How did you get into photography?

I think being a parent got me into and made me a better photographer. I have always enjoyed photography, but didn't really start exploring it until after my daughter was born. Then all of a sudden I had an adorable subject and constant practice. Like most things in my life  I got a project in my head, and  started researching and practicing as much as possible. The more I learned, the more I loved. Kind of like being a parent.

Nikon or Canon?

I get this a lot. I say both. Actually I say any brand is great if you are comfortable with your camera. I primarly shoot with a Nikon D7000, and a more casual Nikon D40 as a back up. I also own a Canon Rebel film camera that is currently collecting dust in the back of my closet. So I am not biased by any means. Once you master the basics you should be able to shoot with any camera if given ten minutes to fiddle with it! Did I mention I carry my Nikon camera gear in a Canon bag?

How did you learn? I get frustrated every time I try and think about another option besides my auto feature.

I am mainly self taught. I decided to learn, am still learning, and I have stuck with it. I have taken a handful of classes, and read a handful of highly recommended books. I am also a member of the Triangle Photography Club. I have a few friends that are professional photographers that I chit chat with in times of need, and I honed in on a guy at my local camera shop that just happens to own the same camera. Finding mentors is essential. Not only do you get the learning benefits, but it gives you someone to chat with that doesn't give you that glazed over look. You know the look that frequents my husband's face whenever the photography lingo comes out. Plus you may have a buddy to switch photography services with! 

What is in your camera bag?

Too much stuff! I am still building my inventory of lens. But since I have a real job during the day to pay the bills, and a very expensive hobby by night I have got a ways to go. Check out the Camera Bag tab for a detailed list. 
What software do you use?
I started out with my stock iMac software iPhoto. Then bought a premium membership to Picnik.com as a supplement. I finally allowed myself to buy Adobe CS5 last winter. The learning curve was steep but thanks to that group of mentors I mentioned I am getting quite fast at editing. Oh and you can learn anything on YouTube. Anything.
Wait! Your name is Stephaine. Why LilyMae?
My inspiration of course. My daughter's name is Lily. Also known as Lilybug, Stinkpot, LilyMonster, and Angelbutt. Did I mention her cuteness? Oh and how she is a mini-me?
Picture taken by Nicole Faby Photography