Thursday, March 19, 2015

no time for a bully

Today, around 9am, I was bashed on social media. Not just myself, but my business. And not just my business, but my chosen business branding and practices. If you are not a photographer, you may not understand how this could happen. Although you don't need to be in this business to recognize a bully.

The bully in this situation is a man who is a seasoned, professional, well-respected photographer in my community. He owns a studio a few miles away from me. I've actually discussed with him the possibilities of renting his studio once in awhile since I don't normally need one for my business practices. This man has been in the business for years and is old enough to be my father. For some reason, today, he felt threatened by me.

I will not go into anymore detail over the conversation that took place. What I will go over is how cut-throat and scary this business can be. The situation that took place today was not the first time I have seen this community horrendously bully someone. It happens all over social media, several times a day. It's just never hit so close to home.

It's amazing how quickly you find out who is in your corner and who isn't. It's impressive that in a city of more than half a million people, the competition is so brutal that grown adults feel the need to belittle each other. To voice an opinion that they are, in some way, better than you. That since you are a mother, they are better than you. And since you choose to use a different form of marketing, they are better than you. And since you have less years in the market, they are better than you. And by owning and using an iPhone everyday, you are somehow less of a professional.

When I first began, I had no clue what I was getting into. I just thought "Hey! I love taking pictures! I love working with people! I love crawling around chasing kids and making them smile! I love my art! I love that you love my art!" No more than that. It was fun. It was rewarding. It was (and always has been) my passion. And the best was that it paid my bills so that my husband could go back to school.

I am here to tell you, we all start somewhere. If you have been in business for 2 years, I am PROUD of YOU. If you have been in business for 40 years, I am PROUD of YOU. If you are wanting to break into this business and take your passion a step further, I am PROUD of YOU. I WANT you to succeed. I NEED you to succeed. We, as professional photographers, need to stick together. We need to show others what this profession is all about. This profession is about CREATING. It is about loving what you create. It is about the pride associated with each shutter click.

Why is our community tearing each other apart? Can we not lift each other up and help develop our peers so that we can all thrive? Is it impossible to think that we may encourage someone to succeed, even though they may live down the street? Can we not communicate with those artists whom may or may not have a similar clientele? Are you scared a client of yours might like someone elses work better? Are you nervous that someone else is taking a different approach than you? 

STOP BEING A BULLY. Just stop. It is getting you nowhere. And when you throw it all out there on social media, you make an ass out of yourself ('private' group or not, people are seeing it). When you publicly shame one photographer, you are shaming the entire community. You are taking the fun out of the work, and I'm not just going to roll over and allow that to happen. When you see these things happening on social media (whether it is photography related or not), STAND UP for what you know to be right.

If you are attempting to break into the business, have been doing this for a few years, or have been doing this for your entire life, I am MORE than happy to answer ANY questions you may have. I will not judge you. I will not judge your work. I will not discourage you in any way, and I most certainly will never belittle you. I will, and do, encourage the individuals in my photography world to push further, do better, and never stop learning. You're amazing. Don't ever forget that.

Now, turn to social media and go build someone up. I'll leave this pretty here for you ;)



Monday, March 2, 2015

Kentuckiana's Biggest Baby Fair

Over the weekend, I participated in a fabulous local event and I wanted to share a few of the other vendors who were there with me. On a day-to-day basis, Louisville sometimes feels huge. Then you step into a room and suddenly you feel like you've seen all of these faces before. That's the feeling that makes me know Louisville is my forever home.

The event was hosted by Heartland Music Together and The Mommy Nest, a non-profit group designed to help and support local families with young children. This group is not just for play-date matchmaking and much needed adult interaction, but they also give back to our community in a huge way with their Storking program. Members are able to nominate families who may need a little extra help with diapers, grocery shopping, cards with encouraging messages, cooked meals, formula, or even just a night out. Their current goal is to help 1-3 families per month, and I encourage you to visit their site to read more about it!

Have a look at the links below. So many fabulous people, small business owners, and vendors under one roof!

I know I'm missing several of you, so if you are reading this, PLEASE comment below and I will happily add your link to the list!

Baptist Health Louisville
The Diaper Fairy
Thirty-One Gifts
Happy Family Organic Superfoods
Birth Care Network
Intact Kentucky
Louisville Kids Fair
Heartland Music Together
Kentuckiana Babywearers
Infant Swimming Resource
Personal Opinion, Inc
CPR Solutions of Louisville
Petite Princess Parties
ICAN of Louisville
Placenta Encapsulation by Julia Pickett
Louisville Mothers of Twins Club
Milk and Baby
Full Circle Holistic
Paint It Sweet

 And now, for the goodness that you really visit for...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

making the crop ratio simple

While my world of photography sometimes looks as if I click a button, load some images, do a few computer tricks, and reveal the magic, I can assure you there is much more to it. One large part of this job is math. *insert tears and temper tantrums*

I hate math. I'm no good at it. It takes way too much time and concentration and I have neither. It blows my mind how some people are just born with this type of brain. My youngest is a math guru and thrives on speaking numbers...vomit. My brother can pretty much solve any mathematical equation given to him and, get this, he thinks it's FUN. That's not me. That gene broke off before entering my body. I'm the kid who could come home with a "simple" math worksheet in middle school and spend the rest of the night sobbing and hating my life (part of that is just middle school, but yea).

Seeing as how this math part of life is now my reality (although I attempted to dodge all areas related), I want to try to explain cropping images to those of you who think like me.

Have you ever taken a photo, tried to enlarge it to an 8x10, only to have it come back from the printer with a giant white border around it? Obnoxious, right? And you can't figure it out, right? It all has to do with ratios. Do you know what I'm not good with? Ratios. My brain doesn't read them (no sarcasm here). So when someone tries to explain this problem to me in ratio terms, I shut down. I can't be the only one out there with this issue, which is why I feel the need to try to explain it better. You can Google for days (I have) and you will not come up with this explanation. I truly hope I'm helping someone else out there with this same problem!

When I (or you) take a photo, it is shot in camera as a 4x6. That makes sense, right? 4x6's are the typical "photo album" size. We're talking inches now instead of ratios. I can stand behind that. 

You go to enlarge your 4x6 original to an 8x10 thinking it will just get bigger, only to find out you are either stuck with that obnoxious white border, or you can cut into the picture, possibly losing limbs, part of a head, or lots of details from the original. Here's why...

*Brace yourself. Equations are coming*

If shot as a 4x6, you have to enlarge in the same format to keep all of the image. So you would enlarge as follows: 

4x2=8 and 6x2=12 (The 2 is because we are doubling the size. You can insert whichever number you'd like here depending on how large you want your final image.)

So in doubling the size of a 4x6, you end up with an 8x12. Have you ever tried shopping for an 8x12 frame. I have. I ended up having to custom order it. Blech.  What you will find an abundance of would be the 8x10 frames. Millions of them. But you have to chop 2 inches off your image now to make it fit. OR, have it printed with the ugly border.

See the images below for the visual piece of this topic.
Since I shot this with plenty of room, there is no problem with cropping/enlarging to any size I need. It simply takes a bit of the background, but still leaves my breathtakingly gorgeous subject.

If you are really wanting to enlarge an image but you are risking cutting off vital pieces of the image, simply do the math again until you find a size that will fit in a frame you're happy with. I'll give you a hit:

The next size up is a 16x24 ;)

Now when shooting, think about these equations and do yourself a favor. Take a step back. Open up the space between you and your subject so that you don't lose the awesome detail of that image, and you can enlarge in whatever way you wish.




Monday, February 23, 2015

Before and After

I rarely do before and after reveals. I never like to share my work when it's not "perfect". I never thought of myself as 'Type A' but I am. I'll embrace it now that I've come to the realization. If it's not to my standards, you won't see it. Simple as that. Maybe it's an artist thing? Maybe it's just me? Either way, the struggle is real over here!

In order to break my routine and reach out to help other aspiring photographers, it just has to happen. I must show where my work begins and where it ends.

All of the following images were shot in RAW format. When people hear 'RAW', they typically think this just means the original shot out of the camera before editing. This is not the case. RAW is a specific file type, just like a jpeg, pdf, or gif. When shooting in RAW, an entirely new world of possibilities opens up in editing. To me, it is the difference between molding Play-doh that has sat out over night and molding a fresh, brand new can. If you are wanting more detail on this, please hit up Google. You'll find an endless amount of info written by people who can explain it much better than I can!

I only edit in Lightroom. I own Photoshop, but never touch it. Never. I have no need to use it. I strive to perfect my images in camera (Type A, remember?), and then do simple, soft edits in Lightroom (and sometimes a little booger and drool removal).

Over the years, I have created several one-click presets, as well as a handful of brushes. These tools help me work quickly and efficiently, as well as set my work apart from every other photographer's work. Eventually, I will bundle all of these presets and brushes and sell them to beginning photographers. You'll be the first to know when that day arrives! Until then, enjoy! And please feel free to ask questions!


SOOC RAW - One Click Color Edit - One Click B&W Matte Edit

SOOC RAW - One Click Color Edit + Spring Brush - One Click B&W Matte Edit

SOOC RAW - One Click Color Edit + Soft Matte Brush - One Click B&W Matte Edit

SOOC RAW - One Click Color Edit + Spring Brush + Sunset Brush - One Click B&W Matte Edit

SOOC RAW - One Click Color Edit + Sunset Brush - One Click B&W Matte Edit

SOOC RAW - One Click Color Edit + Spring Brush + Sunset Brush - One Click B&W Matte Edit



Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Hunt For Perfection

I have officially been in business since 2011, however I did my fair share of research before I opened shop. I have continuously shopped for *the* very best products to both fit my branding, and offer my amazing clients. Over the years, there has just been something lacking in my prints. I'm never completely satisfied when those shipments hit my door. I just wanted something more. I knew it was out there, or that eventually someone would be developing the exact thing I was needing for my business. So I kept shopping. I kept developing. I hunted and ordered and purchased and hunted some more.

Last week, it happened. A brand new company just formed. They knew exactly what the photography world had been lacking. They did their research, developed their product, and have created the most gorgeous, breathtaking pieces to have ever hit my porch. The colors, the textures, the richness and details have left me in awe of my own work, and this is a rarity.

So now, my product line for 2015 and beyond is complete. Just wait until you hold them in your hands. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Power of 3.

I know I brag often about my clients. I just can't help it. Long story short: I ended up as the default photographer of a birth. Loss of communications with the original photographer, then an emergency back surgery for the next. I ended up on the top of the list, and I am *so* grateful for all of these unforeseen circumstances (although I do wish my photographer friend and mentor a quick recovery!).

I will make this brief, as I know you come here for the pictures and not to read my gab, but this couple has a bond like I have never witnessed before.The love and support in that room that night was nothing short of spectacular. I could physically feel the power that these two radiate, and I consider it an honor to have been able to document it.

Happy Birthday, Samuel John.



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