Photographer Spotlight: Regina Pagles

Posted by: on Jan 06, 2014

Photographer Spotlight: Regina Pagles


Regina Pagles is a hobbyist photographer originally from Long Island. In September 2010, she set up a small studio where she began honing her craft in portraiture. When she’s not photographing friends and family, Regina and her husband run a bicycle shop just outside of Zion National Park.

My first camera was…
Dad’s Nikon 2F

I got started in portrait photography…
I considered myself primarily a landscape photographer until I was introduced to studio lighting and portraiture at Photoshop World 2010. Westcott had a ‘Shoot Out’ booth on the Expo floor with professional lighting, sets and models. I was instantly hooked and spent hours at the booth taking hundreds of photographs. Upon returning home, I entered Westcott Flickr Photoshop World ‘Shoot Out’ contest and amazingly, won first place. Shortly after, a truck pulled up to my front door and delivered a bunch of lighting equipment. Luckily my husband and I had the space and I set up a small 400 sq. ft. studio. I can’t imagine ever going back to landscapes!

I wanted to become a photographer because…
I was just following in my dad’s footsteps.

Photo by Regina Pagles
Photo by Regina Pagles

My first paying photography job was…
Photography and retouching are just a hobby and I do not accept paid assignments. I made a promise to myself not to turn my passion into a career and I am proud to consider myself an amateur. It is and always will be just a hobby. I have ruined many hobbies in the past, turning them into jobs. It may sound silly and possibly extreme, but I am of the opinion that once a person hands you money, they own your creative vision. It becomes all about the client’s wants and needs and I want it to be all about me! I am perfectly fine with no deadlines, no do-overs and no unsatisfied clients!

I would describe my style or shooting philosophy as…
I am very particular when it comes to who I photograph. I live in a very small town (pop. 500), so 99 percent of my subjects are friends. I rarely will photograph a person I don’t already know and will never photograph a person that doesn’t inspire me.

I want images that tell a story. Extracting expression from my subject is my number one priority and also my biggest challenge. With experience it is becoming more obvious that is the difference between a blank empty stare and an intriguing expression. Previously, I would have settled for less, but now I throw away some very ‘good’ images. Nothing bores me more than ‘good.’

Photo by Regina Pagles
Photo by Regina Pagles

Some of my industry role models are…because…
Peter Hurley, for being the first person to teach me the importance of interacting with the person in front of my camera. Sue Bryce, for sharing her posing techniques that helped take my images to the next level. Joel Grimes, for his philosophy, “Hard work will out perform talent any day of the week.” Peter Lindbergh, for his ability to capture images that tell a story.

I knew there was no turning back when…
When I got bored with retouching.

If I could choose one dream gig, it would be…
The opportunity to photograph Peter Hurley.

Photo by Regina Pagles
Photo by Regina Pagles

One thing NO ONE could have ever prepared me for is…
How challenging and stressful it is to take pictures of people, even for free!

My favorite piece of gear is…
Gosh… not very gear-centric. Sad to say, I don’t have any favorites pieces of gear. I do however, LOVE the chair that I purchased for seated poses and use it religiously!

What is your current set-up?

  • Canon 5d mkll
  • Canon 24-105mm ‘L’ lens
  • Paul C. Buff Cybersync triggers
  • AlienBee B800 (7)
  • Paul C. Buff soft boxes, strip boxes, beauty dish and octa box
  • Westcott stands/booms
  • 9’ Thunder Gray seamless backdrop
Photo by Regina Pagles
Photo by Regina Pagles

Photo by Regina Pagles
Photo by Regina Pagles