Blog: Photo Sessions
Life is Beautiful. I love serving the world by capturing beautiful family memories, encouraging others to believe in life’s greatest possibilities, and inspiring others to realize their full potential. Everyone has a story... make it a beautiful one.
Looking at photography today, you might say to yourself if your starting your new venture as a photographer that the industry is so saturated and how will you ever be able to stand out in all the noise of photographers.
When I first started I thought the same thing and still think it sometimes, BUT the truth is, there is only one YOU. Do the style that makes YOU happy. I am guilty of trying to be the copy cat photog who tries to be like everyone else, use the same equipment, use the same settings, try to replicate the same images, and use the same presets and actions. I may use the same presets as some, but I tweek them to make them my very own.
As a photographer, it can be easy to loose sight of your creativity in todays high demand social media world and start loosing yourself in the comparison game… GUILTY. Recently I got so caught up in the comparison game it made me anxious to think about what others where doing to the point I was asking what the point because I am not like so and so.
I decided to OWN my style because its me. Its who I am. I have taken a different hold on it, I am the subject along with my kids. I decided to get creative this year and tell my story through my own photography. I might as well if I have the skills right? Being able to get into my clients shoes go out and take photos of my life in locations I would take a client has really created something more for me.
It is sparked a flame within to want to create more and to discover more of what I can do with my camera. I have felt it has really helped me to focus on my photography rather than focusing on what others are doing. I think this could be that I am focusing on how I want to tell my whole story on life (not just photography) rather than focusing on how many clients or sessions I have or other photographers have. Being able to do this has really allowed me spark some creative genius within.
Another decision I made this year to help my creativity is I joined a group of like minded moms in a IG photo group where each week we have a theme and we post our photo on our feed on Tuesday os every week. Joining this group has really allowed me to dig deep into my creative mind and discover some new techniques I’ve never done before.
For example, this week was themed “RED”, perfect for Valentines week. I put myself in my clients shoes, got all dressed up and even got a pretty bouquet made up to add some texture to the photo, and went to a snowy location. I danced and twirled doing the things I would tell a client to do. I felt beautiful dancing around in the snow with the pretty bouquet and red skirt.
It may sound silly to put yourself in front of the camera like this ( I would have a year ago) but it helps so much to put yourself in the frame and see what will create from it. You might come up with new ideas for creating poses at your next session or a great way to tweak your editing skills before you do it on an actual session. So many possibilities can come from you being your own subject. As side note, telling your story through your lens not only helps with creativity but gains trust with your future clien
One last thought is photograph often for YOURSELF. I think this can go full circle with what I already mentioned but it such truthful advice. As mentioned, I have gotten so caught up worrying about getting clients, trying to stick out in the crowd, and be like everyone else… I lost sight of me and who I am as an artist and created so much burn out. When your burnt out, the creativity isn’t there. Photographing for YOU is so refreshing to the soul and you can interpret it in which ever way feels right for you.
I am growing with photography and using it to tell a different story. This is who I am as a photographer, wife, mom, individual. This for me has created a new happy place. Your art should be you. There wasn’t two Da Vinci’s or two Van Gogh’s. There is only one you. So put on your red skirt, grab some pretty flowers, and go twirl in a pretty place because you are worth your own investment.
It was only fitting that today’s Friday Photo tip would be about capturing motherhood because this beautiful mama gave birth to her precious little Hazel!
Capturing motherhood is such a beautiful thing to photograph wether you photograph your own life or you photograph clients motherhood moments. For me, its about capturing the intimate moment. A special moment of a mother with her child, a family laughing and playing together, or a moment of snuggles.
Capturing the raw special moments speak volumes and tend to tell a story of moments that were captured to be remembered for a life time.
I will tell a family to pretend like I am not even here at the beginning of a session. I want them to feel like they can be themselves because that is when the best beautiful moments take place.
And for a motherhood tip for you, I ask this beautiful mama what she valued about motherhood:
“I think the privilege of watching these little people that I created become their own person with personalities and preferences that they get to pick. And that I get to eat all of their leftover chicken nuggets.”- Courtney
I posted on Instagram about how our lives are like a blank canvas. We are each given a canvas to choose to do with what ever we want with it. We have the choice to paint our own beautiful story with imperfections or we can choose to do nothing with it and keep it blank.
This inspired me for this weeks Friday photography tip. It has been so much fun taking the boys out and doing our own photoshoots during winter down time from regular photography sessions. Down time is a perfect time to get inspired, go location scouting, and get the creative juices flowing, all the while I am creating and capturing my own story.
Last Valentine’s day my husband bought me my first tripod. I always thought tripods where silly and for the really serious pro photographers. I always classified myself as being the having fun and breaking the rules kinda photographer. Up until this last year being at home mom with Ethan and Nate, I have whole heartedly embraced the tripod.
I taught myself to use the tripod and timer on my camera. It has allowed me to create a story of me as a mom, with my kids, and telling my health and fitness journey.
I set up my tripod where I want it to be and I will use Ethan as my focal point of where I want to stand. I focus and set all my settings in my camera and set the camera on the tripod. Most tripods are super easy to use.
With the knowledge I have learned by using a tripod and camera timer, I’ve been able to create self portraits.
I can do fun action shots with my kids.
Or just a fun snuggle photo with them wether they like it or not ha!
I have also been able to create photos to share my health and fitness journey too.
You can create such a beautiful story by using a tripod and camera timer and if anyone where to ask me what camera equipment is a must have… a tripod is at the top of my list! It has been a such a blessing in my life!
I get asked almost daily how I get my boys to take photos. The truth is, it takes a lot of trial and error and not everyday is going to be perfect especially if you have young kids. I will share with you some of the secret weapons I’ve learned over the past 7 years that I use at my photo sessions and with my own kids.
Sitting down: I have a 2.5 year old that always want to be on the move no matter what I want him to do so getting him to sit down for photos can be a challenge. What I have learned is smarties is key. I can get him to sit still for at least one shot if I give him a couple smarties to munch on. sometimes they make into the photo but HEY its real life. Giving a child something to play with like a book, toy or something from nature in the location your at can help keep a child occupied. Playing peek a boo or singing a song works great too. For older kids, you can talk about what they are into like a sport or if they have a favorite superhero let them talk to you about it, ask them questions.
Let them be little: I prefer the candids over the super posed images and letting the kids do their own thing makes them happy. Sometimes you just have to go with it. It may not be what you envisioned, but sometimes the best photos are the ones not planned.
Do things together: Get in the photo with them and do things you do together in real life. Not only does this tell a story of your real life moments and capturing a memory of you with them, but it also can help a child to feel more at ease to be photographed.
Real Life: Capture them in real life. Not every moment is perfect, but the moment may just tell the perfect true story.
Play: A child at play makes some pretty awesome photos. I love capturing my kids doing things they love to do like playing basketball or swinging. It captures them in their element and happy place… and it is a great memory to look back at what they used to do as a child.
Things of comfort: Allowing a child to have something that comforts them or they like to hold on too can really help them to cooperate for photos. Ask them to show you what they have and why they like that particular item. Having a conversation with them if they can talk can make a world a difference when taking a child’s photo. Don’t want the item in the photo? I will . take whatever the item is as the photographer/mom and do something silly with it like put it on my head.
and if all fails… BRIBERY is a word you must come to familiarize yourself with. Somedays if I want a photo that bad, yes I bribe with candy, cookies, and milkshakes.
The art of photographing your own kids or other kids takes practice and patience. My advice is go in with no expectations and just go with it. There are plenty of times I have found this picture perfect photo I wanted to try to do but then I go to recreate it and it ends up in disaster because the kids weren’t into it. Your kids are different than others kids and like different things so don’t go in with great expectations for this picture perfect photo session.
Just let them be who they are and find the things that make them happy to take photos. If you stress doing photos, They will stress too. So turn up the music, get the toys and candy out and just do it.
I took Ethan and Nate to the library for the first time…EVER. Yeah I know, why now? Now that I have more time with my boys, I have the opportunity to take them to experience new places they haven’t been before. The amazement of both their faces as we entered the building was like… WOW!! We went and got our library card that I haven’t had in years, and had to ask for assistance to remind me how to figure out which books where which… that how long its been HAHA! Ethan was grabbing every book he could get his hand on and Nate wanted to go jump on the chairs. But then they heard Itsy Bitsy Spider coming from the other room and Ethan was like “I want to go in there mom.” We went in with the play group that was going on and boy it was so fun to see them both filled with excitement to be doing something where they could act like a bunch of crazy banchies and no one cared. They both loved the chalk board that was there too. We checked out our books and had a inspiring thought to capture a few photos while at the library.
As I sat them in a quite corner and got my camera ready, It made my mama heart melt to see these two quietly flipping through books and reading together…and that is when I realized the magic of brotherhood. Brotherhood is a bond that can not be taken away. It is a bond so beautiful, a bond that is so unreal. These beautiful babes of mine seriously get to my heartstrings with the amazing bond of brotherhood that they have. The smiles they give each other, the fun they have, its always been a dream of mine to have kids close in age, but even better two boys that really bring a magic touch to brotherhood and reading books.