
What makes a great photo?
Everyone has a different definition of what makes a photograph “good”, when I’m viewing a photograph my judgement is based mainly on composition and lighting as well as a good concept.
What difficulties do you face as photographer?
I would say, mostly competition; I feel like everyone is a photographer nowadays, especially with having smart phones with good cameras right in your pocket and the decline in the cost of cameras gives anyone abundant opportunities to produce high quality images, so there’s a ton of competition.

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Which experience is interesting for you?
I am most inspired by a teacher of mine, Ralph Clevenger; he’s a very talented and successful underwater photographer, and extremely knowledgeable about the subject, he helped me to get to the level of shooting that I’m at today. Morgan Maassen is another inspiring underwater photographer/cinematographer, his work is breathtaking, it makes you want to immediately get into the water and work to become a better shooter. Elena Kalis is one of my favorite underwater photographers, every aspect of her work is mind-blowing and she gets so creative with her concepts.
What camera do you use?
I mostly use a Canon 5D Mark III with a Nauticam Housing.
Do you earn by doing photography?
Currently I don’t support myself solely off photography, I am still a student so I work part-time as a bartender and freelance as much as I can as a cinematographer, 1st AC and camera operator; but someday I hopefully will.

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What are your other interests?
If underwater photography was no longer an option for me, I would still be pursuing my career as a Director of Photography; I love the freedom of making music videos and documentaries and want to strongly focus on those two genres of film making.
What objectives you are pursuing?
I hope to get the opportunity to work with some of my role models in the underwater world. I plan on working with as many organizations to help our waters by spreading awareness through my visuals. I would also love to develop my own light sources for the underwater use; along with a few book ideas that I have in mind.

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