Monday, October 17, 2011

You don't need it...

When I started out in photography it was purely for the fun of it.  My friend and I signed up for a photography class at the De Anza community college.  She had a shiny new SLR and I had an ancient Minolta with a handful of lenses and a few filters.  Under the guidance of our professor, Sita, we learned the in's and out's of our cameras.  We learned all about f-stop, shutter speed, ISO, focus, composition, and of course developing, cropping, dodging, and burning our images.

I remember the feeling of my first DSLR and my amazement at all of it's cool functions and features.  It's been five years and I'm still amazed by the capabilities of DSLR's.  I've learned so much in the past five years.  Along the way I've fallen into many "you must have this" and "buy the latest and greatest" traps.  I've lusted after gear that cost enough to feed a small country for a year and convinced myself that I just couldn't go on with out all bells and whistles.

What I wish someone would have told me is that there are going to be a multitude of people who want to sell you things to make your business better.  They'll throw everything from a shiny new camera body to a flashy new web template at you.  They'll try and convince you that if you want your business to grow or if you want to be a better photographer you have to have it.  Most of it will be good, the majority of it won't be necessary.  This push to buy the next big thing leads many photographers into building their business backwards.  They spend like crazy and then expect the money to come flowing in.  I don't know many businesses that work that way.  Most start from the ground up.  Buy the basics get the clients and then build. It's a slow and sometimes tedious process, but it's tried and true.

I recently bought the OneLight DVD from Zack Arias.  It's amazing!  His straight forward teaching style coupled with being able to see him work on location is so helpful!  At a time when I was considering buying more and more gear for my business this DVD was just what I needed.  A firm reminder that it's not all about the gear.  Others will tell you that it is, but it just isn't true. Sure some gear can make the job easier, but the job can get done with a solid body, quality glass, a good off camera flash and a firm understanding of the magic triangle.  I hope I am able to keep this in mind as I continue to grow my business and perfect my craft. Getting back to the simplicity of shooting without worrying about what new gear I "need" has been so nice! Working with less helps me to improve my photography in ways I hadn't known that it would!





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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Justine & Cora

This past weekend I had the pleasure of photographing my neighbor and her dog, Cora.  They are so much fun.  Cora is such a sweet dog!  She absolutely loves Hayden and protects him anytime he is around her.  When he was just learning to walk she watched him very closely to make sure he didn't fall into the pond!  Justine has a super special relationship with Cora.  It's so sweet to watch.

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That's her blanket and stuffed animal from her gramy! 
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This is one of my favorites! It just tells their story so well. 
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This pose was Justine's idea and I think it turned out so cute!  Cora was a very cooperative model when treats were involved. :) 

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This is probably my favorite. I think it's so funny!  
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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Amanda and Kelton

Months ago I took maternity portraits for my next door neighbor, Amanda.  She and I met when she brought Hayden to see me while I was on the telemetry unit after having him.  We had just moved to PA in July and I hadn't gotten to know any of the neighbors very well.  She handed me my little bundle of joy and said "You know we're neighbors?".  I had no idea, but I was happy to know that she was helping to care for Hayden while I couldn't.
When I found out she was having baby number two I couldn't resist asking if she wanted some maternity and newborn portraits.  The maternity part worked out well, but the newborn portraits ended up being a bit of a challenge.  We both had buys schedules and I didn't get to take them until he was two months old.  It's better late than never though, right?

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 She was so tiny even while pregnant! 

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Her little boy, Justin, was so excited about having a baby brother!

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When I was pregnant I never would have made it up off the ground if I'd tried this! :) 
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Of course he has to be a Steeler's fan! 

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 Don't you love little baby hands and feet?  They are so perfect! 
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He was somewhere between awake and asleep the entire session.  Mama would feed him and he'd almost sleep and then his eyes would pop open! 
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I love this super snuggley pose! 

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And this is by far my favorite! Resting so easy on mama's shoulder!  I better be careful or I'll get the baby bug! 

Thanks Amanda and Kelton for letting me take your pictures!
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