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I am not big on resolutions. I have never made on in my life. If a change needed to be made I just did it. I made a few changes in my life that I am beyond happy with. There were times where I wished and prayed change would come, or not come. Unanswered prayers. I used to be thatkful for my prayers not being answered. It wasnt until recently that I realized that those unanswered prayers were actually heard. The big man upstairs did hear them. They were just answered in a way I did not understand or were too difficult to handle at the time to ralize that my life events happened just as they were supposed to happen. I am so thankful. I truely am blessed for the person who I have turned out to be. I'm not too bad!
I am going to start off this year with blogging more. If you want to read great! If not... that's fine too. I will write this as if you are sitting here with me talking. I will not pay attention to grahmer, spelling, typos... I may even stutter here and there. This is who I am. You will either love me or hate me.
I have been reluctant to post my life on here or social media really. I don't know why. But I want to start documenting my life and what I have to offer the world.
I was reading some blog ideas and it was suggested that I start off talking about why I started photography. I don't know if my story is interesting at all but it's mine and here it goes.
6/18/2011 Mike and I were married up in NY. We got there by RV with his family. It was the best wedding we could have had. Fun was had by all. Soon after we returned back home in TX I got really sick. They thought it was viral meningitis or Typhus fever. It was insane and intense. That lasted 9 months. In that time I was thinking of what I wanted o do for work and what could follow us from place to place as we were moving soon. I had just seperated from my employer that left a horrible taste in my mouth. I chose loyalty instead of money and got burned int eh process. (Follow the money, when it comes to employment) lesson learned. So I thought about becoming a photographer. That would be so easy and I would love it!!!
My husband found me a DSLR. A Nikon D5100. I was so excited and was confident that this camera was going to give me perfect photo! Everytime!! HAHAHA (Laugh with me)
That's one of my firsts!!! I was so distraught. I could not get this camera to get an amazing photo. LOL So I decided to read the manual.
It helped a little. Not much. It was all confusing and I really didnt understand it al all. So we decided to send me to school. The local classes were filled and we would be transfering out before the next semester would start. I found an online school. New York Instute of Photography. I would be able to start it in TX and take it with me to FL. Finish it up there. Soooooo....I read and I studied. I took photographs....
I started to see some light at the end of the tunnel.... (the begining I should say!)
Things began to click. I began to understand the ability of my camera was not inside the camera but inside myself. Once the relationship clicked. I began to start applying the knowledge. (And then again our world got turned upside down again. Michael got into OCS and he would be leaving for CT for 5+ months. We decided to stay with my parents in NY. Photography school was rushed. I wound up finishing while in NY but was no where near where I needed to be.
Looking back at these I really have an appreciation for my sister Lori, the girls, Kristina, Robin and their girls, Kelia, Frank Steph and Nicholas.... They really let me put them thrugh the ringer!!! They still do. My family has been very supportive. They have helped wiht advice, props.... LOL disasters and sucesses! Thanks guys if you ever read this! I really needed your help to do all this!
My biggest thanks are to my husband. He was the start of all this and has learned to let me do my thing. It will be ok. He is the type to plan things to the T. With all this you just really can't. Art is unpredictable. I remember the day we both realized that I am ok. This is not at bad thing in any way. He saw my first mini session at the church to be a diaster. At the start of it, I thought so too. But as the hits kept coming we made it thru them and it was a success. We made it! And we did ok. He said to me, " You keep on surprising me. Everytime I think things aren't going to work out ok. You somehow pull through. I always held his hand with this photography adventure. And my sisters'. Now, I got this. (I think).
So that brings us to today... I still feel that I am not where I need to be. I know I need to keep pushing myself more and more. If you're looking to get into photography. You're going to hear it a thousand times. Its not the camera... It's the photographer.
With all the craziness that comes with a PCS, I really was not planning on doing a mini session for Christmas. After all we just had a buzy senior rush in October and November. I did not see Christmas as around the bend, let alone throwing together any sessions. But It's here and it's happening. I am beyone excited and nervous to have throw somehting together so fast and everyone has been amazing with scheduling and sending me ideas. I appreciate it all. And to those that are helping make it happen. I can't wait!!!!
So recently I found my self blocked after talking with a potential client. It came shortly after giving her my current pricing. This particular person used my photography services back when I was just starting out and since then, my prices have gone up. So has my skill level and equipment. So I want to clear a few things up as to why photographers charge the way they do. As you grow so do the skills, expenses, equipment and overhead. You pay for what you get.
Here are some things to take into consideration...
You book your session for an hour and you think that is it. Done. What you're not thinking of is the traveling time to reach the location, sometimes set up time, time spent talking to the clients prior and post session, the actual shoot, transferring and backing up the data, post processing (editing), reviewing, delivering the photos or scheduling a pick up. Each photo has its own process. It needs to be opened and converted weather it needs any enhancements or not. Each portrait gets at least 20 minutes from me. So if you get 10 edited images, that is at least 3 hours of work.
My gear is a full frame DSLR. The lenses I use are top of the line. Plus there are several to chose from for different needs. If lighting is needed- it's the best. Lets not forget the most important gear... experience and education. I went to school for this. Its not just point and shoot. Its lighting, angles and posing.... so much more. And I still have more to learn! One big thing especially for larger jobs, is that sometimes an assistant is required. A second set of hands are always needed!
3. Online Services
Maintenance of a website is no easy task. You need to learn how to build one or pay someone to do it for you. Either way it still costs money for it to exist. A FaceBook account requires time to set up and time to maintain.
Apart from being a good photographer, they have to be CEO, marketing manager, CEO, salesperson, production worker, buyer, negotiator, driver, networker, organizer etc. That’s the kind of skill-set of Professional Photographer. Experience is the one thing that may beat everything. The Professionals are vastly experienced. They can advise you over a number of thing which you would not be able to decide. They know whats right and what could go wrong. What will work or not work. The professional will push themselves to get the best shot possible. You are choosing a photographer for their ability to take and create a beautiful photograph. This is not a forced photo such as you get at school. We take our time and skills to take the best photos possible. We are not pushing through a couple hundred children.
5. Insurance and Taxes
A legit business carries insurance. Yep thats not free either. We need to cover ourselves just in case just as you would your car or house. We also need to pay taxes. So we need to either pay for someone to do our taxes or in my case learn how to do it myself. I am learning as I go and making my own system. That takes time as well. So you see there is a great deal of time and care put into a photography business. You're getting someone who cares about their work and product.
The truth is that you get what you pay for. I gave out free sessions and the photos taken were that of a beginner photographer. As time and experience progresses so did the photographs and the pricing. You will get photographs worth the time and money involved.
Here are a few favorites from our Mini Sessions! I wanted to post before Easter but then realized that maybe some might have wanted to save them as a surprise!!! So here are some of the photos from our interesting and extremely fun day!!!! Thank you for all that chose to participate. I hope you had fun too!!!
It's official! We are moving. Around the end of the school year we will already have begun the process of transferring to our nations capital. Washington D.C. This move was not expected and really didn't think that it was in our cards but none the less this is where we are destined to go.
I believe we are being sent there to fore-fill a purpose. Just like we were sent to NJ.
I will never forget the day Mike told us we were going to Philly. I laughed and immediately thought of Nicole Reaves. She had the great pleasure of being involved during my first transfer with Mike. Her husband Charles and mine worked together in Corpus Christi. Nicole and I worked together under the umbrella company that shall never be named. (She helped me get the job!) Anyway, Nicole called me up one day while I was at home. She said "Girl, has your husband called you?" Me, I said no with question of what was going on. She told me that orders came in and how pissed I was going to be. I begged her to tell me, promising that I would never tell. She tells me Humboldt, CA. She continues to tell me how awful it is and mind as well be living in Seattle. So I promise to not say a word. We hang up.....
I'm sitting there thinking how bad can it be... It must be bad if Nicole called me to warn me.
Just then my phone is ringing.... My husband calls and tells me to sit down. He tells me that the orders came in and I love my husband to death I really do, but he takes 10,000 years to get the news out. He says that we are moving to Key West. (Ohhhh I love it there 6 months of beautiful)
So you can imaging the surprise on my face when he tells me we are moving to PHILLY!!! I think great he will joke and tell me we got someplace at least a little warmer..... NOPE. He was telling the truth. WHERE IS THE COAST IN PHILLY????
Needless to say we learned quickly where our coast was going to be. The Delaware River and his station at Delaware bay in Philadelphia, PA.
We chose to live over the bridge in NJ. I am NOT going to tell you how much I hate NJ or cut it down. I met a few moms here that have made this stay a great one. Lisa, Mandy and Jeanette. They are truly great. The good news of all this is that we get to have just a little more time to share till we leave and Washington DC is just a couple hours from where our friends and family live.
So my father in law got my husband and I a ride over NYC with Sky River Helicopters. I think this may have been one of my most favorites moments. Maybe EVER. Besides the kids.
It was a 90 minute ride. Every single minute was breathtaking! What a blast!!! Below are some of the photos that I took. We had to have the doors on so shooting through helicopter windows kinda is a bummer, but WHO CARES!!!
Despite getting motion sickness from looking through a lens, I would do this 10,000 times again!
This ride was absolutely amazing. I hope one day to do it again!!!! :)
Next one I really want it to be with doors off- over volcanos in Hawaii!!!!!
Could you imagine????
My dad told me a story of how when the police department first got their helicopters, their boss gave them permission to fly to the island to pick up their pay checks. Could you imagine... this is back in the late 70's. When they landed everyone was wondering what was going on... Nothing, just picking up checks. Must be nice taking a helicopter ride to go pick up a paycheck. Dressed in uniform and all your gear! LOL
So today we had an amazing day!!!! It started out with meeting an awesome makeup artist Amanda Wheeler.
Amanda definitely has a gift! Her make up skills were perfectly matched for each person in our Zombie shoot! If you have a chance please hop over to her FaceBook Page and check out her work! You will love it!!!
Want to check out the rest of our Zombie collection! Head over to the Zombie Gallery!
I would like to thank Lisa, Mandy, Chrissy, Jeanette, Amanda and all the kids... This was such a fun filled day!
Please feel free to send me your play and I will post it here to the blog for sharing.... Be sure to mark your photo so we know who edited it. Thank you!