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Meet Photographer, Teresa

Sleep Number

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As a professional photographer with a full schedule of lifestyle, portrait, and wedding projects, California-based Teresa Vistante will often take thousands of photos in a day, the shutter of her digital camera clicking and clicking and clicking. But sometimes the old-fashioned way is best, and Teresa is especially happy when she puts away the modern technology and picks up her 1980s camera, a medium-format workhorse that uses film, with just sixteen exposures per roll.

It’s not a retro quirk, but a practical consideration: Teresa shoots in a fine-art style and shooting on film helps her get just the right look. With so few shots on each roll, there’s no room for error, and she has to be thoughtful about every element, from composition to lighting to exposure, and have the patience and expertise to close the shutter only when everything is just right. Another advantage of film: digital photography actually requires more work on the back end, culling through thousands of photos, creating the final set, and then fine-tuning each one digitally. With film, Teresa sends the rolls off to a lab, which processes it and sends her both the negatives and adjusted digital files. 

The biggest selling point of film, though, is the stellar end result. “I just love the quality of the images,” Teresa says. “And, yes, we can replicate it in digital, but it’s still not quite the same, in terms of the grain and the colors—it’s much softer and it really fits my aesthetic.”

In fact, film is making something of a broader comeback, Teresa says, particularly among her Millennial clients, who are often well-educated about the distinctions between the formats. “The older generations are like, ‘Why are you using film when there’s digital?’ And the young generations say, ‘Forget digital, we want organic film!’” 

Teresa is quick to point out, though, that it’s not really about the camera, but the training and expertise of the person taking the photos—it’s a misconception to think that with the right equipment, anyone is suddenly a pro. No matter which camera she’s using, she’s always “trying to capture the perfect exposure, the perfect lighting, and trying to work with people and get them to pose—some people are awkward, some people know how to act naturally.” There’s also an element of crowd control, including wedding attendees who wander into her shots, like the time someone got up to videotape first kiss, preventing Teresa from getting that singular shot (thankfully, her second shooter captured the moment from another angle). 

That’s not to say that Teresa wants people to put away their cameras entirely. “I love capturing Grandma holding her iPad—not in front of the couple during their first kiss, but just as part of the scene, because that’s part of the story, too. That iPad might not be around in ten years, so seeing it reminds us of 2018.” She loves this part of her job: connecting with people and telling their story through her work. 

The story of Teresa’s day ends with rest on her Sleep Number® mattress. She and her husband, Anthony, got the mattress two years ago. They went to their local Sleep Number® store just to try it out, and got such great service that they still talk with their sleep professional regularly. They ended up buying an i8 bed and, Teresa says, “It’s changed our sleep, it’s changed everything. I love adjusting it—at the end of the day, we’ll put the bed in zero gravity and watch some TV program and just relax,” savoring the quiet time before falling asleep and then, in the morning, starting their story once again.  

Teresa’s Sleep Number is 65 and Anthony’s is 45. 

See some of Teresa’s work here.

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