Cassie Leah Sawyer
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Give us a brief description of you and your work.
I am a natural light photographer specializing in maternity and baby portrait photography from newborn to 12 mos. I have a boutique home-studio where I hold my newborn sessions, complete with an organic changing station and a ‘parent’s corner’ with comfy chairs and resources for new parents to browse during their session.
How would you describe your style?
Organic and simple. For all of my sessions, I concentrate on the use of natural light, as I find it provides a soft and authentic feel to the images. Also, I tend to stay away from the use of distracting props and bold colors to keep the image’s focus on the pureness and beauty of the subject. I am a true believer of ‘less is more.’
What's your goal as an artist?
My goal as an artist is to create a timeless piece of art for my clients to enjoy for the rest of their lives. I work to capture irreplaceable glimpses of life, whether it’s a new mother-to-be sharing a moment with her growing belly, or a fresh newborn snuggling up into a womb-like curl. Every image I create reflects love and the miracle of life, and is intended to be turned into a stunning piece of custom artwork for my clients’ homes.
From where do you draw inspiration?
I find inspiration in every day adventures. The joy that comes from living in the moment. The beautiful changes in weather and light (particularly in Florida during the summer),when the bold blue sky shifts into a tumultuous thunderstorm that passes over in a mere 15 minutes, leaving behind warm sunlit raindrops that glisten off the trees and road. The colors in the sunset that are never the same as the evening before, but are equally as beautiful. The plants and trees, the lizards, squirrels and birds that all co-exist in my backyard so harmoniously with no effort.
Nature inspires me to live in the present. Living in the present inspires me to love deeper. And that deep love inspires me to make a forever impact on my clients’lives by capturing a piece of their own flawless ‘weather’ to forever hold onto.
Your business is an eco-friendly photography company. Can you tell us some of your "green" practices?
In addition to working without artificial light, I keep my energy consumption low by having a home-studio which runs off of the energy already being used for my house. All payments,receipts, contracts, etc. are managed digitally, greatly reducing the need for paper. My packaging for products is all comprised of recycled and biodegradable materials. The few studio props I do use are ones that I’ve ‘upcycled’ from garage sale finds and from my local salvage yard. My newborn changing station is comprised of an organic cotton changing mat, eco-friendly diapers, and organic cream, powder and lotion. All of the products I offer to clients are made with sustainable resources and/or come from print labs that have environmentally sensitive procedures in place. For example, our gallery wrapped canvases come from a facility entirely powered by wind! I, the photographer, am fueled by mostly organic and vegetarian food. I live an eco-conscious lifestyle and it is absolutely important to me that my business also leaves the smallest footprint possible.
Why do you chose to show your prints of your artwork on Plywerk?
When I was first seeking out vendors for my collection of ‘eco-friendly fine art’ product offerings, I knew I wanted something made from bamboo. Bamboo, being a rapidly growing grass, has always been one of my favorite materials.I have patches of bamboo in a variety of types in my backyard and my studio’s floor is made of bamboo. Portland is also one of my favorite places in the world. When I found Plywerk online, I not only loved their use of my favorite sustainable resource, but also their consistent branding and culture. As soon as I received my first Plywerk panel, I was sold. Their attention to detail, high quality materials, quick turnaround and customer service were incomparable. I love how clean-lined the panel’s design is,how the subtle siding of the bamboo makes the mounted image pop and the fact that I have never seen anything like it before. Plywerk art pieces are both my, and my clients’, absolute favorite products that I offer.
How do you keep yourself motivated and your artwork fresh?
Much of my motivation comes from the genuine excitement I have before each session to see and play with my baby clients! The majority of my clients schedule my ‘Baby Plan,’which means I get to work with them to capture every big milestone of their first year of life; bump, newborn, three months, six months and one year. Very quickly I develop a relationship with these families and find myself missing them between sessions! It still amazes me how fast babies grow in a mere three months, and I absolutely love getting to watch them grow and their unique personalities develop in such a short amount of time.
To keep my artwork fresh, I spend a little time each month shooting for myself and myself only. I’m very drawn to nature and have developed a passion for both landscape and macro photography, with which I’ve decorated my house on m favorite 16x24 Plywerk panels. I find that taking time away from ‘client work’ and shooting for myself enables me to stay creative and interested in my art.
What is the hardest part about working with babies? The best part?
The hardest part about working with babies is having to hand them back over to their parents at the end of their session! haha! But seriously, I develop such a love for these sweet souls, especially since I’ve known most of them since they were only 7 or so days old! I’ve even captured a few of their actual births, and often visit with my clients between sessions just to get some cuddle time with them (their babies, that is:)) Building friendships with my clients and watching their babies grow is by far the best part of my job. It’s such a dream come true to be able to make a living from doing what I love. The most challenging part of working with babies is the patience that’s needed, particularly during their newborn session, although I don’t mind the ‘behind the scenes’ comforting at all!
Birthwithoutfearblog.com - This amazing network inspires, supports and empowers all women on their journeys through pregnancy, birth and motherhood with peace, love and healing. It’s so important for women to be informed of, and understand, all of their birth options, and receive unconditional support for whatever path they may decide is best for them.
First thing you would do if you won the lottery?
Assuming it was a very large sum of money, I would pay off my house, buy a house in Washington State, South California and New Zealand, give one million to each of my family members, invest one or two million, and donate the rest to charities around the world.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
The power to turn fear and hate into love and compassion.
If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
I would choose to stay the age that I am now, 28. It’s such an exciting time in my life; I just got married this past April, we’re working on renovating our first home, starting to talk about having children, I’m healthy, extremely happy, and my business is successful. I feel very proud of whom I have become and although accomplished, I have so much life ahead of me.
Favorite coffee drink?
A flat white made with Coava coffee and almond milk.
Win a Cassie Leah Sawyer Print on Plywerk
Post a comment about Cassie's work below and you will automatically be entered to win one of her images on our 3/4" bamboo Plywerk! We’ll select a winner at random at the end of the month so make sure you come back to the blog in early October to see if you won and to check out the new featured artist! We’ll ship it anywhere in the US for free.