Portrait Photography

The Best Part of Weddings

A couple of years ago I was staunchly in support of wedding photographers not charging outlandish prices...  Until I overbooked.   I know that you can crank out a wedding edit in a week if that's all you do.  In retrospect now I realize why it takes a month to get a wedding edit out and sometimes six weeks, because in between shooting four weddings, and a full time job, along with sessions, family and attempting to have a life of my own I've felt like I was drowning in obligations.  But, there is still something I love about weddings.  But I will warn you wannabe wedding photographers who have that Canon Rebel and are shooting over the shoulders of the paid photographers to be careful what you wish for.   


Megan and Daniel wedding edits-1-16

Weddings are glamorous, sure, but after you go to a wedding every week for a month straight...  They all begin to blend together.  They are all unique, yet they are all the same.  Ceremony and tradition call for similarities among this event that we humans in the western world call weddings.   

Megan and Daniel wedding edits-1-42

But I love weddings, and simultaneously I'm tired of them.   

Jessica's wedding -1-2

The best part of weddings are the families... The best part of weddings for a photographer is going through the photos and seeing a lot of clear shots with great exposures.  The best part of photographing a wedding is creating a lasting (quality) memory for your clients.  Now, I'm sure all of us who have shot weddings for a few years will look to our first wedding and cringe, those times when we didn't totally grasp lighting and technical settings for our cameras.  Where we didn't realize where our focus was.   But, seasoned photographers look at those photographers with terror because we know exactly how much goes into it.  We aren't bashing you for wanting to have the confidence to shoot your best friend's cousin's special day for $100 (we did it too).   But we know that in a few years you'll look through those images and feel embarrassed about your work.   

Megan and Daniel's wedding -1-13

I cried coming home from a wedding this fall, because I was so sick the only place I needed to be was in bed.  My entire body hurt but I knew that it was an obligation that I couldn't step out of, it's not like calling a substitute for your class (which is a whole other nightmare sometimes).  The wedding had been booked for months and I had been sick for two weeks.  These people are depending on you, when they book you.  

Brett and Jessica-1-3

^^ There I am^^^^   Shooting a wedding.  By the time the ceremony is over I am SO TIRED.  Can we have cake yet?  

Jessica's Wedding-1-5

By the time the cake is cut and the dance begins...I wonder how the bride and groom can make it.   Weddings are normally at least six hours, often eight hours and sometimes twelve hour days.  Be prepared.   

Christian Wedding -1-5

Pricing doing something I love is a struggle.  Because it's subjective, I love photography.   But, I also find that the more I work the more I value my time.   I also value my experience and the amount of equipment I bring to someone's big day.   I know that I can give them images that are of a good photojournalism quality.  I am not into all the fake posing and silliness but allow them that option and to bring their own creativity to the day.   

Jordan's wedding-1-13

Yes, it's slightly out of focus... but it was my first 30 second exposure at a wedding and I love it....  

Jordan's wedding-1-9

But the best part of weddings are not the money spent on all the little details...  the best part of weddings is these are one of the few things in life that on that one day, at that one time end happily.   

Beaver creek barn venue-1-3

Even if you have a headache the next day....  

Christian Wedding -1-2

Weddings are about enjoying  yourself, and I think that even as an exhausted photographer... there are still things to enjoy about every single wedding I am fortunate enough to capture.  But would I have booked that June 2011 wedding knowing what I do now?  Hell no.  Nope, not even in a million years did I know what I was doing then.  But I'm glad I did.   I'm sure my portraiture blogs are contradictory to what I wrote a few years ago but that seems to be natural with knowledge and experience.   I often lament why people didn't tell my my photos were horrible in 2009 and 2010 (which in my opinion they were).   But that is life, sometimes we need encouragement as we learn and grow even if we aren't the best because that experience and practice is what makes us better as artists and people.   

Studio Lights

Creepy Doll -1

Have you ever agreed to do something that was over your head and experience?  Yeah, like shooting that very first wedding when you had a decent camera with a kit lens and no clue about what you were doing?  I did that in 2011.  So this time I agreed to volunteer to help the parent-teachers-student association at my school if they needed it.  Well I ended up shooting the homecoming dance at my high school.   The thing is I've never been a "portrait" photographer in the studio sense.  So, two weeks ago I headed up to Bedford's camera store in OKC to get a lighting kit.  Yeah, I still am clueless.  

Creepy Doll -1-3
 My first shots -  a creepy porcelain doll and of course the dog..

Creepy Doll -1-2


Moki was not a bad model.

Creepy Doll -1-4

So a week ago Saturday we were at the High School Dance - first time using the backdrop and light set up.  I was busy shooting the kids with a flash and the old 7D.  

Me -1

This is the first time I've shot in jpeg in YEARS.  So when I came home and loaded the photos on the computer I was very unhappy then I realized the size of the files was SO TINY that there was no way I would get the output I am used to.  

Semi professional photos-1


Studio lights-1-2
So these back drop photos I'm labeling "semi-professional"  but it was a learning experience and you have to start somewhere.  I probably won't want to do this often. 

Semi professional photos-1-2

I'm definitely confident at event photography. 

Baby Dragon -1

My friend had her baby so last night I drove a couple of hours with my lighting set up to attempt to get a decent newborn shot.  


The trouble is -I don't have the patience for newborn photography.  I also don't like the artificially posed -photoshopped images.  I like "real"- I like the emotion of a crying infant. I like the real child not an artificial moment.   So I got to meet the baby dragon yesterday and he's precious. I really didn't want to photograph him as much as I wanted to hold him.   


But I also got to see my other friend's new baby...  Oh, so much cuteness.  My kids were born in the 90s and 2001, we didn't infant photography the same way.  We dressed them up and propped them up at the Walmart portrait studio and was happy if they didn't cry. Our societies standards have absolutely lost it in what people want for portraits.   Come on, someday you'll be happy to have those snapshots of your little ones.   

Anyways this is an introduction to studio portraiture for me. 


I'm clueless, but that is what makes it fun.  


So You Want To Be A Wedding Photographer...

Beaver creek barn venue-1-4

I think people romanticize the job of being a photographer, particularly a wedding photographer.  They need to stop it.  Just like the profession of a teacher is glorified and even sometimes viewed as some saintly profession (also stop).   First of all.  Stop.   Right. There.  The weddings that I have shot over the last two weekends (yes one a weekend) have been booked for months in advance.  That means if some cool, amazing thing comes up on my schedule I can't go. I'm booked. I'm obligated to be at this wedding no matter how I feel (and believe me I've felt awful the last two weekends).   

Beaver creek barn venue-1-5

So now factor in that you've been tied down for months in your future obligations, that means when you start that new job you still are obligated to shoot three or four weddings this fall and do a good job of it.   Even if you go home sick, tired, crying and crawling into your steaming hot tub (which I did).   Then begin the process of culling photos, meanwhile having the sudden onslaught of Fall bookings start hitting your business inbox.  Oh, and don't get me wrong I'm incredibly grateful for my clients and their trust in choosing me to do their portraits.   But, I had a taste of burning myself out on portraiture last Fall, yet continued to shoot.  Do you know how hard it is to turn down clients for someone who is willing to work (like me).   

Jordan's wedding-1-2

Here is my Lil' Miss being the flower girl - she's one of the reasons I'm "into" portrait photography now, I was taking her portraits before I knew what the "f-stop" was...When I was incredibly naive,excited and clueless about photography in general and I thought that little $600 Rebel was a high tech piece of equipment with the "kit lens" that came with it.   Why didn't someone tell me how awful my photos were five years ago (they were).  I didn't know any of the technical details.  I was shooting purely on love of composition.  

Jordan's wedding-1-10

I'm actually kind of irritated that everyone thought my photos were good a few years ago and they weren't *By all means go look through my extensive archives of not so great photography from 2010-11-12-13 and some of 14.   But, I'm grateful for the knowledge that I've gained since then.  I'm tired.   I have two more weddings this Fall and this budget photographer who loved giving her time away in the past will no longer be doing this.   I have posted in the past about how rockstar photographers convince these young, naive, shooters not to give their work away.  Yes, don't.  Don't give your work away after you reach a certain level of satisfaction with your quality and if you continue to book no matter what your price, I guess you are doing it right.  

Jordan's wedding-1-11

A part of me loves the weddings, it's challenging like being in a classroom.  It's intense, it's stressful and somehow my love of solitude is turned into a high stress job.  But, weddings in the end are fun, happy and cheerful.  But by the time the bouquet is thrown this girl is ready to collapse into an exhausted ball of tiredness and watch Netflix.  

Jordan's wedding-1-12

But weddings are TERRIFYING.  I shot my first wedding in June of 2011 for $100.  I had a Canon 7D and the 28-135 Kit lens that came with it, I was somewhat confident but I was totally clueless on many levels.  I cringe when I look through the photos, but with knowledge and practice I've improved greatly and shot quite a few weddings now. Weddings still cause me great anxiety.  You get one shot, one shot not to mess it up. It's a scary business and a huge obligation when you take on someone's most emotional day and make it yours.  I attended a wedding last Spring as a guest and I watched a timid girl not taking the shots an missing many moments at a wedding and it was a horrible feeling to see it happening. 

Jordan's wedding-1-9

It is rewarding.  I've reached the point where I'm satisfied with my portfolio and will no longer be selling myself short, and honestly do not need the business. I want more gear and more experience with different types of photography because I'm a perfectionist.  But do I have to shoot weddings, nah... I turned down some because my pricing was too expensive when in the past I would work with anyone's budget.  Life teaches us what we need to value, sometimes we need to value time.   

Jordan's wedding-1-13

Be cautious when taking on weddings.  If you don't have experience offer your services to go with an experienced wedding photographer as a second or third shooter. I'm currently shooting weddings at what most would consider cheap prices, yet being able to price yourself into the realm of luxury is something that comes with consistency and confidence as a competent photographer.  

  When  you are the photographer you are helping create their memories, you are an observer, a voyeurs view into someone else's life, their moments and happiness.  Then you go home and share those memories, you were a key player stealthily documenting the special occasions, don't mess it up.  I'm still terrified before every wedding.  Fear is healthy.  

Today, I don't really want to be a wedding photographer.  Today I miss the wonder of going on a walk in the country and finding some odd, random thing and framing it in a pleasing composition.  Today I miss the simplicity of only knowing my own work and naively not knowing about the world of photography forums and photo-geeks.  Today I miss the wonder I found in what I did alone, without knowing your competition was being snarky behind your back or reading your page waiting for a chance to confront you (oh, believe me that has happened).    But, if you want to be a photographer go for it.  Just don't get angry if you don't book, get better.   

Repeat After Me

Your clients are not your friends.  Your clients are not your friends.   In my first year I would just tell clients to go ahead and friend me on Facebook so I could create  a shared album of their images, but often your clients are photography shoppers and in a few months you'll see them use a different photographer and well, it's annoying.  I think your clients can become friends because you meet interesting, awesome people to interact with, but as it is you are in business.  You are doing business.   

Rebecca (1 of 1)

In the last year I've had an amazing amount of business, which was exhausting and I have not spent the time to value the investment of my time.  I needed those opportunities to help build a portfolio, but now I'm transitioning into valuing my time, knowledge and effort. 

But, your clients will go after the "bigger, better deal" - they will take that "cheap mini-session" from a competitor; they owe you no loyalty.   So, be cautious in your friending.  I think we are such a "friending" society that we forget that the bulk of the people we know are acquaintances.  I am learning slowly not to volunteer my energy, gear and equipment.   

Don't discount yourself for the business or to please others, unless you specifically are working to build your portfolio and feel that it will benefit you.  


That being said, I love all the people I've met in the last year in my small town, it makes it a nicer place.    

There is no such thing as a free lunch.... that being said I'm reworking my pricing to reflect my investments.   There is nothing wrong with being a budget or cheap photographer, there is a market for you, but always be considerate of yourself first.   Professional photography reflects a huge learning curve and there are plenty of people out shooting for pay who lack knowledge, equipment and experience.  A word of caution for you before I go back to work on my edits this evening.  

Exclusive or Reclusive?


So November of 2013 I shut down my portrait photography page. I had no business, no clientele and just wasn't going to go through the hassle of messing with it.   March 2014 I was asked to do photos for an amazing non-profit organization and decided to try it again.   I did, I built a webpage and  upgraded my equipment.  By the end of 2014 I haven't had a weekend off.  By this week in January I still haven't gone seven days without a portrait shoot.   


It's my life.  So I'm sitting here thinking about how I want to handle this. I'm already obligated for many weddings this  year (which is fine).  I don't mind a few weddings.  But I'm already looking at a schedule that is out of my control.  Now that I have the fear of dealing with customer-zillas and people who you can't please no matter what.  I also worry in doing portrait photography that people with their numerous body image issues could hate the images no matter how wonderful they are.  I'm no psychologist but I also don't want that type of clientele.  I would rather have a day job.  I also have a fear of running into one of "those" clients...Colorado Baker or even this Refusal to Photograph Gay Marriage -- But to clarify - I have no issue photographing any type of engagement or marriage ceremony, but what if the person begins as a very demanding potential customer and I decide I don't want to work with this person based on the attitude they put out in messages and if they have ulterior motives or race, or religion they could use the discrimination card and it wouldn't be true.   I hear about buyer beware, but what about business owner beware.  In this totalitarian society that demands we offer our services without question - I struggle to find the boundaries where I am legally safe from predatory customers.  Yes, customers can be predators too.  I already run into the attitude that because I do photography I should of course be available to do whomevers photos at anytime.   I can't take this hobby that I fould out of my love of solitude and aloneness and make it into this extroverted constant flow of people into my life.   I am, or could be, John Galt. 

 Do you even look at the stars, Bro?   - tonight was breathtaking..  beautiful, beyond words.  



After watching the media and the news and it's obsession with the "top one percent" and who "holds the wealth" and the "fairness" of society - I am disgusted.   Our values in this nation are entirely wrong.  We are obsessed with what other people have compared to ourselves.  People spend their time telling you that you aren't good enough because you don't have enough.  Your life isn't rich enough, you need medication, you need to shop, you need so much that you don't have.  Society says it's not fair because someone else has more than you do.  Nevermind that as Americans we have more than most people in any other society prior to us have had.  Yet its elitist to say we're valuing the wrong things. For the most part people don't care what you have, or where you've been you need to appreciate your own experiences.  Some wisdom I read tonight is that you can't find your own happiness based upon other's opinons of you.  


We are amazed at the ancient people because of their knowlege of the stars, of the sun and moon and the actions of the planet.  Because we don't see the stars.  I feel like I found something that I've missed most of my life through night photography. I've missed the varying shades of darkness, the magic of night.  So I can become a more exclusive person with my time, so I can enjoy my reclusive life.   If you're good at something and you know it, and enjoy it - it's hard to balance that need for outside validation.   I like these shots, it's nice to know that I'm doing them correctly.  


A year ago or six months ago, I felt a pang of envy whenever I'd see a photographer who could photograph the stars.   I had the technology all in my hands for years, but I didn't have the drive to learn the skill.   


I love the stars, it's as beautiful as loving our very own star and the motions it creates at the center of our universe.  I'm tired and tomorrow will be a busy day.  It's so worth it to drive deep into the country late at night just to see the stars.   


No, You Can't Have "All The Images."

For the record I've dealt with this issue more than once in my photography career and if you google topic you will find not one but HUNDREDS of posts devoted to the topic of why the photographer OWNS the images.  We do.  The cops can't search our cameras without a warrant and the client does not have any right to all the images.   I've dealt with this in the last month and every person I've known who DOES photography has dealt with difficult people who demand everything.  One point I'd like to make is if you don't think you're going to like the finished product of your images why did you hire the photographer in the first place when you can see their work.  

I think this is the problem every photographer of any skill level runs into.  That client who asks "So, do I get all the images."  -  Your answer should be no.   Why? Because those images are your images, not the clients, unless you promise all the images and you shouldn't.    Sunday I did a session for one of my favorite clients and I am using some of her images for my examples in this post. 

Jessica chickasha -1-2

A lovely moment at USAO in Chickasha.  

Blurry -You can't have all the images-1

Or was it so lovely?  This image is a victim of camera shake (it was cold).   So when  you over deliver or try to give the client what they think they want, you just look like a bad, horrible, awful photographer.  If you gurantee twenty photos a session give them that and not one more.   In fact I'm thinking there is usually one signature image in a session that stands out and blows you away.  But, I'm sure there isn't much of a market for promising one image.   

Jessica chickasha -1-4

But I loved this image. 

Jessica at USAO-1

This is perfect (although I don't like the gas station that I can see in the background) there are pitfalls in not shooting in the middle of nowhere.  

Jessica at USAO-blurry-1

The following frame was not as great.  So, when  you give all the images  you are really selling yourself short.   Don't do this! 

Jessica chickasha -1-3

This shoot was one that we had talked about since August!  

Festival of Lights in Chickasha-1

We made it to the lights just as they opened.

Festival of Lights in Chickasha-1-4
  I read a blog that said if you label yourself a "natural light" photographer that you do not understand lighting.  I'm finding truth in this statement because lighting is an area I'm working on for portraiture.  It is amazing that when you feel like you know a lot, you finally realize that you have so much to learn.   This is the true in anything that you do.  I used a flash in the image above - because afterall photography is about light.  

Festival of Lights in Chickasha-1-3

Same place, almost the same moment.  No flash, this image has qualities that I like despite not being as clear.  So, if you're new to the portrait industry just remember you own the copyright of your images; not your subjects.  No, they can't have all the images because you want your images to represent your best possible work and by giving away all the images you are not representing the best possible side of your work.  


iPhone 5 Canon Remote Shutter

So, I found a super cool little app to put on my phone, an iPhone remote shutter to operate my Canon 6D through wifi.   Now, I've had this app but no time and ambition to figure it out.  I also knew it would require my tripod which I've never used in my photography.   So, yes this is another photography post.  

First Hands Free Selfie -7585

Pumpkin wasn't feeling the selfie session at all.  She was not being a "good dog"-  

First Hands Free Selfie -7603

So what I did was hook up the tripod and connect my phone to the camera's wifi (the 6D has wifi which is pretty cool).   I then shut off the overhead light and I used a fixed 50mm f/1.2 lens which I thought would provide the best indoor shots.   No flash on my face at all I used a radial filter to lighten the image (unfortunately it's still me and I'm no longer 25).   

First Hands Free Selfie -7625

So, I wish I had a nice firm chin and perfect smile.  Yeah, but I hate dentists, I hate pain I hate doctors and I'm not vain enough for plastic surgery.  lol -  So I'll just keep being me.   Anyways I have to tell people that WE ALL have things we dislike about ourselves but there are things that we can like about ourselves.   

First Hands Free Selfie -7643

Oh, here we go, this one I edited with curves -  I made it appear more matte.  I think it is my favorite of the few that I took.  I'm just pretty impressed with the remote shutter and the 50mm lens for me not being behind the camera with these.   

First Hands Free Selfie -7643-2

I like it in black and white too.  

First Hands Free Selfie -7646

Crazy Cat Lady Selfie..   me (Joy) and My Munchkin - Bootsy.   

Christmas tree bokeh-7596

But, seriously who doesn't love Christmas tree bokeh?   

Pumpkin's Walk and Deep Philosophical Musings

With an 80% chance of rain my Sunday afternoon session was rescheduled for a Sunday morning session.  We barely missed the rain and ended up having our shoot at the local park.  But that being complete the rain passed by four and I took my Red Heeler Pup, Pumpkin out for a long walk.  

Nebraska Storm -6942

But it was a good session anyways....  

Red Heeler Pumpkin -7367

My love of photography has absolutely nothing to do with humans.  It is actually the opposite.  I love photography because it gives me the ability to be an observer.  Which, living a life as feeling like an observer looking in on human interaction, photography is something I enjoy greatly.  

Dogs in the country-7342

But, I'm afraid I spend too much time recently looking at the work of other photographers.   I've become a critic.  I've always enjoyed fine art and art history so I've always had the heart of an art critic (and none of the talent).  

Dogs in the country-7373

I hate "almost good photos"-  I see MANY people selling themselves as portrait photographers who are "almost good" photographers.   It's a pet peeve to see people paying money for something that is "almost good"-  I hope that when I sell photography I am giving a "good' product.  I hope that it is more than "almost good"-- so what is a pet peeve of mine about the Momtographers is someone who can do a nice portrait set up with thought into the props and what they use to take the photos, but the photographer clearly has no awareness of what a in focus photo is!  I like in focus photos.  

Dogs in the country-7379

So photography is a field where you are either a hypercritical jerk or you have zero awareness of what good photography is or you love absolutely everything you see.  I found a post on Facebook by a photographer who seemed to be relatively popular with lots of likes critizing a website that makes fun of bad photography.  Yet, this photographer isn't giving away her information freely either; while saying photographers must support one another- she is making money by offering workshops.   I kind of miss the days (four or five years ago when I had zero awareness).  It's much easier thinking you are "good" at something rather than actually being good at it.   Maybe it's the awareness.  

Red Heeler Pumpkin -7401

But once you are aware - do you become less willing to take risks?  Because you're aware of your shortcomings or your capabilities.  

Red Heeler Pumpkin -7407

Pumpkin wouldn't leave my side and go exploring with Ozzie. She's a good girl. 

Red Heeler Pumpkin -7426

I'm glad I spent years playing with photography before I seriously began studying the technical side of it.  

Red Heeler Pumpkin -7446
 It's funny how these old trucks have been sitting out here for years and I've only just noticed them. 

Old Dodge in the field at sunset-7437

I only recently noticed how the sun was setting in this field.  

Red Heeler Pumpkin -7428

To me, photography is about observation.  I may spend my time doing paid shoots more now, but it is still about observation. It is not about people. I observe their behavior. I observe how they treat their children when they want to get a "good picture"- I observe their patience or personalities, but it is still me observing behind the lens.  

Old Dodge in the field at sunset-7472

The sunset was amazing, but I left my 24/70 lens at home on my other camera.  I was stuck with the 70/200 and the 50mm, I did have the wide angle lens which wasn't quite what I wanted but I got this shot.  I hate the powerlines. 

Sunset -7477
So here we are a week before Christmas and nearly into the year 2015.   I can't believe it.  Time flies when you're getting old I guess.   So that is all from tonight as I battle an enormous mountain of laundry in hopes of finding the bottom of the laundry table.   I'm not sure I have deep philosophical musings but I guess I haven't yet found the meaning of life, so I will continue to live.   

Related articles

A Post About Post-Production

So this is the first year that I've been heavily into reading material on the web written by photographers in the "industry."   Prior to this year I have used a couple of books and just played it by ear.  I didn't really understand the technical side of photography and at the beginning of my photography journey I was a classroom teacher, and later I spent two years engrossed in the journey to complete my Master's Degree.   So this  year, I educated myself (somewhat).  I'm still learning. I still have A LOT to learn!  So I'm going to post a series of before and after of recent editing that I've done.  

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 11.47.08 PM


I edit using Lightroom. I currently don't have a subscription for Photoshop. Above is a before and after of a photo that I took this summer in Western Nebraska.  Below is the final edit. 

Western Nebraska -1-2


This is along the Platte River Valley heading towards Scott's Bluff.   So I've noticed more and more  "Watch Me Edit," type of workshops or webinars.  I didn't realize there was such an industry of photographers making money off of one another.   So, I have no secrets about photography (how could I- for the most part I do photography like a person who has learned to "play by ear".   I know compared to some photographers I am not great at all.   But, I also can't imagine paying a significant amount of money for a workshop, when I could put that ridiculous amount of money towards a new lens (because, seriously- it is about the glass).  Because.  Oh man, I so want a badass 35mm lens now.  I do, I do...  

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 5.56.34 PM

This isn't really a "watch me edit" post, it is a before and after.  You can see the difference in the images.  I shoot in RAW format so the images are not always great coming out of the camera and I find a lot of inspiration in processing.  I enjoy editing.   But I don't like being overloaded in editing.  Fortunately, for the first time in a few months I am not overloaded and only have the job that I completed today.   

Lane's 2nd Birthday -6536

The beauty is being able to recover details.  One new tool I've been using on some portrait work is the radial filter where I can go in and recover details in faces that is different from the rest of the photo.  I also use curves to crush my blacks into this nice matte look (which I will probably hate in a year).  That's about the closest to filters that I use.   

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 8.16.19 PM

So if you can see the curves, see how I adjusted it;  that's how I achieve that matte look.  

Lane's 2nd Birthday -6730

I find myself reaching for my fixed 50mm lens more and more as I learn about photography.  To go from desiring the most zoom as possible or at least some zoom to realizing that some of the best images aren't about the camera doing the work, they're about me positioning myself to frame the best possible shot.  

Lane's 2nd Birthday -6634

It's interesting that the more I read and the more youtube tutorials that I watch the more this industry entertains me.  But understanding photography is a journey.  It is a way to see the world.  Back to the "critical lens" theory that so many academics point to when they're writing about a way to view the world.  Everytime I read about someone's "lens" I think they really don't have a grasp on what they're writing about when they discuss a "lens" to view the world because if you can't understand it within the realm of photography how can you explain using a "lens" or perspective to view the world?  


Last night I deleted photos from my harddrive in the beginning of my yearly purge. I started counting the amount of sessions and portrait sessions and weddings far outnumbered any shooting that I did for myself.  I am amazed at how busy I've been this year and the fact that it is nearly the end of the year and I'm beginning to acquire quite a hectic looking schedule for next year.   This has been an interesting journey.  It's like going down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland.  This hobby has morphed into more than a part time job, yet not quite a full time job.   

Related articles

A Day In Review and Procrastination

Saturday was busy, busy, busy... 


I photographed this great family first thing Saturday!  I love seeing them again because I have been to quite a few of their family events this year and it's so nice to make connections like these through my photography.   As you get to know people on Facebook you can see their personalities and interests too, which also makes for more connections.   


I am a procrastinator. I do things last minute. I'm impulsive.  I don't follow through.  I'm indecisive.  But, being accountable to people for portrait work and photography after being paid for my service is a responsibility.  I set my own editing goals, sometimes they're ridiculously short because I don't like having this work hanging over my head.   So, I am trying to get my December sessions out in less than a week.  It's not really for the customer's benefit. I've been pushing up my deadlines in finishing edits for my own sanity.  But, it's a double edged sword, I'm booking more and more weddings, events and portraits.  

Karlee's Blake's 1st-1

My Second session on Saturday celebrated his first birthday the day before! 

But if it's something I enjoy I can get it done right away, often I post on my page the day I go out and shoot landscapes.  Why? Because I enjoy it.   

Karlee's Blake's 1st-1-6

But my arbitrary deadlines cause me a lot of stress, because I think my customers or people who invest in ME and my services deserve the services that I would hope to be on the recieving end of.  That is why my prices are reasonable.  I will be increasing my portrait sessions next year, but not to the level that many charge.   Why? Because I will continue to charge what I see as reasonable within the framework of "any business" - not just a "luxury business."   Photography is a luxury business. Art is not a necessity in a world where everyone carries a camera on them.    

Joey and Jessica -1

The economic indicators are here.  We are in the middle of energy boom in Oklahoma.  That, is heading quickly towards a bust.  When it hits it will be bad here, as the political implications of low fuel prices gives hope to many people, it is not good for Oklahoma.  I do think it needs to slow, I think the resource drain these companies are making on our freshwater is too much.  

Joey and Jessica -1-5

My last session was a proposal.  My first proposal. I was nervous.   I was happy she said yes, and I was happy to be the person chosen to share that special moment.  

Joey and Jessica -1-11

So, I'm not procrastinating. I want to finish the sessions I shot on Sunday so I can enjoy the rest of my week.  Work hard, so I can truly relax.  You can't "relax" when you have deadlines to meet.  The stress is still there.   So a break from blogging and back to editing.