After everything I learned last year (read more here), I realized that it’s the “helping others” part that I want to focus on most in the coming year(s). This is the first year that my goals will look quite different than they did in the past; traditionally mine have read something like: “more weddings”, “more family photoshoots”, etc. Not that there was anything wrong with that approach, I did need to augment my bookings for my business to be sustainable. However, its the experiences I’m creating through those photoshoots that I want to focus on most.Read More
I like to use the changing of the calendar year as a start- and end-point to evaluate my metrics and to reevaluate my goals. This is the first time that I ended the year with a very different sense of achievement than I began: I entered hoping to bolster my bookings and set my goals accordingly. But I ended having learned the true “why” behind my drive to do each of these types of photoshoots. In essence, my work has become not just about the end product (typically a storybook photo album) but the entire experience of the session, and by extension an enjoyment of life.Read More
I’ve been printing my photos since I first got into photography 15 years ago. In fact, I decided I’d pursue the art further when I won a local photo contest in 6th grade - I’d entered a print of a butterfly. Photographs and collections of photographs have been a part of my life for a decade and a half, and have been the focus of my business from the very beginning. So, to be able to curate my work into our own family heirloom was pretty special.Read More
As quite a few of our old film photos were snapshots taken as we went about our daily lives, I spent my first evening back home just sneaking around the house trying to take ninja candids. It wasn’t until yesterday as I was planning my social media for the week that I came across an old 35mm project I did in college, doing this exact same thing. I’d shot several rolls of black and white images around my parents’ and grandparents’ houses with the goal to capture each family members’ personality through environmental portraiture. In essence, I wanted to capture them doing their mundane daily tasks, going about their routines in the places they spent their most time, working off of the assumption that through time and repetition they’d created spaces which conveyed their characteristics through decorative choices, lighting preferences and clutter (or lack thereof.) I have always been fascinated with people’s chosen environments, which is why my style of portraiture often uses whatever local architecture or nature is there in order to frame my subjects. But it wasn’t until looking through that school project, and subsequently reflecting on this summer’s family shoot, that I finally understood the importance of environment: it’s often just as telling of someone’s identity and personality. And, in a project dedicated to conveying my family’s story, showing true character was paramount.Read More
Alison, Tom and Josie were one such family. When Jen put us in touch, Alison said that they hadn't had any family photos made since their daughter, Josie, now three-and-a-half years old, was born - it was definitely time to change that! A family who loves simple pleasures, they wanted to do their photoshoot in their home to "capture the simple joy of being together just the three of us." I love in-home sessions for that exact reason; not only do they put my subjects at ease in front of the camera because they're in their own home, but they allow me to capture how they actually live their day-to-day lives. To me, these lifestyle sessions are the essence of what my brand is about: documenting the simple moments that my clients will want to remember years later. Not to mention, photographing inside meant we didn't have to worry about the constant Portland March rain!Read More
Somehow, this sweet girl turns 1 this month which means I'm doing a little throwback to our photoshoot from last year. I don't frequently do newborn sessions, but after this one, I've totally fallen in love with the genre!
As with all of my shoots, I prefer to take the "lifestyle" approach to newborn photoshoots as it's not only easier on both child and parents, but better captures what life is really like during these precious first couple weeks. After all, to me, the joy in and importance of having infant photos made is having the ability to look back years later when they're older and remember exactly what life was like as new parents.Read More
In writing these posts about Erin's portrait sessions while we were abroad earlier this month, I went a bit backwards since we actually went to Iceland first. This isn't because I enjoyed London more; on the contrary, if given the choice between photographing a classy engagement session in London and an adventure elopement in Iceland, I would undoubtedly choose the latter. And that is precisely the reason.Read More
The most challenging aspect of documenting a vacation isn't watching for the moments or framing the scene, it is (by far) working with the available light even at 2pm on a bright and sunny day. However, this is precisely why I enjoy this type of session! Working in countless less-than-ideal lighting conditions in my wedding work has instilled in me a deep appreciation for harsh lighting, particularly in making use of natural spotlights to dramatically highlight my subjects' face and little else. Although, occasionally, a bright backlight leaving the face in shadow is equally as pleasing to me, at least when my subject is running through a field of wildflowers.Read More
Since they hadn't gotten photos with the whole family together in quite a long time, we started the gorgeous sunlit evening with some group portraits out in front of the house - first with just Sue and her daughters, then with spouses as well. Not only did their outfit colors all coordinate with each other (and the house!), but they had so many perfect seating spots for portraits - especially the wooden swing - so I felt like the yard was made just to be a photographer's playground.Read More
Music has been an essential part of my life for as long as I can remember: I don't start driving without choosing a song, I immediately turn on a playlist when I get home, I live for seeing live shows. There are certain songs and records that define each and every period of my life. For the past 6.5 years - since I left home and set off on the journey towards "adulthood" or whatever this is - Imagine Dragons (the band) has provided me with the majority of these tracks. I could discuss them for days, but the best of them all that literally gave me the defining moment to move forward into a new phase of my life is "Bet My Life" off their sophomore album Smoke and Mirrors.Read More
Each year, right around Christmas, I evaluate my goals from the ending year and then write out my goals for the coming year. I them let them sit for a few weeks while I evaluate other metrics - making sure that these are the goals that really resonate - and eventually come back to them during the first week of the new year to write this blog post. This year I've been so busy that I'm just now getting to it!
Nonetheless, I'm more than a little excited about this coming year. While each of the past 6 years has brought be a step closer to my ultimate career goals, this coming year is the first one where I feel like I'm really on the right track towards doing exactly what I want to be doing. It took me a while to figure out that exact intersection where my skills, enthusiasm for the work and ability to help people all coincide to create my "calling", but I'm only 24 so it's hard to complain. So, without further ado, here are my intended plans for 2018!Read More
New Year's Eve has always been one of my favorite holidays. Not for the parties or the food (okay, maybe the food) but because it's a collective time of reflection and refocusing. I've always been a very goal-oriented person (which is both a blessing and a curse) so for my business, this gives me a very specific deadline to analyze not only the growth and financial status of my business, but also gauge my passion for the work I've been doing and decide what I want to pursue further. I'll discuss in my next post what my goals are for the year, but as it's still 2017 for a couple hours, I want to look back at the goals I set for myself this time last year and reflect on just how beautiful this year was for me.
So here, in the same order as I wrote them last year, are my 2017 goals and how well they played out:Read More
Our very first introduction to the country was landing on a runway fenced in to keep out the cows not 20 feet away. That was a new one for me! We made a beeline for the hotel where Dad and Jake stayed (and Jake slept for the next 6 hours until dinner) and I set off in search of transportation to my shoot an hour away. I'd worried most about the flight delay because I'd scheduled a family shoot for Sunday late morning, thinking that would give me plenty of time to adjust and get my bearings, but having to learn on the fly was just as well.Read More
Next to capturing your big day, creating the photo album to memorialize your special moments is my favorite part of the process. To aid you in our creation process, I've put together some step-by-step directions for choosing the specs of your album.Read More
Every album comes with its own set of storytelling challenges and for family albums, that challenge is generally making sure each person has their fair share of page space. For this album, we used a mix of sibling photos, spreads with all three girls (the sisters plus their cousin), and a few individual pages and spreads to give each sister the spotlight.Read More
As it turned out, Lauren and Chris were the perfect couple for me to make my entré into the maternity world! Down-to-earth, open for whatever poses I wanted to try and completely comfortable with each other and the camera. Though it was the "dead of winter" in theory, we actually had a pleasant 50 degree morning with clear mountain views and a lingering sunrise. This provided the perfect backdrop for our first set of images on the overlook beside the house. I like to start each session shooting from a distance to ease my subjects into the idea of being the stars of the show and the Biltmore always provides beautiful architectural and natural details to frame these wide shots.Read More
While I try to stay pretty on top of my blogging and social media, there is certainly something to be said for putting away the technology (except my camera, obviously!) and enjoying the moments, so that's what I did for the rest of my Portland trip. Though I arrive back in Asheville a couple days ago and am now headed to Columbia, SC to shoot the first round of the women's NCAA tournament, I had too much fun in Portland not to share.Read More
I used to tease people who cried at weddings or movies - here's lookin' at you, Mom - and especially those who cried happy tears at things, but now I've become one of those people myself! Yesterday's forecast was more forgiving than any of the other days this week but still looked bleak, yet by the time Jen and John picked me up from my morning coffee to head over the Mt. Tabor, the sun was shining brilliantly. I've seen this happen many times, pouring rain during wedding day preparations only to miraculously turn into blue skies just in time, but the phenomenon never ceases to amaze me. That was the first ingredient of the recipe to make me cry.Read More